Mr. Bucknuts' Bucket of Bullets

Mr. Bucknuts is back with his look at the rumor that the OSU offense was seen on milk cartons over the weekend. He addresses that subject and other offensive remarks in his weekly Bucket of Bullets.

I can't believe that the OSU offense went into Saturday's game ranked 109th out of 117 teams in the nation. I mean, I can't believe that there are eight teams worse than this offensive program! Ohio State is now trying to do what other teams used to try: keep the offense off the field. Handed exceptional field position and great special teams play and great defensive play, the offense in the first half hurt the team almost every time they showed up. And Krenzel? Well, excuse me for being the little boy who cried out that the emperor is naked, but that first 30 minutes might have been the worst half of quarterbacking I've ever witnessed on the collegiate level. Short throws were way off, long throws were worse and…you want to talk to me about the two home run balls that were probably 15 yards under thrown? Carter could have called for fair catches on either of them. Really…how much worse could McMullen or Zwick or Troy Smith or even Jim Otis be than what we saw?

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The ABC's of television…If you watched closely Saturday, you got to see about 50 minutes of football. Huh? The telecast was so full of cutaways and promotional plugs and insipid analysis and band shots and attempts at glamour that they forgot one thing: show the damn game! And even when they deigned to give you a picture of the field, it would be 1-2 seconds before the ball was snapped, demanding fantastic orientation and recognition skills. They almost missed the blocked punt completely. Who designs and produces these shows, anyway? If we wanted inane comments about Iowa, I could always go to Trev Alberts. And if I needed distraction and herky-jerky coverage, I could watch MTV…

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In defense of our Bucks…Is this the best defense you could ask for, or what? Despite the complete lack of support of an offensive attack and the occasional special teams boo-boo, the defense has a swagger that gives us casual fans a lot of confidence. But after next week's bye game against Indiana (yes, I expect a Buckeye blowout – that means a win of 10 points or more…), we face Penn State at their house, a balanced high-scoring Michigan State team, a very good Purdue team and then Michigan on the road. So how good is this defense, anyway? We are about to find out…

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Pot Calling the Kettle Black Dept…We had great coverage of the Badger fiasco from two weekends ago. The guys that were actually "covered" (in the press box) didn't think that the rain was as torrential as the guys who were actually getting rained on (the stands). Go figure. And the guys in the stands couldn't believe how vile the fans were. Our Buckeye fans said that the Rob Reynolds display wouldn't even reach Top Ten status for the deplorable behavior in the stands. We're talking cursing, groping, physical intimidation and the like. Does that excuse what Reynolds did on the field? Of course not. But there's also no excuse for fan behavior that borders on the barbaric. And then have those same sanctimonious fans get all uppity on us…

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And as we shall receive…Go on – tell me how many college football teams have a better corps of front-line receiving targets than Jenkins and Carter out wide and Ben Hartsock at tight end? Go on. While we have been receiving a ton of guff about the quality of the Buckeye offensive production (and rightfully), it is certainly not for the lack of available talent at these skill positions. Both Carter and Jenkins should be playing on Sunday next season. And Hartsock probably will, as well. Ben makes terrific catches, blocks well and is smart enough to keep developing. So here's the challenge: instead of worrying about how to get to new superstar receiving recruits, let's figure out a way to get some of them the ball once we have ‘em on the team! There. I have spoken…

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Jekyll U. versus Hyde State…They said that Wisconsin was hard to pass on so we needed to establish the run. So, how did Purdue complete 26 passes – in the first half! And – not so coincidentally – Purdue scored 14 points on their first two possessions, or four more than all our possessions combined…When Minnesota was mowing down their early-season competition (OK, it was a barnstorming tour through high school-type talent…), the Non-Thinking Heads that talk on college sports raved about what a great defense the Minnies had. Huh? Was that the same team that then got scored on in eight straight drives? That gave up 66 points in three quarters? 66 points? We had an OSU team in the 1970's that gave up 66 points all year! Now, that's great defense…And almost completely coincidentally, while Michigan has been both Jekyll and Hyde on offense, they scored 66 points in just three quarters. They should have saved a few of those for the close games…

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The Gamble Play on defense…Yes, Chris Gamble finally got his pick. But he also got picked on for the second straight week. We forget that CG just picked up the position, itself, less than a season ago. Sometimes I think that he feels his natural athletic ability will make up for any technical deficiencies. And sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't…

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Showing a Little Love for the Big Ten…Scoffers nationwide are dumping on the quality of the Big Ten this year. Sure, we have three terrible teams in Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois. Sure, Penn State might be in that same group, too. But did you notice: the other seven were all in the Top Twenty in the country going into last Saturday? That's right. And what other conference can lay claim to that depth? #12 Wisconsin played #15 Purdue. #17 Michigan played the Illinois JV squad. #18 Michigan State matched up with #19 Minnesota. And #8 OSU bested #9 Iowa…

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The defense continues…Did I mention how great the defense is playing? I did mention last year that I thought the 2003 defense could be as good or better than the 2002 D (of course, I said that the 2003 offense should be better than 2002's offense because everyone was coming back – but what do I know?). It was a tall order this year because we had to replace Cie Grant, Matt Wilhelm, Michael Doss and Donnie Nickey, all of who are now playing in the NFL. So whom will we have to replace next year? Will Smith, Tim Anderson, Darrion Scott, Will Allen and Robert Reynolds – all of whom might be playing in the NFL next season. The toughest positions also hold the brightest hope: the defensive line. Scott has missed much of this year anyway, and if you've seen the work of the Killer P's (Pitcock, Penton and Patterson), you know our future is bright there. On the ends to replace Will Smith? The replacements-by-committee are Richardson, Penton, Kudla and maybe D'Andrea. Linebackers? We will be better next year with Schlagel, Kerr and Lukens being eligible. The corners? Fox and Gamble are back and we have Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty and Ted Ginn ready to get started in any number of roles.

Now, there's a bunch of missing people on the offensive side but, let's face it, a bunch of them were missing this year. Can it really get any worse? We'll see…

E-mail Mr. Bucknuts at mrbucknuts@yahoo.com


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