Bank Bag: OSU vs Penn State Week

As undefeated Ohio State heads to Happy Valley to battle Penn State, Bill Greene is here to answer question from BSB subscribers. Here is Part-One.

bucknutsinurface: Bill, I truthfully feel psu has no chance in this game. Barkley is there best and only player that could do anything against us. With psu linebackers injured, we will run with authority and look to air it out deep. How do you see this matchup?

BG: This is probably the toughest place for Ohio State to play, and Penn State really battled the Buckeyes to the wire a few years ago. Ohio State was lucky to get out alive, and were helped by a few questionable calls by the refs. But fans don't play, and Penn State had a great defensive line two years ago and controlled the action. I wouldn't say they have "no chance" at all, but they don't seem to have the type of team that I think can stop the Ohio State offense. You have to stop the run and make J.T. Barrett throw to beat you. I'm not sure Penn State is physical enough up front to do that this year. Barkley is amazing and he will probably get his yards, and their QB has been pretty good as well. But beating Ohio State starts with the opponent's front-seven, not their offense.

JohnCarrollBuckeye: Are you still hearing/leaning towards Barrett leaving at the end of the season? In your opinion what remaining teams pose the biggest risk to Michigan and Ohio State prior to the game on Nov 26?

BG: Barrett told his buddies before the season that he was leaving. I think it's probably a mistake, but I think that's what he's set on doing. Michigan State is playing terrible right now, but they have beaten Ohio State two of the last three and they always beat Michigan. Can The Spartans get it together and put forward their usual effort against one or both? Looks doubtful today, but they have talent and a coach that knows how to beat OSU and Michigan. Michigan also travels to Iowa, which could be problematic. For Ohio State, I guess Nebraska and/or Penn State would be ones to watch other than MSU. 

ScarletAndGray02: Bill do you think Urban begins to play Mack/Victor more after what we are seeing with the other WRs. I understand blocking is important at WR, but so is getting open and catching footballs. tOSU beats 99% of teams with the current makeup at WR, but they aren't beating Bama (or Michigan) without the ability to throw the ball. Second your opinion was that the best half of football that JT played in his time in Columbus? I think he was better in the 2014 MSU game, but he was really good in the 2nd half Saturday........good to see him throw the ball decisively and hope he builds on that.

BG: I just don't think they feel either one is ready to play right now. With Binjimen, it would be that he is too skinny to block effectively, and I'm not sure why Mack hasn't jumped ahead of the others to be honest. Barrett was really good in the second half last week for sure, and it might have been the best he's played since the road game at Michigan State when he was a freshman. If he can play like this Ohio State is tough to beat. If he plays like Indiana and the first half against Wisconsin, then Ohio State is vulnerable. 

grosh76: Based on the season so far, do you see OSU slipping up somewhere? And will it be against Mich? Seems like the receiving core is where it finally catches up to them.

BG: I had Michigan beating Ohio State before the season, and I'm sticking with that right now. I see a lot of things in their favor that makes me think it will be a low scoring game that goes to the wire. Ohio State's passing game as a whole needs to be better. The receivers. The quarterback. The pass protection. The passing scheme. The second half against Wisconsin was really good. 

diznick: 1. What's going on with Corey Smith? He has the talent and the skills and we have a major need at WR. Is he injured or have the coaches lost confidence or something else? 2. Isaiah Prince had a rough game against TJ Watt and others on Saturday night. What's the reaction inside the WHAC? Can Bowen give Prince some relief from time to time? 3. Seems like if we're struggling in pass defense Arnette and Webb are nearby, which is probably due to inexperience and confusion. Any chance EGW and Erick Smith get more reps, even though they haven't played much either?

BG: Just seems like injuries and inconsistency have Corey behind guys right now. Hopefully, he can get his stuff right in the next few weeks. Prince is better than Bowen. He struggled against Watt in the first half, but found himself in the second half. There was nothing that happened in any of the previous games to prepare him for Wisconsin's physicality. He will be better for it going forward. Probably not happening for Smith or Glover-Williams at this point. They will just work with the others to get better. 

mrbigbux: Which do you prefer - college rules for overtime or pro rules? If you could make a change in either what would it be?

BG: The college overtime rule is beyond stupid to me. Why play football for three hours, then play a different sport to decide the winner? If you are strong in special teams you lose that in overtime. If you are a deep passing team, you lose that in overtime. If you are strong defensively, and use your punter to flip field position, you lose that in overtime. Why not play football to determine the winner of the football game? The NFL has it right. The college overtime rule is a joke. 

Coors73: Bill what do you think changed in Barrett between halves? He honestly looked lousy in the first half and things were looking pretty gruesome. The second half comes around and he's focused, decisive and confident and leads them to a hell of a win. Was it JT? Meyer? Beck? Who gets the credit? Which JT do we see going forward? Thanks again as always.

BG: Who knows what changed things around? If Urban had the magic recipe, he would have given it to him long before halftime. The credit goes to the player himself, because ultimately he makes the decisions, he makes the throws, he makes the runs. Which J.T. do we see going forward? If it's second half J.T. then Ohio State will be very tough to beat. If it's first half J.T. then OSU could be in trouble against a good defensive team. 

donfatman: Barkley averaging 97 yards a game. Buckeyes defense over/under 100 yards for Barkley. Urban mentioned fatigue was issue with players after Wisconsin. Is this an effect from the night games? Early bye week? Normal at this point? Your thoughts and should it be a concern?

BG: I love Saquon Barkley's talent. Last year he ran for a ton of yards and Ohio State won 38-10. I think he goes over 100 yards. He should get the football a lot and I think their O-line is much improved. I don't get the "fatigued" comment at all. They play the same number of games as everyone else. Ohio State has had all no-stress games prior to Wisconsin, so I would chalk it up to another one of those weird things he says from time to time. It was a tough, physical game, just like football is supposed to be played. You should be spent after a game like that. They can't all be walkovers like Bowling Green and Rutgers. 

buckzip: Bill, How often, if ever, do you hear a recruit say he made a mistake by picking one school over another? I don't meant this because of playing time but because of the team or coach itself. Example: The 2 Ohio OL that both chose ND over OSU and now ND is really struggling and Kelly is on the hot seat. Do you ever hear anything from those types of guys? Also, you mention Browning may choose UT if Texas keeps Strong. However, don't recruits realize that if a coach is on the hot seat now that even if he makes if past this year he could be gone next year? Think LSU and Miles. All of those recruits that stuck with LSU because Miles was retained last year.

BG: We all hear recruits say they made a mistake, and it's when the transfer is announced. If you're leaving the program you chose out of high school after a year or two, you are admitting you made a mistake. Having to sit out a year is so punitive, that nobody leaves unless they feel they are miserable and made a huge mistake. If the two Notre Dame kids are happy with their potential playing time and their position coach, then they will be fine. I haven't spoken to either one recently, but playing time really is the answer. It's far more important than winning games or the coach being on the hot seat. I hear what you're saying about Miles and LSU, but they had the number-six class last year and they're number-five this year. Those kids must have felt that LSU gave them the best opportunity to succeed, with or without Les Miles. You rarely see starters transferring. It's really all about playing time. 

dirtysouthbucks: who on the OSU staff would take the Purdue job if offered?  warriner seems like an obvious yes, but would schiano hold out for a better opportunity? if all the coaching changes come to pass this offseason, any idea where we might look for a new OC?

BG: I think every coach on this staff would jump at that job except possibly Schiano. Not sure he would take that job, but he sure might. For the next offensive coordinator, I would look to someone at a school that is running the spread offense and putting up huge numbers. A Big-12 offensive coordinator would be a place to start, because they all score 50 points per game. 

rdsbucks: Bill was the UW game good prep for Happy Valley making them energized and sharp for the Nits? Or did it take such a toll physically and emotionally that they will be a little flat for a bit? And also do you see our defense as better suited to stop this kind of offense as opposed to the Badgers' pro O?

BG: Great questions, and I will try to come up with something coherent before Friday in my game preview article. That was a tough game, physically and emotionally, so you wonder about having to go back on the road again in only seven days to play at a tough place. I do think the Ohio State defense is better suited to stop a spread team over a power team. I always try to compare the opponent to Michigan State of the past few years. It's where I screwed up last week, because Wisconsin met all the qualifications I look for in a team to beat Ohio State. My mistake was thinking they weren't as good as the usual Wisconsin teams have been. They were really good, as Ohio State found out. 

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