Greg Frey knows what it is like to hear fan criticism. The former Buckeye signal caller was a three-year starter for John Cooper from 1988-90 and talked to BSB about the Buckeyes offensive struggles at the end of the 2016 season.
When it comes to the Buckeye offense, Frey said he thought Ohio State’s youth was the main reason for the struggles down the stretch.
“You tend to fall into that trap and think everything is great, when it really isn’t. In the bowl game, that all got exposed. Offensively, we were very young,” Frey said. “If you compare our position groups offensively to 2015 and 2014, it is pretty drastic. The offensive line doesn’t quite stack up, and the receivers for sure don’t stack up. With all due respect to Mike Weber, (running back) is a pretty drastic drop-off obviously. Even J.T.’s performance this year, it was good, but it was not what it was in 2014.
“All things considered, as young as they were, the fact that they pulled it out against Michigan and Michigan State, and even Wisconsin – if you look at it from that perspective – they could have been 9-4.”
As for how Ohio State can right the ship for 2017, Frey said the play-calling in the big games will need to improve. He added, however, that the Buckeyes’ experience in 2017 should help them improve as well.
“Could they do a better job from a game-prep, game-calling standpoint? I think so and I would hope they would admit that,” Frey said. “In the bowl game, I would agree like most that they were very predictable. Had they had a great offensive game plan, I still think they would have lost the game by a couple touchdowns but they’d put some points on the board. I can’t say I agree with what they were attempting to do in that game.”
As for J.T. Barrett and the criticism he has come under in recent weeks, Frey said he has a tendency to defend the quarterback, having been in his shoes before.
“People have to get a life when they criticize him,” Frey said. “I mean, the guy is going to set the record for most touchdowns in the Big Ten. His stats have regressed a little bit, but it is kind of like, Tiger Woods isn’t as good as he was in 2000-2001. Well, no one is ever going to be. He set the bar.
“He pulled it out against Wisconsin and against Michigan, and he did enough against Michigan State. Those are three games we could have very easily lost.”
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