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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Ohio State Defense Shows Holes vs Northwestern

Wisconsin showed some kinks in the Ohio State armor, but Northwestern really exposed them.  The Buckeyes defense has some new faces this season after graduating a good group last year.  And that inexperience is showing in the pass defense. I recall the announcers talking up Roby,Ohio States premier cornerback, early in the game against Wisconsin.  And there is no question that he a good athlete, and does some good things on the field.  But he was burnt repeatedly in single coverage. Even with him grabbing and tugging at the receiver every play, they finally brought in a safety to help cover deep. And the Northwestern quarterbacks were able to pick apart the remainder of their pass defense. With a porous defense, the Buckeyes offense has to be a powerhouse and be able to score a bucketload of points in a horse race against the other team.

And the Buckeye's have the offense this season.  When your backup quarterback can set a school record for TD's, you know you have depth.  Backup Guiton throws a good ball, the only difference between him and Braxton Miller is running ability.  Miller is multi-dimensional and that ability to run for big gains, or scramble for positive yards gives him an edge.  Guiton is more of an NFL type passer, even though he is a backup, I would not be surprised if he gets an invite to a training camp next year.

Hyde is emerging as a weapon. Did OK running the ball against Wisconsin, great against Northwestern.  Seemed to be really fatigued at the end of the game. Maybe missing the beginning of the season due to suspension was a factor.  He is putting distance between himself and the other Buckeye ball carriers.  And I like his personality, at the end of the game they interviewed him what made the difference in this game? He responded that the offensive line was the difference in the running game. Gotta like that - it's not about me and giving props to the guys in the trenches.

The team showed some character.  First time this season that they had to play from behind.  They could have panic'ed and crumpled up. But they were able to make some plays and come with a win. Meyer might have been a little panicky when he did the fake punt in his own territory and failed.  But you could see his intensity when he was arguing with an official about getting his timeout back when they were reviewing the Hyde TD call.  When Guiton started to warm up, I think it put some additional pressure on Miller to make plays.   Even though Miller put up good numbers, he coughed up 2 fumbles and an interception.  If the Buckeyes want to win a championship, they will need to get that defense shored up. For sure they will be in a bowl game, and maybe even the Championship game.  But we all know the adage that defense wins championships and I don't think the Buckeye defense is there yet.

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