Friday, August 10, 2007

Breaking Down: The Ohio State Buckeyes

I apologize for failing to do much of anything in regards to breaking down PSU's opponnents over the last few weeks. I will now attempt to return with a vengeance to break down the Buckeyes, another team PSU loves to hate and yet they refuse to accept PSU as a rival. The Buckeyes enter 2007 with the dubious distinction of making it to the Championship game only to walk into the (Buck)Nut-Cracker that was the 2006 Gators. Gone are Ginn, Gonzales, and old Mr. Heisman, Troy Smith. I was quick to dismiss Tosu last year and they proved me to be a gigantic fool. If you are still reading, Ohio State graduated a great deal of talent on the offensive side of the ball this year, losing the above-mentioned WRs and Heisman winner. However, that does not mean Tosu will be terrible as they have certainly proven in the pass that they can win with a care-taker of a QB and a stingy defense. Now, on to the breakdown!


Buckeye Passing:
Ok, gone is Troy Smith and his 2500+ yds passing, 30 tds, and only 6 picks. Also gone are Ginn and Gonzales who combined for 17 TDs and over 1500 yds receiving. Exactly who will fill these atlas-sized-nikes? Nobody knows for sure, will it be Boeckman? Henton? You get the idea about how this is going by the number of question marks in this paragraph. However, the Buckeyes do return their third leading receiver from 2006, Brian Robiskie. Robiskie wracked up only half as many yards as either Ginn or Gonzales but should see those numbers increase as he will certainly play a larger role in the offense. The Passing game will also be limited as, unless true frosh Henton starts, the Buckeyes will have a Morelli-esque statue planted in the backfield. Losing an elusive QB not only hurts the rushing numbers but will also impact the passing numbers as the line will have to buy this year's QB much more time in the pocket.

Buckeye Rushing:
Antonio Pittman was a key piece of the Buckeye's run last year as he rushed for 1233 yds, averaged 5.1 yds/carry, and scored 14 TDs. He was a beast. His most likely replacement is Chris Wells who racked up over 500 yds last year spelling Pittman. Wells's average is 5.6 yds/carry which bests Pittman's average. The offensive line seems to be in relatively good shape returning 3 starters. Odds are by the time PSU and Tosu square off the two "new guys" (Cordle and Person) will be up to speed and playing well. In short, Ohio State will be a rushed based offense this year as they try not to put to much pressure on an inexperienced QB and WRs.

Buckeye Defense:
Ohio State's defense was fantastic last year. I didn't believe in them before the season started and they made me look like a fool as they only averaged 12.8 pts/game (including holding PSU to 6). At the end of the year, Ohio State's defense was exposed a little when Michigan hoisted 39 pts. up against them and FL amassed 41 pts. This year's defense looks to have a chance to duplicate this prior success but it will require young, inexperience lineman to play as well as last year's young, inexperienced defensive backfield did last year. Tosu only returns one starter on the defensive line and only five starters on the whole unit. It seems as though Tosu would be vulnerable to the run, if so, this could be a very long year for this defense.

Predictions:
Tosu rumbles into Happy Valley on October 27th and have a shot at being 8-0 when they arrive. This sets up a possible repeat of the 2005 white-out/zombie-nation/paternoville/best-student-section-in-the-country insanity. Which I am planning to be in attendance for. This will be a hard fought game. Both teams will have an offensive advantage running the ball so this will be a low-scoring, close game. In the end, PSU will have one more big play on offense which will make the difference.

Final Score:
PSU: 20
TOSU: 14

GO STATE! GET FIRED UP!

2 comments:

Bryan said...

Part of me wishes the score was 17-10 again just to get that errie feeling.

Bryan from FireJayPa.com

JB said...

I really wouldn't be surprised if that were the final score. This will certainly be an old school college football game; low-scoring and tough.