Helwagen Chat: Oct. 24 Archive

Here are excerpts from Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen's weekly Chat session for subscribers. Click this free link to check out the transcript.

Here is the archive of the Chat conducted Friday by Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each Friday for Bucknuts.com premium subscribers.

NOTE: No effort has been made to connect answers with questions.

mynameiseggbert (Oct 24, 2003 1:05:48 PM)
Will the Bucks score 30+ this week?

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 1:05:52 PM)
who is going to run the ball this weekend with all the rb's hurt?

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:06:16 PM)
There seems to be a theme in many articles that the offence is starting to believe that they are close to putting it together. Do you think that is just talk, or do you think there is really progress being made? Is confidence starting to come back?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:06:41 PM)
myname, Yes, I say they score a robust 31 and end up with a season high 379 yards total offense. It will not be an explosion, but it will be a start. Remember, on the road, they only take 70 guys, so the starters will get plenty of work.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:08:14 PM)
bucknut13, to hear Ross talk he should get 30 carries (EVBG). I'd settle if he stayed healthy enough to get 20 (and 150). Said a lot last week that Guilford came in before Hall. They are all dinged up. Still looking at a committee. If 1 had separated himself, then he'd get all the snaps. I don't buy the "get in a rhythm" crap. When they put you in the game, you go.

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 1:08:49 PM)
I agree Steve, just play when it is your time!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:09:30 PM)
worthabuck, there is no evidence to show that this offense will produce points, first downs and yards against a good defense. This Indiana game is what it is, but it should not build false hope. They're going to have to prove it over the next 4 weeks, yes, 4 weeks because we know that PSU game will be a tough one (given the way OSU plays) as well.

mynameiseggbert (Oct 24, 2003 1:10:40 PM)
Your honest opinion Steve -- how many games do we win out of the last five?

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:11:15 PM)
Went to the GaST game last night and saw Maldonodo make a nice run right up between the tackles. He would have fit Tressel's offense well. He also played some fulback. For a thursday night game, there just really any atmosphere down here. Stadium not even full and lots of corporate types who just go cause it's something to do. What an home field advantage OSU has.

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:13:45 PM)
Steve, I think we saw the OL do a better job of pass protecting last week, maybe that is where the optimism is coming from. You have to start somewhere. I trickle of confidence from anywhere might go a long way.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:14:14 PM)
myname, that's tough. They could lose any one of the last 4, honestly, but I doubt they lose more than 1 of them ... if that made any sense. PSU will play them tough, MSU has the best offense they will see, Purdue has the best balance of any team they'll see and Michigan is, well, Michigan and they need that game to make their season and end the losing streak to OSU. I think 5-0 is possible, but if they do it it will be done with more memorable finishes like last year's Purdue game. 4-1 is much more likely, IMHO. It's too much to expect defense and special teams to do everything.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:16:39 PM)
worthabuck, yeah, I miss Sammy. He'd be a senior now. He has to go down as one of the biggest busts in recent memory like Pickens, Howe, etc. Well, if they can start to throw the ball efficiently, effectively and consistently, teams will stop ganging up on the run. But in 3-1/2 years under Tressel, they have thrown the ball effectively, what, 4 or 5 times?

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:18:57 PM)
It really seems like they throw effectively then forced to, i.e. Belesari in the bowl game , Craig in NCST. Its like it only comes out when it is necessary.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:19:48 PM)
Seeing as how our offense has been performing and how little we throw the ball, what are the chances of Fred Davis possibly going elsewhere?

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:19:53 PM)
Do you know if Skinner and Mitchem are friends or talk?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:20:07 PM)
worthabuck, yeah, I agree. People wonder what OSU would be like if it ever fell behind by 10 or 14 points. My guess is they would go right to work, abandon the run (like late at Wisconsin) and move the ball with the pass. The only thing that can stop them then are holding calls (like 2 in the last 13 mins. at Wisconsin).

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:21:09 PM)
homesickbuck, oh, I don't know about that. Fred has expressed an affinity for OSU and what Tressel and the school did after the Humphreys death means a lot to Fred and his coach, Ric Rios, who is usually a fixture at OSU games.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:22:05 PM)
The boards had a thread on the Dispatch vs. Tressel. One point made was that Tressel runs a very tight ship regarding media access, compared to John Cooper. And perhaps that's good for the team, but the media doesn't like it. What are your observations?

sweepright (Oct 24, 2003 1:22:07 PM)
Steve, why don't our running backs just honk it up in there like the kids form Wisconsin, or Minnesota for that matter? Are our backs being coached to do all the side-stepping footwork and look for the perfect hole? And they seem to go down so easy. I can only remember Ross "bucking" somebody once all year. In limited attempts the frosh seems the most willing to just take the ball and run.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:23:11 PM)
worthabuck, they may know each other from camp circuit, not sure. I have not looked on a map, but I think Mount Carmel is somewhere in the middle of the state (i.e. middle of nowhere), not near Erie.

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 1:25:36 PM)
This morning on 1460 they (Hooley - sp?) were talking about the MAC and how their QB's are better than the Big Ten QB's. First off, I don't understand why Hooley is even on a Pro-Buckeye network and secondly don't they realize that Roethlisberger threw like 4 int's against IOWA and Harris didn't do much against us. The MAC is coming around, but come on, teams in that division don't play defense (mainly because they don't have the athletes), but come on, no way is that a fair comparison.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:25:57 PM)
TMB, I'm not going to blast Tressel's "access" for media. We get plenty of access. The interview opportunities are about the same, if not better. What seemed to infuriate Tim May (and others) was the fact Tressel would not come back out on Thursday for as little as 5-10 minutes to answer any "last minute" questions about this week's game. The fact of the matter is if you are serious about covering the team, they let you watch the big scrimmages in the spring and fall. Those are great opportunities to see who is "making a move." I appreciate that as much as anything. Tressel does sometimes control which players can and can not meet the media. But I've never been too upset about that.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:27:31 PM)
sweepright, I agree, they don't seem to run with reckless abandon. I think they're worried too much about fumbling. They don't seem able to get the tough yard when OSU needs it. Guilford has shown that, I agree.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:28:02 PM)
I agree with sweepright. I have watched alot of running backs this year run with so much more PASSION than Ross or Hall.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:29:11 PM)
Being a Mentor grad, I've followed QB Thom Abbott from afar. I know he attended OSU's camp but didn't get offered and was projected as a MAC player. Any idea if his amazing senior season has boosted his stock?

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:31:25 PM)
I wonder what Ja Ja Riley is thinking these days? "Man, I might be starting at OSU if I'd stayed."

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:31:52 PM)
bucknut13, they have some guys who have been starters for 2-3 years and put up some nice numbers, that's all. I give them credit. They have engineered wins over several BCS league teams. This week's BG-NIU game is huge, even on a national scale because if NIU keeps winning, could they possibly deny them a BCS bid? Interesting thought: Who would McMullen play in front of in the Big Ten? PSU (yes), OSU (no), Mich. (no), MSU (no), NW (probably), Purdue (no), Indiana (yes), Iowa (yes), Minn. (no), Wisconsin (yes), Ill, (yes). OSU's backup would definitely play at as many as 6 other conference schools. How many of these MAC guys would play at Big Ten schools? Probably a like number.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:33:29 PM)
TMB, to be honest, Abbott is not on my radar screen. Duane listed him at 6-1/2, 180 in his last mag, so he's probably 6-2, 190 or thereabouts by the time he graduates. That's the lower edge of where you need to be, certainly.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:33:56 PM)
The little bit I've seen of the redshirt freshman quarterbacks, it seems as though Troy Smith is more athletic, has the stronger arm, and most importantly the more accurate arm. In your opinion, why does Zwick seem to be the heir apparent?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:34:19 PM)
TMB, I liked JaJa Riley. He had a great spring game and was the leading rusher, I believe, even with Reecie there. He would be the man right now.

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 1:35:25 PM)
More accurate arm?

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:35:42 PM)
With everyone knowing how bad Indiana really is playing, do you think the team has been focused this week? Any chance of a letdown? Or are there so many offensive things to work on, that a letdown will be avoided?

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:35:46 PM)
From what I've seen.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:36:29 PM)
The rumblings regarding Branden Joe's injury don't sound promising. Is he going to approach 100 percent this year?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:36:35 PM)
homesickbuck, I'm not sure he is more accurate than Zwick. We have only seen them in limited action. But everybody seems to rave about Zwick's command. That's what I hear. Some believe he will be a Krenzel-like player with a better arm. But I like Smith, too. I want to see him throw some passes in a game sometime.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:37:44 PM)
worthabuck, not sure if it matters if there is a letdown or not. Indiana is terrible. MSU beat them 31-3. OSU knows the drill: Take them out and move on. Yes, there are too many things that need to be established this week to not play it out.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:38:24 PM)
TMB, I guess Tressel said on his radio show that he thinks Joe is as close as he's been. Get him in there and see what happens, I guess.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:40:28 PM)
I thought it was interesting that Heacock mentioned Marcel Frost yesterday. It's not the first time Frost has been raved about. He must be a special talent. Your 2005 starting front four: Frost, Patterson, Pitcock, perhaps Penton. I like it.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:40:40 PM)
Chris Gamble does not seem to be having the year everyone expected. He definitely doesn't seem to be threat to break one as a punt returner. Do you think he stays for his Senior year?

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:41:28 PM)
You're forgetiing Fraser!

murphinatl (Oct 24, 2003 1:42:00 PM)
Steve, re: MSU... are they really a contender in the Big 10, or is their schedule making them a Pretender? I'm hoping their impressive offense is a product of who they have played.

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:42:05 PM)
Fraser will be gone in 2005

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:42:45 PM)
Fraser will be gone in 2005, but I'm excited about his senior year. I think Fraser is going to be a good pro -- he has the kind of build that matures at about age 28.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:43:25 PM)
My bad.

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:44:29 PM)
Steve, thanks for the Buckeye Grove info on Ivan Douglas. What's your hunch: will he try for a sixth year?

TheMinnesotaBuckeye (Oct 24, 2003 1:45:42 PM)
Steve, you've been breaking down the offense in the Buckeye Grove. What kind of year are Mangold and Sims having?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:48:41 PM)
TMB, yes, I liked Frost in preseason camp. I think starters next year are likely Fraser and Kudla at end and Pitcock and Green in the middle. But Penton, Richardson, Patterson, Frost and others will play a bunch, too.

worthabuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:49:35 PM)
Steve, it seemed from Babb's article about Massey that he doesn't really have that feeling yet about one school. Did you get any feel one way or the other?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:49:56 PM)
homesickbuck, well, you hope Gamble will stay. But I think he's a first round pick now. He didn't do much with punts, I will admit. Sometimes things you think would work great don't.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:52:28 PM)
murphinati, well, we'll find out 11/1 when they host Michigan, I guess. They still have some work to do with Michigan, OSU, Wisconsin and Penn State in November. I suppose you could be right. Only Iowa and Minn, that they've played, would I term as good.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:53:06 PM)
TMB, I misread the question. I have no idea about who will start anywhere in 2005.

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 1:53:46 PM)
Eric Haw is putting up some incredible numbers this year. Is he really that good? Or is the level of competition not that great?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:54:24 PM)
TMB, my guess is that no, Ivan Douglas won't be back. He wants to in the worst way, but it seems like the doctors are telling him that by playing he may be risking his health or even death because of the blood clots. That's too bad because he could help them next year, no doubt.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:55:46 PM)
TMB, Mangold has been solid. Not sure if the problems at Wisconsin (re Hawthorne) were his fault or Bishop's. Bishop got pulled, so maybe that explains it. Sims has been OK, I guess. Like I believe, pass protection overall has not been bad and he's the key guy there with the DE Craig can't see.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:56:50 PM)
worthabuck, sounded to me like he was more familiar with Michigan because he's been up there with Pat more recently than Jim played at OSU. A lot will be decided on the visits probably in December.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 1:58:00 PM)
homesickbuck, on Haw, my spies say the competition is pretty bad, but he has the tools he needs to play at this level. We'll know more a year from now, won't we?

homesickbuck (Oct 24, 2003 2:00:27 PM)
Thanks Steve! Gotta go.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 2:01:16 PM)
so you later, homesickbuck ... anybody else have ??? I have just a few more minutes.

murphinatl (Oct 24, 2003 2:01:48 PM)
Steve, do you think Hawk is getting the kind of national exposure that will make him a Butkus nominee next year? Is he nationally elite?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 2:02:42 PM)
Yes, I think slowly he is getting some acclaim. Herbie will talk him up whenever he can because of the Centerville connection. He's having a great year. Now he needs to finish it off with 5 more great games.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 2:03:23 PM)
I will do a midseason All-Big Ten team in the next few weeks and we'll see where A.J. stacks up.

murphinatl (Oct 24, 2003 2:03:40 PM)
Is Marcus Freeman along the same lines... maybe better?

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 2:04:18 PM)
In Babb's article the other day Dantonio shot down the question about any LB's moving to DE, what do you see with D'Andrea next year?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 2:04:56 PM)
I don't know if he's any better than Hawk. If he is, then he must be a great one. Freeman, to me, would be a great OLB maybe in the Diggs mold.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 24, 2003 2:06:01 PM)
bucknut13, well, I assume he would be at MLB and probably be penciled in as the starter with Kerr and Schlegal pushing him. This is a pleasant problem to have. I have to say, though, that D'Andrea would make a lot of teams very happy as a rush DE, once he learns the techniques.

bucknut13 (Oct 24, 2003 2:06:22 PM)
Thanks Steve.

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