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Bank Bag: OSU vs Northwestern Week Part-One

Ohio State is coming off their first loss of the season, and Bill Greene is here to answer questions about the team going forward from BSB subscribers.

BuckeyeL: What was the story behind Jarrett Guarantano and Ohio State? Seemed like a great match at one point. Did Tennessee just win that recruiting battle? How would compare Guarantano to Haskins, and how do you compare him to Tate Martell/Emory Jones? Second question, what ever happened with Lamont Wade? At one point he seemed like a Buckeye lean. It seemed he was going to get lost in the DB numbers but I'm surprised he's fallen off the radar. Do they like Bubba Bolden and Markuese Bell better? or did Lamont just not like getting the cold shoulder?

BG: I hung out with Jarrett's father, Jimmy, at the Under Armour practices for a week last January. New York City cop, and a Great guy by the way. In my opinion, Guarantano would be a Buckeye if Tom Herman were the QB coach. Or someone like Herman. They really liked Urban, and believed he was going to change the offense to more of a passing attack. I would take Guarantano over Haskins, and so would Meyer. I would also take him over Martell, but not so sure about over Emory Jones. I think Ohio State slow played Lamont Wade, and they were never sold on him. Bolden is a safety and Bell is a linebacker, so not sure it's a matter of liking either of them better. 

buckeyeinsc: You mention quite a bit that it's Urban's offense...so the question...Does he not realize the passing game is somewhat not complex? Or is it just a stubborness to run what he wants?

BG: He does mention that they have to get better throwing the football, but his OSU QB's haven't thrown the ball well at all. You can see the infatuation with Cardale Jones last year because of his big arm, but CJ was pretty bad so they went back to the runner. Will be interesting to see this offense when Barrett is gone, because I don't see Burrow and Haskins wanting to run it 15 times per game. Meyer is one of the more successful head coaches of this era, and he is sharp as they come. You have to feel he will get this passing game where it needs to be. 

Todd2854: Just to be a pain and knowing you have to pick one or the other and also knowing it means no animosity to the other, but if you are the AD at a school and you wanted hire one coach....is it Urban Meyer or Nick Saban?  

BG: Very mean question, LOL. I think everyone knows how much I admire Nick Saban and what he's accomplished in college football. But Urban Meyer is only a step behind. And Urban is 12 years younger. Easy call for me. I'm taking Meyer, mainly because of the age difference. 

bucknutsinurface: Bill, this is no 2014. Not to be pessimistic, but that 2014 team had Devin smith, Michael Thomas, zeke, Spencer, huerman and vannett as playmakers on offense. So far, we have Samuel, brown, weber and baugh. Who steps up as receiver? Why not play the freshman in Mack or Victor? Can't be worse than what is going on

BG: I agree with you 100%, and that's why I've been asking since the Bowling Green game if these receivers are average or above-average. I think the question still needs answered. Not sure who steps up to be honest. I would play the freshmen, because I can't believe this offense is that complicated that they can't grasp it. At least sprinkle them in to see what they can do. They need these guys to block, and if Mack or Victor can't or won't block, sit them back down. 

miamibucki: Is the inability of the WR's to get separation seemingly anywhere on the field more scheme related or more talent related?

BG: To me, it's both. And you have to add in the pass protection too, because it all starts there and this O-line has been shaky the past few weeks. When these wideouts do get open, J.T. Barrett has either been pressured, or late delivering the football. And they don't get open consistently. To make the most of what they have, the play calling needs to be sharper, Barrett needs to be better, the O-line must protect better, and the wide receivers need to play better. There is enough talent to be able to throw the football adequately. 

HINYG8: Well Bill, I'm NOT asking you if your loss meter has shifted.

BG: Thanks for NOT asking. By the way, I'm sticking with two. LOL. 

NorthPoleBuckeye: It seems like when Urban looses, it is because he forgets the best player on the team (Hyde, Zeke, Samuel). Why is that?

BG: I feel the same way, but he doesn't lose all that much, so maybe we are just nitpicking? But it's a fact that in the loss to Penn State they ignored Samuel. Last year's loss to MSU is a joke the way they ditched a guy that's the best RB in the NFL right now. And in the first MSU loss, they ditched Hyde in the second half. He's one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football without question. But in times of stress, he kind of buttons it up and gets away from what makes his offense great. They become predictable and easy to defend. 

buckzip: Do you see any coaching changes this off season other than guys that get promoted to better jobs? IE: Does Urban recognize our passing game is elementary at best?

BG: With Burrow, Haskins and Martell joining guys like Mack, Victor, Grimes and Lindsey, there has to be a change to the entire passing attack, and I think they know that. You cannot run the QB 20 times with these guys, nor can you make blockers out of these stud receivers. When Nick Saban realized his Trent Richardson/Mark Ingram offense was not going to cut it going forward, he hired an offensive guru in Lane Kiffin and gave him the offense. And look at their offense now. I'm not sold that this offensive staff can bring Ohio State to where they need to be from a passing scheme standpoint. I hate throwing names out there of coaches likely to be fired, so let's say I'm expecting something to change regarding the passing attack, whatever that might be. I would love to see a young guy, like Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley brought in. 

JohnCarrollBuckeye: Who wins this week Massillon or McKinley and how good of a QB was Josh McDaniels at McKinley?

BG: As a life-long Stark County guy, the Massillon/McKinley game is my favorite game of the year in football. I've been to national championship games, big Ohio State/Michigan games, etc. etc. Give me this Saturday every time over any Super Bowl or Rose Bowl. I know all the players, all the coaches, the referees, the fans, the security workers and the parking lot attendants. This is my football Christmas Day. I think Massillon squeaks out a close win this Saturday. Josh McDaniels was pretty good for a little guy with no arm and no wheels, LOL. His younger brother Ben was a much better QB, but both kids were the smartest players on the field and coached by their dad, Thom McDaniels. 

cjdjbucknuts: Ok since we all are better coaches than anyone on staff at tOSU and can agree that passing game has struggled. What would you do with current players to make it more functional?

BG: You have to tailor things to the talent at hand. This offensive line is not great at pass protecting a pocket passer. And Barrett does not operate best in the pocket. So let's get Barrett on the edge more with run/pass options. Better for him and better for the O-line. Let's get Samuel and Wilson matched on linebackers, and hit them on the bubble screens, not trucks like Noah Brown and Mike Weber. They hate the middle of the field, but that's where Marcus Baugh and Brown can be effective. And someone, Clark, Hill, McLaurin, Mack, Campbell or Victor needs to emerge as a deep threat. They don't need to throw deep often, but they need to back off the safety in the box. There is more than enough talent on hand to be a decent passing team. 

ScarletAndGray02: Do we finally see a TE (Baugh) become the go to guy in the passing game? Imo he has shown himself to be the best weapon they have in that part of the game, and I hope he gets more opportunities moving forward. Secondly, I remember people bagging on Smith, Spencer, and Thomas at this point in their career at tOSU, but they all turned out pretty well (heck 2 of them were high round NFL selections). Does the current group have the talent to mature over the next few months as those guys did over the 2nd half of 2014 or is this a can't play dead in a western thing?

BG: I also think Baugh should be more involved, especially down the seam and in the middle of the field. Devin Smith made big plays as a freshman. Mike Thomas made big plays the first year they put him on the field as well. Evan Spencer was more of a blocker, but as the third or fourth guy also had big catches. Other than Noah Brown I've seen zip out of these guys and a lot of them have been hurt a lot. I don't see NFL types, other than Brown. And hopefully Mack and Victor. But I do think these guys are good enough to put together a decent passing attack. 


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