Helwagen Chat: Sept. 9 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat from Friday afternoon. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Bill Conley will host a Chat at 3 p.m. Monday to recap the first two games.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 1:10:32 PM)
Steve, just read on another site the officials from the Big 12 are the same crew who did our natl. champ game against Miami. Is this true?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:12:04 PM)
I have no idea. The one guy who made the PI call was Terry Porter. I forget the referee's name. The referee was Randy Christal. I have never known the leagues to announce those assignments before ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:13:08 PM)
It is definitely a Big 12 crew with Big Ten instant replay protocol in the booth. So there will be some oversight. Problem comes down to penalties, though. That ACC crew that did the OSU-NC State game at OSU in 2003 is still throwing PI flags on Dustin Fox, I think. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:13:20 PM)
But honestly, I don't think this game will come down to that.

JimC (Sep 9, 2005 1:13:32 PM)
Any news on Tyler Moeller? Is he a Buck?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:14:21 PM)
It has been silent running with Tyler Moeller. He has not done any interviews regarding his college choice in weeks. There have been rumors that he may verbal this weekend while in town for his game and OSU's game Saturday. Dave Biddle will try and check in with him after the game tonight.

Bigworm (Sep 9, 2005 1:14:26 PM)
Steve, the paper lists Texas as a 1 point underdog for this game. If you were Las Vegas what would you list as the point spread?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:16:42 PM)
Those things are so tough to figure. I do picks for the fun of it, more than anything else. Usually the home team gets a 3-point edge just for that. The fact the line is under 3 tells you the oddsmakers think Texas is slightly better than Ohio State. I would never make OSU less than a 3-point favorite at home unless it was clear they were having a terrible year and the other team was a league championship caliber team. Just my thought. After watching the last 3 Texas games, I'd say OSU should probably be a 3- or 4-point favorite. They build the lines, though, so there is even money on each side. Always remember that. They set the line and the public moves it. My pick remains OSU 38, Texas 24.

grimes (Sep 9, 2005 1:17:07 PM)
Hi steve, I just cannot seem to get past comparing scores from last years Rose Bowl and The Game -----It seems too comfortable for the Buckeyes espicially when you compare the changes or lack thereof in the teams. Do you think this will cause Complacency or confidence in the team?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:19:07 PM)
They should be confident. They waxed UM and Texas needed a late FG to beat them. Of course, the UM-OSU game was at OSU. UM moved the ball for over 350 yards against Texas, so there should be some confidence for the OSU offense. This will be a great test for this defense. If they are truly great as many believe they are, then they'll answer the challenge. Young's size and speed can't be measured or simulated until they get on the field with him. Big key may be halftime adjustments and tweaks.

redondo (Sep 9, 2005 1:19:14 PM)
Hi Steve - So, we're certain that Texas has opted to have the replay? I thought in an OOC game at a Big Ten site, the visitor has the option.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:19:47 PM)
Mack Brown said the teams agreed to use Big Ten replay here and Big 12's protocol next year (with Big Ten on-field officials) in Austin.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 1:19:52 PM)
Anymore word on Mark Johnson or some of the other out of state recruits who were having troubles getting over here?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:20:47 PM)
There have been reports that Mark Johnson would make an official visit, but my sources say that won't be happening. I have three visits -- A.J. Wallace, Steven Wesley and Aaron Brown. Most of the unofficials will probably be top Ohio guys and neighboring states (like Lyons, etc.).

JimC (Sep 9, 2005 1:20:53 PM)
What do you see as the RB rotation? Will Haw get some reps?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:21:56 PM)
Tressel said he was No. 4 as they started the week. Maybe something changed. He is the only back they have that blends power and speed. I keep coming back to that. Hopefully whatever is keeping him from getting on the field will be alleviated. He's too good to not be getting 8-10 carries a game, with Pittman at 20 and Wells and Schnittker 3-5 each.

Bigworm (Sep 9, 2005 1:22:04 PM)
Are there any out of state prospects that you believe that might be swayed to the Bucks after the conclusion of this game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:23:34 PM)
Yeah, I think ABC and ESPN are going out of their way to portray this as a special event. So if OSU wins it and gets the proper coverage on all of the shows, etc. then, yes, I think some recruits will look at OSU as a national championship caliber program. I know they just won it in 2002, but these kids today probably couldn't even tell you who their 8th grade teacher was in 2002, let alone who won the NC.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 1:23:50 PM)
Spielman said this morning on ESPN Radio he would start Smith as he gives us our best chance to win and bring Zwick in if any problems as Zwick appears to be better able of the two to come off the bench, or to be the relief pitcher. Do you agree?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:25:06 PM)
I agree that Troy Smith is "better" than Justin Zwick. He just brings that added dimension that defenses do not typically account for. He had 145 yards rushing against Michigan, for goodness sake. Never forget that. Zwick isn't chopped liver. He was 17 of 23 last week, so he's getting better. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:26:05 PM)
But after watching Jim Tressel for 4-plus years, I think there is a way things are done. The "right" thing to do is to start Zwick, give him 1-2 series and then bring Smith in and go from there. Not a fan of yo-yoing guys either. They need to decide at halftime who is the man for this game and go with him.

ToledoBucknutty (Sep 9, 2005 1:28:54 PM)
Hey Steve....I never got any info on the tailgate.....and I swear I did sign up on time....any suggestions?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:29:31 PM)
For some reason, the mass e-mail we sent out never got to everybody. I have your name. I will have our office check the list and send you details.

ToledoBucknutty (Sep 9, 2005 1:30:19 PM)
Thanks so much man

JimC (Sep 9, 2005 1:30:23 PM)
How well will our D-line do against Texas O-line? They have some pretty big boys!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:31:31 PM)
Yes, the Texas offensive line is pretty tough. They do not surrender many sacks and, at least last year with a great back like Cedric Benson, did a fabulous job of run blocking. This is probably the best OL OSU will face this year. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:32:05 PM)
Last week's defense against Miami shows that OSU's approach is more on the back end (LBs and nickel) is the way to go. Look for blitzes to assist the line.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 1:32:18 PM)
Who are the vocal leaders of this OSU Defense? In 2002, you knew Doss, Wilhelm & Nickey were leaders as well as some of the defensive line. If things get a little loose out of the gate who can we expect to see rallying the troops and how would compare Salley to Doss in the leadership category? Thx.!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:33:14 PM)
Doss wore his feelings on his sleeves. Hawk and Salley are quiet lead-by-example guys. Schlegel, Carpenter and probably Whitner are guys will step up and say something. Schlegel as the MLB leads the huddle.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:33:38 PM)
Salley is just a different personality. Doss' mouth never stopped.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:33:40 PM)
Ha ha.

Bigworm (Sep 9, 2005 1:33:58 PM)
I have heard over and over again about the Texas defensive line and their immense size. Will they be able to create much of a pass rush? Do you think our O-Line can create any passing lanes or running lanes for that matter.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:35:16 PM)
Great point. They are bull rushers all the way. They use brute strength. Crowder, the one end, is a great, lean athlete. The rest are all brutes. I think if the the line can succeed in somehow turning those big boys and opening some lanes they will have some success. But LB Aaron Harris fills like crazy. I've enjoyed watching him hit RBs on the tapes I've seen.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:35:18 PM)

hondo (Sep 9, 2005 1:37:52 PM)
Steve, I don't know if this has already been asked, but do you know if anyone besides ESPNU is televisng the HS game tonight?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:38:56 PM)
Not that I am aware of. I think it even has to be blacked out in Texas, where the 8 p.m. local start time (9 p.m. in Ohio) is directly up against live games down there. It's only on ESPNU and I don't know who has it. Just check your cable at 9 and see if it pops up on an access channel, I guess.

ToledoBucknutty (Sep 9, 2005 1:38:59 PM)
What time is that game tonight?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:39:18 PM)
The Westerville teams play at 5:45. Colerain-Lee is set for 9 p.m.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:39:42 PM)
The second game is on ESPNU, if anybody has it (I do not). ONN has Kilbourne-Dublin Scioto on tape delay at 10.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 1:39:58 PM)
Steve, did you get a chance to watch a lot of the other Big 10 teams last week and if so any of them surprise you like Michigan State? I think we'll learn a lot more about Iowa this week and how about Michael Robinson at Penn St. What a joke! Agree?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:42:43 PM)
OSU played at noon, so I was busy after that. My impressions on the Big Ten? MSU blistered Kent State, and that was to be expected. Let's see how they do against a real I-A team, and Hawaii this week still is not that. They've almost taken a scheduling page out of Glen Mason's book here. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:44:44 PM)
Agreed on Iowa. That game with Ball State was a joke, 49-0 at the half, 56-0 final. they would have gotten more out of a practice or something. Robinson was 9 of 15 for 90 yards against USF. They did not need to throw it to win the game. I still don't understand why they don't go with Morelli and have him throw to Robinson and Williams (3 catches for 38 yards in his debut, yippee!). Then again, JoePa has 350 more wins than I do, so what do I know? (ha ha)

hondo (Sep 9, 2005 1:44:58 PM)
Steve, is there any chance D'Andrea is ready for this game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:45:26 PM)
I have heard nothing in that regard. Tressel said late this month. It would be a bonus if he is back for Iowa. If not, then maybe PSU on 10/8.

redondo (Sep 9, 2005 1:45:37 PM)
Hi Steve - What's your take on how the GameDay Show will come off? I tried to explain all the harsh feelings to folks out here in LA and they look at me like I'm trying to explain a law of thermodynamics. Their reaction, and mine too, frankly, is let it go. Nationally, it's old news and no one cares and all we'll do is make ourselves (OSU fans) look bad if it's too ugly.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:47:27 PM)
Time heals all wounds. ESPN has been much more conciliatory toward OSU since last Dec. That is for sure. The fact is the show will be live from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The OSU game is not until 8 p.m. I'm sure they will do some live shots on the set as the day wears on at halftime and in between other games. But if they don't announce it to the crowd, nobody will know what's going on. There will be people there at 11 a.m. But I can't see a huge throng. It's a hot day and a long day, too. Ugly behavior would look bad and reinforce their opinion of OSU.

TexasBuckeye (Sep 9, 2005 1:47:53 PM)
Of the overall game components and team components (i.e. QB, RB, lines, LB's, etc.), I am interested to see which advantages you give to tOSU and which to UT based upon your current knowledge and insights. Which advantages ultimately put one team over the top or vice versa?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:48:35 PM)
OSU run game vs. Texas run defense -- Probably slight edge to Texas because the OSU backs are unproven. Troy Smith could swing this in OSU's direction or Pittman could if he rips off a big gainer or 2.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:49:16 PM)
OSU pass game vs. Texas pass defense -- The UT line is big, but I don't see a lot of pressure. Their corners do not match up to OSU's receivers. Clear edge to Ohio State, regardless of who is QB (barring 2-3 bad INTs).

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:49:55 PM)
Texas run game vs. OSU run defense -- Nobody runs on the defense, typically. Maybe Vince Young will. But the backs are untested. Edge to OSU, provided Young doesn't go for a hunge.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:50:04 PM)
Or would that be a hunde?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:50:51 PM)
Texas pass game vs. OSU pass defense -- Their receivers are as green as grass. One guy, Ramonce Taylor, is a game breaker. Limas Sweed is a big possession guy. Can't see them hitting vertical pass plays vs. OSU. Edge Ohio State.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:51:24 PM)
Special teams -- Ginn, Holmes, Youboty, Trapasso and Huston against 2 blocked PATs and a missed PAT and a punter that doesn't average 40 yards a punt. Edge Ohio State

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:51:42 PM)
Coaching -- National titles: Jim Tressel 5, Mack Brown 0. Edge Ohio State.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:52:03 PM)
Home field advantage -- 100,000 people on their side. Edge Ohio State.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:52:14 PM)
Maybe I'm blind. I don't know.

redondo (Sep 9, 2005 1:52:41 PM)
Steve - Is the Texas band coming to town?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:52:50 PM)
I have not heard that.

Bigworm (Sep 9, 2005 1:52:57 PM)
Can you give us some insight on the defensive backs of Texas? Are there any glaring weaknesses that you can tOSU exploiting? Does the defense over pursue? Can Antonio Pittman catch them off guard by running against the grain...or is that even in the playbook.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:54:10 PM)
The games I saw they played soft coverage. The OSUbubble screen game we saw last week will kill soft coverage. The safeties are great football players (27 Michael Griffin and 7 Huff). Kind of like everybody used to say about Fox, can't judge him at corner because they did not man-up in many of the games I saw.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:54:47 PM)
New defensive coordinator may do more of that in this game. Auburn had a great defense a year ago. That is for sure. Braylon Edwards torched them for 10-109-2 TDs.

JimC (Sep 9, 2005 1:54:54 PM)
Who wins the ND/Mich game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:55:41 PM)
Michigan, at home, in a tight one, probably high scoring. I said 38-33. Should be a fun game, especially if the UM defense can't do anything with Weis' offense and Quinn's passing.

grimes (Sep 9, 2005 1:55:57 PM)
It seems almost eerie to look at these too teams in that TX seems like a throw back to the Woody days at tOSU with big lines and run dependent offense vs the almost west coastishness (a newly coined word) of the speedy present day Bucks. Scary dejavu in a mirror almost, but isnt this the 21st century?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:58:09 PM)
I think Sting said it best: "It's a brand new day." But that's not all that bad. Things change, sometimes for the better. I am amazed how this game is so much different than what we even saw from 96-98 with the Germaine teams and we thought that was some futuristic deal. They never ever went to 4 wide receivers. I'd have to go back and look. They were almost always in the I-formation. I liked that offense last week. Tressel has clearly decided to get the ball to his 4-5 play makers (including Pittman) in space where they can do some damage. if they spread it around, it will be harder than hell to adequately defend. Brown did coachspeak this week by pumping them up. But it may not be all hot air.

ToledoBucknutty (Sep 9, 2005 1:58:49 PM)
Do you see them finding some creative ways to get the ball to TGII in space? I know they like to save some stuff for the Michigan game perenially, but we need to get there first! Then again, what do I know? And hey, is there any truth to the rumor that Jacqueline Burke might get some snaps under center lol?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 1:59:53 PM)
Ginn did get like 10 touches last week. This offense will be effective like it was last week when they share the ball and maximize the times each guy gets it. This is an offense where they need a strong "quality control" person or GA to tell them what they've set up and what they haven't used yet.

leftybuck (Sep 9, 2005 2:00:15 PM)
Steve, I know everyone on the team has to get the job done for them to be succesful in beating Texas, but do you think there is one player or posistion that really needs to step up to the plate? Maybe someone that is assigned to almost exclusively key on or shadow Young. Would they do this by committee or have somebody fast like Carpenter on him most of the game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:01:02 PM)
They will play their base defense with wrinkles. I doubt there will be a shadow on Young. They will play their scheme. It will be a different player on every play. But yes, Hawk and Carpenter need the game of their lives here. I think that says it all.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:01:23 PM)
And Salley too. If Young breaks free, it will take a big guy like he or Mitchell to get him down.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 2:01:34 PM)
Steve, you have OSU scoring 38 points. Of those 38 how many are special team or defensive points? Just curious as you talk up their defensive line so can't imagine your thinking our offense will score all those. Thx.!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:02:38 PM)
Maybe in special teams, but Young will put it on the ground from time to time or could also throw a costly pick. Hey, maybe they get one of each. That could definitely happen here.

showtime (Sep 9, 2005 2:02:53 PM)
they keep talking abouit how Tx and what there offence did to tsun but I must say we didnt let that team do that to us in our staduim I cant see why we would do it now. Must say I loved wathcing tsun defense cant wait till they play Wi Msu Nd with great running backs

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:04:18 PM)
Agreed, I think the problems Michigan has on defense require better recruiting. They just don't have the speed and athleticism they need at key spots. Having said that, Prescott Burgess looked awful good returning a Young interception in the Rose Bowl (egads).

redondo (Sep 9, 2005 2:04:24 PM)
Steve - I am both angered and amused at ABC last weekend. They cut away from the OSU game out here in LA in the 3rd quarter after it got to 27-0 to go to a more competitive game (OU-TCU), which I can at least partially understand. However, they could have kicked the game over to ESPN Classic to at least give us a choice. But, no. Then later in the day, when ND got up by more than 27 on Pitt in the 3rd quarter (a very comparable circumstance), did they kick the nation over to Clemson-Texas A&M, which went down to the final play of the game? No! next time you chat with the program guy for ABC, could you register my complaint for me, please? THank you.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:05:31 PM)
There was certainly a double standard. The TCU upset of Oklahoma was of national significance, though. It really is too bad when they tell you you're going to get the OSU game, then switch you out of it. I can see why the network would do that. They want to maximize ratings. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:07:04 PM)
Continuing that theme, the only significant point to Clemson-A&M (2 teams probably just outside top 25) was the final minute or so. The Notre Dame deal was Weis' debut and a national story (as was Wannstedt to a degree because he's coming straight from an NFL head coaching job). Apples and oranges, I'd say on that comparison. They knew even a 30-point margin was still a good story for the ND-Pitt game.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:08:09 PM)
I know in some markets you can't even assure yourself of uninterrupted OSU games. They don't offer it on pay per view. If they at least did that, they'd protect you from cut-aways. I heard after they got some complaints, some cable companies opened the OSU game up for free, which was a nice gesture.

ImBack45 (Sep 9, 2005 2:08:26 PM)
Did Justin throw any balls deep last week? I would hope with all the speed and talent at receiver we would stretch the field, or do you think we were purposely holding back for this week? Just don't want to end up with an offense like the Detroit Lions with three talented receivers and the lowest number of throws over 20 yards. Thx.!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:09:30 PM)
The touchdown was a deep ball, though only 20 yards. He had Holmes wide open deep when the DB grabbed him for the obvious PI. That was about it. Maybe they're saving that for this week. Boeckman hit Ginn on the post, a play they said they set up with all the short stuff. Agreed, you have 3 burners like this you need to get deep.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:09:45 PM)
But that also requires great pass protection, too.

TexasBuckeye (Sep 9, 2005 2:10:26 PM)
I also see the similarities noted by grimes from last week's game with Miami. Lot's of very good receivers makes it a must to utilize the 3 or 4 man sets and fire off short passes for easy yardage and possibly big gainers. Draw the safeties up and then go over the top when the opportunity presents itself. OSU will do well with this type of O (IMO) which will also free up the run a bit when the other D is looking pass. Without the proven big back (yet) which OSU has had in the past (but not the past couple of years) the west coastish type offense which grimes alluded to seems a likely fit, especially with a running quarterback (Smith-a la Steve Young with the 49ers of the 80's) who is also a weapon as well. Anyway, this years offense at OSU will certainly be a lot of fun to watch with the multitude of weapons available and JT using them to their utmost capabilities. GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

grimes (Sep 9, 2005 2:11:05 PM)
Have the coaches convinced Salley and Whitner it will be in the teams and their best interest to wrap-up and not just go for the big hit when they sack VY. Seems esp. Salley goes for the highlight film hit and misses the tackle sometimes (not that Im complaining)

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:11:50 PM)
I'm sure they are well aware that they won't be able to just knock him down with a big hit. All you have to do is watch the Michigan tape and see about 20 missed tackles.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:13:04 PM)
Is there anything else today?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:13:21 PM)
Remember Bill Conley will be along at 3 p.m. Monday to review the first 2 games.

Bigworm (Sep 9, 2005 2:13:55 PM)
Hey Steve. How many Texas fans do you think will sneek into the game?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:15:01 PM)
If people make the effort to travel to Columbus, I assume they also have the money to get in. I hear tickets going for $225 and up right now. This should be quite a spectacle. Texas was given 4,000 tickets (just as OSU should get a year from now). I imagine there will be 10,000-15,000 Texas fans in the stadium.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:16:28 PM)
Anything else today? I got about 5 mins or so.

TexasBuckeye (Sep 9, 2005 2:19:10 PM)
Thanks for the chat. Great information as always. I am envious of anyone attending the game as I will have to watch on the TV here in Texas. However, I plan to be at the game next year in Austin rooting for the Buckeyes!!!!!!

grimes (Sep 9, 2005 2:19:15 PM)
thanks steve

SteveHelwagen (Sep 9, 2005 2:19:37 PM)
Good deal guys. Start the VCRs and enjoy this one!

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