Helwagen Chat: Oct. 14 Archive

Once again Thursday, Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen conducted a Chat session for subscribers. Click this free link for a look at excerpts from this Chat session.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:06:18 PM)
isn't this the best time of year -- college football, baseball playoffs, NFL every Sunday, can't beat it.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 1:06:21 PM)
Can Barton stop Roth?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:08:32 PM)
Well, he seemed to do OK with Erasmus James over the last 3 quarters last week. I guess James gave Schafer some fits. Roth is a strong, aggressive player. He's 6-4, 270. I'd liken him to the kind of end OSU had with Vrabel. Plays hard every play.

scribeohio (Oct 14, 2004 1:08:37 PM)
Do you have any beade on how the Bucks will do vs. Iowa - improvement/problems resolved etc?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:10:06 PM)
Well Iowa is banged up a little bit. But with Ferentz they are in every game they play. I can't sit here and say Ohio State will resolve its problems. They may go out there and get their standard 225 yards total offense and try to live on defense and special teams again. Be prepared for the worst, I guess, and be happy if they find a way to pull it out ... or even less likely, put all phases of the game together. (How refreshing would that be?)

RockyMntBuck (Oct 14, 2004 1:10:13 PM)
Do you think Guilford will wear the S&G again ?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:11:22 PM)
Good question. I had a subscriber who is an attorney tell me that by law Guilford should not be able to re-enroll for a year. Not sure if that means a year from the May 1 incident or a year from when the case cleared in last few weeks. That kind of puts a crimp in his plans to come back here, if that law is properly enforced in this case. The clock is ticking.

skeelo (Oct 14, 2004 1:11:25 PM)
hey steve, is marcel frost no longer in the mix at t.e. it seems as if our playmakers are either on the benc for very long periods of time. or play design truly inhibits their playmaking ability.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:12:44 PM)
A team that can get no offense has a kid with this ability on the bench. Kind of stunning. But Frost may be his own worst enemy. He was hurt for the longest time and perhaps Tressel's message about practice performance applies here. It's too bad. It's like the tight ends don't even exist (well, except for when Nicol dropped that pass against NW).

The Warden (Oct 14, 2004 1:12:48 PM)
What's the deal with Jonathan Stewart, is he going to get an offer, and if so what are our chances?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:15:34 PM)
I think he has a 3.2 GPA, but will take SAT in November. Perhaps, with all the academic problems they've had, that's what they're waiting on. I don't know. The coaches aren't allowed to tell us why they do what they do. Stewart is just waiting patiently and taking it all in, it seems. There will come a day where OSU will have to make that move. Maybe the injury to Ringer will force their hand here. I know they also like Maurice Wells a lot and could have him up for an unofficial, probably for Penn State, before the official with Michigan.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 1:15:45 PM)
What happened at St Edward that caused them to forfeit 4 games. I know they used an ineligible player, but what are the details? Was it a fair ruling by the OSHAA? Boone claimed the player didn't affest the outcome of the game, but if he was on the field, he affected the game. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:19:02 PM)
Yes, St. Ed had a transfer whose paperwork was not properly processed through the OHSAA. I do not know all the details, other than to say when a kid transfers under some circumstances he has to get a release from all parties concerned and OHSAA has to sign off on it. It's kind of a technicality. I think the kid was a third-string RB. He played in 4 games. The rule is they have to forfeit such games. The OHSAA makes no distinction between whether a kid "had an impact" or not. If he played, a rule was broken and the game must be forfeited. I saw a team lose a game they won 41-0 once because an ineligible kid played 2 plays and the opponent knew the kid's status and the rules better than the school that won the game did. It's amazing, but rules are rules. If they can win out against St. Ignatius, Benedictine and Moeller, they will have enough points to still get in. Wouldn't you hate to be the 1 or 2 seed and see them in the first round. Sheesh.

The Warden (Oct 14, 2004 1:19:34 PM)
Chances that Troy plays this weekend?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:20:17 PM)
If Zwick struggles, you will see him. If Zwick shines, you won't. If Zwick shines real good and they get up 20 in the fourth quarter (biggest HA HA I've ever typed), then you'll see him.

getaback (Oct 14, 2004 1:20:31 PM)
are we ready to agree that the current talent level is not what it was cracked up to be and that it is now time to put on a full court press toward acquiring some top national talent

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:23:45 PM)
Well, I've never been convinced they had the players they've needed at OL, DE and RB. Those are the 3 glaring areas. Don't get me wrong, they have some nice OL in the pipeline (the new guys, etc.). But they haven't gotten what most would consider as top-of-the-line OL talent (except for Datish, maybe) until this past year. That's why Boone is such a huge get. At end, they simply have no impact players -- at least in this stage of their respective careers. That's a killer. Maybe a Richardson or Gholston or Barrow will develop into a Will Smith over the next 2 years. But nobody in that unit is even close yet. That' s why Worthington, in particular, is a huge get. I like Pittman and Haw at RB, but they need 4 top-flight backs of that caliber or better. They don't have that, not by a long shot.

skeelo (Oct 14, 2004 1:24:15 PM)
in your opinion is tressel to loyal to a fault? where it hurts productivity on the field.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:25:47 PM)
Yeah, he's loyal to his guys (Snyder, Bollman, his brother and many others, I'm sure) and he's also loyal to how he wants to play the game. Guys (and gals), he is the 800-pound gorilla here. Check out Buckeye Grove in the morning. I'm going to lay it out for you. He is putting a square peg into a round hole every time they take the field. He could do worse than to shake things up, hand the offense off to somebody else and work hard on supervising all phases of the game instead of just the offense.

scribeohio (Oct 14, 2004 1:26:01 PM)
Steve, I like the swagger that Kirk Barton has and hopefully that will carryover to the OL. Schaffer may have had matchup problems with James so maybe he can play a little elsewhere on the OL. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:27:54 PM)
Barton does not lack confidence, that is for sure. I really like Kirk. Articulate kid, etc. I think he could be in the lineup there for the long haul. He has the potential to be pretty good. He kind of reminds me of a more polished Rob Murphy. Cocky but not arrogant, maybe. Just going to outwork you. And, yes, don't give up on Schafer. I doubt you see him move to guard this year. But he'll still be in the mix for playing time. He's just a soph.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 1:27:57 PM)
Looks like its going to be overcast and cool in Iowa City on Saturday!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:29:16 PM)
Jon Miller from Hawkeye Nation.com (Iowa's Scout.com site) says 53 degrees for game time. Pack a jacket. I love Iowa. I rank it in my top 3 with Wisconsin and Penn State in the Big Ten for game day environment. Even when they sucked (just 4-5 short years ago), they still had the "bumblebees" (as Keith Jackson would call them) driving in from all over Iowa to fill Kinnick to the rafters.

MBuck37 (Oct 14, 2004 1:29:29 PM)
Good Afternoon Everyone! Not sure if this was asked, but should OSU start playing T.Pittman & E.Haw more at RB, because L.Ross is ineffective and has had plenty of chances to prove himself.....Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:30:51 PM)
Yes, I think gradually you will see more Pittman. Haw is not slated to play. He is on target to redshirt. Unless something drastic happens, I doubt he plays this year. Tressel refuses to put Pittman in the game deep in his own end because of the chance of a costly fumble. Ross still has a role, although he thinks he needs 20 carries to be effective. Hey, Indiana is next week and he's always a sure thing against the Hoosiers.

The Warden (Oct 14, 2004 1:31:00 PM)
Are they worried that if they offer Stewart when they really don't think they have a chance then Wells might look elsewhere? What are the chances we have one of these two studs here next year?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:31:52 PM)
I can't speak for what they're thinking. Only they have the true story (academics and how good each guy really is). I think it's 1 in 3 for Wells and probably 1 in 5 or 6 for Stewart.

crazynuts (Oct 14, 2004 1:31:58 PM)
Steve any new news on the kid from Wash St, I think it is Stewart? Has OSU even offered this guy?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:32:32 PM)
No, the last time I talked to him he had not gotten a letter with an offer, though they have been calling him every week. Maybe they are waiting on his test score, I don't know and he doesn

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:32:35 PM)
't either.

MBuck37 (Oct 14, 2004 1:32:44 PM)
Will we get J.Stewart,M.Wells and will OSU shy away from J.Ringer because of his injury.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:33:45 PM)
I've answered the first two parts of that, I think. Ringer is on the back burner for sure now with the injury. We'll have to see how he responds. The word I heard is he could be out 2 weeks up to the entire season. That is not good.

mulder (Oct 14, 2004 1:33:51 PM)
Is it my imagination or has the defense caught the same disease as the offense? Seems that we are playing very passively, just trying to avoid mistakes. Is there any hope that we start attacking more?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:35:57 PM)
I agree, it made no sense to me why they waited to let a rookie like Stocco pick them apart. They needed blitz pressure to get to him and it never came until late. Snyder has been off on some calls, in my opinion (and I know he would agree), that have cost them some big plays this year. And, really, last week, the defense was left for dead by this offense. That was a 17-13 game in the early fourth quarter when they muffed the punt. Game, set, match right there.

crazynuts (Oct 14, 2004 1:36:10 PM)
I am sure this has been discussed, but what are the odds that we see Smith this week, I think Zwick has looked great at times, but last week he overthrew two sure Holmes TD balls, and he throws a lot off his back foot which makes me real uneasy!

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:36:43 PM)
His mechanics last week were terrible, although Wisconsin exerted pressure on him like a good defense should. Smith plays if Zwick falters. I doubt you see him otherwise.

scribeohio (Oct 14, 2004 1:36:54 PM)
Steve, do you think Doering will visit? Also, I think he'll take visits and not verbal Iowa before that - Neb seems a little far, ND doesn't seem to excite him(?), OSU maybe the test of how much he really likes Iowa and confirm a commit to them. We could make it interesting with visit?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:37:45 PM)
Yes, I think Doering will come back for an official visit. Ohio State has gone from a long shot to a possibility. He is supposed to be at Iowa this weekend. I agree, it could get interesting if they succeed in getting him down for a visit.

MBuck37 (Oct 14, 2004 1:37:54 PM)
Are there one or two recruits that were totally off our radar screen that might be a surprise pickup by NLOID.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:38:48 PM)
There are several kids in Florida who are starting to look at Ohio State. There is a DT, for sure, that the Buckeyes are looking at. Vladimir Richard, I believe, is his name from Sunrise. When I know more names, positions, etc., we'll get info on them and pass it on.

murphy (Oct 14, 2004 1:38:57 PM)
Steve, Whats your take on Fraser this year. 1/2 a tackle against Wisky and 11 for the year. No sacks and it doesn't look he will get one. He and Kudla aren't getting close. Did the media hype this guy up too much or is he hurt? I think itwas hype. He only had one sack last year and he had other pros on the Dline with him. Thanks Steve, Go Bucks

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:40:48 PM)
Yep, you said it all. His job is to pressure the quarterback. I think teams have done a lot to scheme specifically against him because he is OSU's main veteran threat in the front. So that's probably hurt him. Nobody else really needs doubled. But you'd think somebody else would make some plays if they're scheming against him. He put on added weight, for some reason, and it hasn't helped him make but maybe one game-changing play (pressure on pick by NCSU) this year.

scribeohio (Oct 14, 2004 1:41:10 PM)
Steve, JT said that balanced O's have hurt our D and that some guys are trying to do too much and get out of position. I believe, Karsatos said the O needs to develop an identity, cut things back, and do a few things well. Do you think JT is getting a managers handle on this?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:42:55 PM)
I don't know. They changed some things up last week with middling results. They had a great drive going and Roy Hall fumbled at the 25. They never got back down there again. This week will show this entire team is still a work in progress. There will be new wrinkles, etc. I just think they're trying to throw a bunch of things against a wall and hope anything sticks. They are a jack of all trades kind of offense, but a master of none.

BachmanForPres (Oct 14, 2004 1:43:08 PM)
Over the past three games it seems as if teams facing 3rd and longs simply wait for their receivers to get in between the LBs and Safeties (who are usually about 15 to 20 yards off the line). The lack of pressure even bringing an LB on a blitz results in a casual pass for a first down. Are you seeing the same systematic pattern?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:44:53 PM)
Yep, it's systematic all right. Both NW and Wisky hit plays against the soft zone for key third down conversions. No pressure, no awareness in coverage areas equals extended drives and, eventually, touchdowns. They need to get that taken care of. Hopefully, Fox's return will help with that (not that Underwood or Youboty, solely, were the culprits, but Fox brings experience).

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 1:45:03 PM)
My wife & I will be in Iowa City for the game. Got any recommendations for dinner Saturday night? Any good barbeque/brisket in Iowa City?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:48:53 PM)
There are some good restaurants there. I'm sorry I don't have the name of the one place I like. I was there in 1996 and went to a nice restaurant/bar on one of the main artery streets there and watched the World Series after the game. I don't think anything is within walking distance.

The Warden (Oct 14, 2004 1:49:05 PM)
Do you think Tressel has something against playing freshman, why isn't Ginn returning punts all the time?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:49:41 PM)
Well, he will be doing more of it now. They have a great scheme with 2 guys back there. That's worked great the last 2 weeks. Not sure why Holmes flew solo on the muff, though.

SoCaliBuckeye (Oct 14, 2004 1:49:50 PM)
Stever, reallistically speaking I know it's early for bowl game talk but at this rate which bowls do you honestly think we might be in or qualify for?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:50:31 PM)
Good question, I think about this every day because extended trips at holiday time aren't the greatest, plus travel can be a bear ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:53:45 PM)
But I'd say if they win out (huge if), Rose Bowl is still in the cards possibly. They'd need somebody to beat Purdue, Michigan, Minnesota once each and Wisconsin twice, but it's possible I guess. I think if they finish 8-3 (another huge if), Orlando takes them at Capital One Bowl (formerly Citrus). They haven't been there in 9 years. Tampa loves them, too. They may land there if they finish 8-3 or 7-4. The bowls do not have to go in order of the standings. They can take a team within one game of another if it has a worse record. OSU puts fannies in seats and ABC/ESPN love them for turning on TVs, too (as witnessed by high OSU-NW ESPN2 rating). Alamo is a possibility at 7-4 or maybe even 6-5. OSU has never been there, so they may want them there. Sun would be the last resting place at 6-5, if it comes to that.

MBuck37 (Oct 14, 2004 1:54:27 PM)
Steve I believe that JT is to conservative in his play calling, I understand thats his MO but when you have an explosive talent like T.Ginn who showed us all in one PR just how special he is needs to be on the field and not just spot duty..Agree or Disagree.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:55:47 PM)
Ginn has played a lot on offense. He just hasn't seen the ball. Either he isn't open or Zwick can't get it to him. You name it and they've found ways to miss on it. They've tried flanker screens. Haven't seen the reverse, although that rarely works much anymore. But I agree, he needs to be more involved. He'd still be running today at 1:52 p.m. if Zwick had found him on that slant pass.

BachmanForPres (Oct 14, 2004 1:55:50 PM)
Over the course of the season I've been underwhelmed by the results turned in by Sims and Kne on the O Line. Downing has seen some stretches of playing time at Guard, primarily as a run blocker, but no one has really spelled Sims at Tackle. Do you forsee any changes being made to the starting line-up in the near future?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:56:44 PM)
No, I think they've made their one big change with Barton, although there is no point in Kne tying up huge minutes if the season is, indeed, going down the tubes. They need to get somebody ready for next year there.

mulder (Oct 14, 2004 1:57:02 PM)
Making due allowance for Tressel's style, do you get a little fed up, as I do, with the lack of a sense of urgency? I've been following OSU for over 40 years and this may be the worst offense I've seen, but Tressel just seems to keep tweaking.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 1:59:01 PM)
Yes, this was very telling. After the offense struggled in one of the early games, Tressel said, "I would be more concerned if we had lost the game." Well, guess what, the same lousy things they did to barely scrape by the last 2-1/2 years are catching up with them. He may be unaffected by it, but if this slide continues like this with no relief in sight, it's a proven fact that OSU won't sit idly by.

MBuck37 (Oct 14, 2004 1:59:14 PM)
Do you think that T.Ginn should be starting at CB, becuase EJ Underwood has not looked good in the past couple of games, and you brought him in to be a shut-down corner ala Chris Gamble.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:00:54 PM)
No, the ship has sailed. Ginn isn't even repping on defense any more. Underwood is OK. He gave up a couple big pass plays (OK, maybe 3-4) in the first 5 games. He may have been on the spot for one of the TDs last Sat. But that's going to happen. Even Winfield wasn't perfect in that regard. Maybe Ginn's future is on defense, but his present is on offense. Getting Fox back in the mix will help. Now the 3 of them (EJ, Youboty and Fox) will probably split time.

scribeohio (Oct 14, 2004 2:01:02 PM)
El Mundo(sp?) down town but Iowa City is small and restaurants will be crowed/waits.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:01:33 PM)
Yes, after a game there, the crowds in the restaurants will be hard to beat. Traffic is also moderately bad trying to leave, too.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 2:01:43 PM)
If you remove M Clarett from the equation, Ohio St's offensive stats have been weak since Coach Tressel got here. Will the administration ever get tired of that or are they looking a W's vs. L's, or primarily at an improved graduation rate?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:02:56 PM)
The administration could give a flip if you get 100 yards total offense. Just win games, fill the stadium, fill the club seats, fill the suites, go to a Jan. 1 (or better) bowl and graduate your players. Do all that and you're fine. If you start to fall off in any of those vital areas, you better watch your back.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:03:12 PM)
Oh and beat Michigan, too (ha ha).

BachmanForPres (Oct 14, 2004 2:03:23 PM)
Is 3 years and 5 games enough time to pass judgement on whether or not Bollman should be retained as the O Line coach? When the results remain the same even when the personnel changes over time, isn't this a sign that something is wrong with the structure (specifically coaching structure)?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:06:21 PM)
Well, the most troubling thing all the way around is these are their guys. They've had 3 years to groom Zwick, Datish, Schafer, Mangold, Sims and all the rest. Michigan has a true freshman at QB and TB and they move the ball up and down the field. Wisconsin's first-year starter just made your defense look silly. This kid from Iowa is getting it done as a first-year guy. At some point, you have to point the finger back at somebody for not developing all of these players into front-line college football players and not deploying them properly. It really hurts that they lost 14 guys to the NFL. But they weren't replacing them with true freshmen. These are third-year guys (granted third-year guys with no previous experience because every game the last 2 years has been 20-17, or so it seemed). You ask about Bollman ...

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:10:40 PM)
I like Bollman personally. I think he has done a lot of things nobody sees (recruiting and otherwise) to help this program achieve the heights it has reached. He is the offensive coordinator, but it's really Tressel's show. Regarding the line, it's my contention they aren't getting it done. When you can't run for 100 yards in 4 straight games, there are no holes. A blind man would find a hole eventually in 4 games. Forget who's trying to run the ball. Five sacks last week? UW is good. Are they that much better? Rud made a great point. The guys UW lined up against our guys were just better. The players deserve some blame, but some must fall on the coaches as well.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:11:14 PM)
Anything else. I have about 5 more minutes or so.

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 2:11:58 PM)
I sent an article from Huskerpedia to Mr. Bucknuts. Did he forward it to you?

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:12:09 PM)
Nope, sorry, haven't seen it.

SteveHelwagen (Oct 14, 2004 2:15:20 PM)
I assume Gary will be here tomorrow. I am not sure if I will be here Thursday or Friday next week. Thanks again for stopping by!

BuckeyeDave (Oct 14, 2004 2:15:24 PM)
Thanks Steve! See you in Iowa City!

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