Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State No.3 Buckeyes beat No.9 Indiana 42-35 on Saturday, and here are three sightings as Ohio State moved up to 4-0 and now awaits the top ranking of the college football qualifiers on Tuesday.
1. Seven years ago the state of Ohio did not pull the trigger and promote a freshman in high school starting lineup, and the reluctance cost the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship . I would advise to learn from this mistake.
In 2013, the Ohio state defense was destroyed by a season-ending injury to safety Christian Bryant. The Buckeyes replaced him with veteran Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown (the nickname used to distinguish him from wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown) and it was obvious the level of play had dropped. But they didn’t do anything about it until it was too late. Real freshman safety Vonn Bell was the other option, but it was Brown who was on the field as the Buckeyes lost in the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State on a big passing day for Connor Cook. The loss kept the Buckeyes out of the National Championship game.
Then Bell started in the Orange Bowl and landed a pass for the first time. The coaching staff was slow to rely on talent rather than experience. They might have a similar choice now. I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t think the Buckeyes can continue to operate safety Marcus Hooker and slot wedge Marcus Williamson as basically all-out starters. There were enough mistakes against the Indiana assists attack on Saturday to make it clear.
I suggested it a few weeks ago, and Saturday only made it stronger. There may not be obvious answers. Cornerback Cam Brown suffered a late season injury, safety Brendon White was transferred in the offseason and two defensive backs (Jahsen Wint, Amir Riep) were sent off the squad in the offseason. There were also high school hires in the last few lessons, and it came home to roost.
But 2013 has shown what happens when a really good team doesn’t give a talented, unproven youngster a chance, even though it’s clear it should. The state of Ohio has to try something now, as it’s hard to imagine putting current secondary staff on the field during the college football playoffs.
Maybe Josh Proctor, playing a lot of cover shots like a solid safety wedge / lunge, moves to a deep safety instead of Hooker. Maybe real rookie Lathan Ransom has a look of security. Maybe Proctor doesn’t back down but starts at the corner of the lunge for Williamson. Maybe real freshmen Lejond Cavazos or Ryan Watts have a chance at the corner of the slot machine. Taking guys out of training isn’t easy, but it’s part of the deal.
“Sometimes you have to make tough decisions. It’s part of training, ”Ryan Day said after the game.
He said that when there are problems it comes down to either the staff, the program or the coaching. But he said every problem has components of all three.
“At the end of the day you have to put the best players on the pitch,” Day said. “We believe in our guys so I’ll be surprised if we have to make any changes. But maybe we will. We have to watch the movie and see. But almost 500 meters of attack in terms of passes is too much. It is simply not acceptable.
Do the same thing that doesn’t work without at least trying some of the other options.
2. In the spring of 2018, Ohio State had a quarterback battle that saw Dwayne Haskins claim the job and break nearly all of the season pass records at Ohio State in the fall of 2018, while Joe Burrow transferred to LSU and won the Heisman Trophy and National Championship in 2019.
A low-key version of Big Ten is being worked on at the conference.
A year ago, Michael Penix won the starting quarterback for Indiana, but only started six games with injury. Peyton Ramsey started the other seven. But with Penix ready to start over in 2020, Ramsey grad transferred to Northwestern.
On Saturday, Penix threw for 491 yards for No.9 Indiana in a close loss to No.3 Ohio State, while Ramsey threw for 203 yards for No.19 Northwestern in a victory over No.10 Wisconsin. .
For the season, Penix and Ramsey led their teams to a combined 9-1 record while throwing for 2,487 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Two former quarterback teammates both find ways to be successful.
3. The Indiana running game did next to nothing on Saturday – the tailbacks ran 11 times for 18 yards – and the IU passing game tried to stress the OSU linebackers by putting them in cover matches. . For the most part, they held up fairly well. Outside linebackers Baron Browning and Pete Werner led the Buckeyes with eight tackles each and no one else had more than three.
Indiana has parted running back David Ellis several times, and he beat Werner once on the field, but gave up what would have been a 35-yard finish; he beat Browning for a 16-yard touchdown reception on the fourth down in the fourth quarter when the linebacker was picked twice by other routes; and reserve linebacker Teradja Mitchell blew up a cover when he let Ellis go with no help behind him. It lasted 51 yards. That day, Ellis had four catches for 86 yards because Indiana intrigued him open. But Werner and Browning are still two really good cover guys for linebackers.
“They went down that little road in a net and it got into the end zone, and there was a little bit of a communication problem with me and security about it,” Browning said of Ellis TD. “The passing game in general, we have things we can clean up.”
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