Helwagen Chat: Sept. 15 Archive

Here are excerpts from Steve Helwagen's Chat from Thursday. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Gary Housteau will Chat at 11 a.m. Friday. Chris Pool of Scout.com will Chat at 3 p.m. Monday and Dave Biddle will Chat at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:12:24 PM)
Welcome to today's Chat ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:12:47 PM)
Gary Housteau will host one Friday at 11 a.m. and Chris Pool of Scout.com will host one Monday at 3 p.m.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:13:21 PM)
Dave Biddle is lined up for Tuesday night, likely at 8 p.m. Gary and I would be back again late next week.

JimC (Sep 15, 2005 1:13:24 PM)
Hi Steve, Does Tyler Moeller commit today?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:14:01 PM)
Yes, it looks like that is or will be a done deal. We are working hard to confirm the rumors that Tyler has committed to the Buckeyes. He certainly played a nice game on Friday.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:14:34 PM)
And I understand he was wowed completely with what he saw at Ohio State Saturday night. That was quite a spectacle ... right up until about 11:20 p.m.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:15:27 PM)
Remember, for those new to this Chat format, this is a moderated Chat. That means all messages come to me. I post them in order as I get to them.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:15:39 PM)
You may send questions whenever you like.

pm (Sep 15, 2005 1:16:19 PM)
Steve,How does Ryan Hamby get beyond Saturday night?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:18:06 PM)
He gets by with a little help from his friends. I get the impression the rest of the team will pick him up. It would be great to see him get 2-3 catches and maybe a TD this week to get some positive vibes going again. I wonder if they don't throw to him on the first or second play so he can put that behind him. He's been a good player, overall, for Ohio State. I heard one of the radio people said he thought of Jackie Smith of the Cowboys, who dropped that TD in the Super Bowl. I'm sure Ryan will be fine. They need him to come through it.

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:18:21 PM)
Hi Steve, looking forward to Iowa, is it safe to assume that Iowa offense = Drew Tate or do they have bigger issues?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:20:18 PM)
Well, a 23-3 loss to their instate rival is the kind of game that shakes the Iowa program to its core, I would think. They need to get Tate healthy and whether that means holding him out this week or whatever against UNI, who they should be able to beat with their third QB, they will do that. To me, Iowa lost a lot. They had tate, Greenway and Hodge back, which is some star power. But they lost a good bit of both lines and still had some serious ??? at RB. Losing to Iowa State wasn't a shock. Losing like they did exposed their lack of experienced depth, etc. They definitely have some issues.

JimC (Sep 15, 2005 1:20:41 PM)
Will some reps for Troy shake off the rust? He looked a little overwhelmed on Sat.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:22:33 PM)
Yeah, he wasn't exactly sharp. If you just go off that game, one might say Zwick had the better game. But Smith does bring the added dimension of being able to run for first downs. About 3-4 of his passes could have been intercepted. I am assuming that Tressel and the staff are looking at the totality of last year, spring ball, preseason camp and the first 2 games in deciding that Smith gives them a little bit more of a chance to move the chains than Zwick does. And, as I said, I don't think -- other than the fumble last week -- Zwick has done that many negative things.

muskiebuck (Sep 15, 2005 1:22:46 PM)
Don't want to be a contrarian here, but how about some more innovative playcalling-18 QB runs versus 11 WR touches doesn't say much to me about the playcalling when the spread is designed to take advantage of Holmes, Ginn, Gonzo. etc. The Tx LB's figured out that QB keeper real quick last Sat.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:23:07 PM)
Ding dong, we have a winner! ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:24:33 PM)
You get right to the heart of my argument from Sunday's column. Four catches for Holmes in that game is inexcusable. If they get him 8 touches, they win the game by 6-12 points, probably. He is too good of a weapon to be completely ignored or used as some kind of decoy. Ditto for Ginn. I don't care if he drops 5 straight. Get him the ball in space ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:25:23 PM)
Now having said all of that, I think we saw the bubble screen exposed. Good teams have the speed and size to blow that play up. Miami, SDSU, Indiana will never be able to fully defend that play. Don't look for it to work so well against the better teams on the schedule, though.

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:25:37 PM)
In a hypothetical situation where we are co-Big Ten champions with Purdue, do you take 1-loss OSU or undefeated Purdue?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:26:23 PM)
It is kind of complicated, but I'll do my best to try and sort it out ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:27:25 PM)
OK, if Purdue (which still has to play ND in the nonconf), goes 11-0 and 8-0 Big Ten, they may have a shot at the title game. They'd probably be third team out (like Auburn last year) if there are 2 other unbeatens, though, because polls won't rate them high without playing OSU or Michigan ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:28:27 PM)
If they tie OSU at 8-0 in Big Ten and Purdue is 11-0 and doesn't make top 2 for Rose Bowl, Purdue gets the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid. Have to think under this scenario, OSU would also be a BCS team, but Purdue would get the Big Ten bid to either the Fiesta, Orange or Sugar. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:30:17 PM)
If Purdue loses to ND and they tie at 10-1 and 8-0, then it becomes a bit murkier since they didn't play. Could be who was in the BCS more recently, which would be in Purdue's favor. Keep in mind under that scenario, though, OSU could be in play for the Rose Bowl as one of the top 2 teams at 10-1. But my inclination is Purdue would get the automatic BCS bid from the Big Ten and OSU would be considered an at-large team.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:30:43 PM)
So many different possibilities and 9 more weeks for it to all play out.

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:30:49 PM)
that sucks

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:31:19 PM)
Yeah, it does. But if OSU takes care of its business and is 8-0 in Big Ten, they will be somewhere in the BCS.

mansfieldbuckeye (Sep 15, 2005 1:31:26 PM)
Hey steve what do you think about a Texas-Ohio State rematch in the Rose Bowl with the National Title on the line. Pending a USC loss, the chances would be good.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:31:36 PM)
I've started to crunch those numbers ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:33:59 PM)
USC does have three tough road games (ASU, ND and Cal) plus the final game with UCLA, who threatened them last year. Oklahoma is probably Texas' lone remaining tough game. The SEC teams (LSU, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee) all figure to knock each other off, either in the RS or SEC title game. Virginia Tech and FSU don't meet during the RS in the ACC, but each has several tough games as well. OSU needs help. There are 8 teams in front of them. If OSU wins out and 7 of those teams lose, they're probably in because of the timing of the loss and because of who it was to (No. 2 Texas).

labsbeabmm (Sep 15, 2005 1:34:09 PM)
I would be surprised if there were not two undefeated teams at the end. Texas has to be favored to go unbeaten given their schedule.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:34:34 PM)
Agreed, Texas looks like almost a mortal lock. But they still have to get that Oklahoma monkey off their back.

pm (Sep 15, 2005 1:34:38 PM)
Steve, If tOSU wins out and Texas takes a loss at the end of the season, do we pass them in the polls with the same records. I only ask this because it is very possible and probable.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:35:07 PM)
Who's going to beat them late? A&M? It's at College Station. The Big 12 North winner? I don't see that.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:36:02 PM)
If Texas wins the Big 12 title game and ends up 11-1, they will be ranked ahead of Ohio State in the AP and coaches poll. They'd have a leg up.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:36:52 PM)
Conversely, if USC loses and ends up 10-1 side by side with a 10-1 Ohio State team, I'd think -- if the Buckeyes' wins are anywhere remotely close to impressive -- that OSU would be ranked a notch or 2 ahead of USC.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:37:46 PM)
They are probably the critical one to watch -- particularly if Texas survives Oklahoma. One of those two teams must lose for OSU to get into the Rose Bowl.

pm (Sep 15, 2005 1:37:49 PM)
steve, good point

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:37:54 PM)
If Vince Young is out a game, they are suspect. I'm not convinced based on what I've seen and read that they can win without him

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:38:53 PM)
Depends who they're playing. If it's Oklahoma, A&M or maybe even Texas Tech, I'd agree. Anybody else they play I don't think it's probably that big a deal. He looked pretty indestructable to me, but he will take a beating running the ball a lot.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:40:20 PM)
Today is the last day, by the way, to get on the mailing list for the November editions of Ohio High and Bucknuts The Magazine. The TSN/Ohio State Unforgettables package is still in effect for those starting one-year Total Access Pass deals with Bucknuts. Plus, you get 6 issues of Ohio High for the old price of 5 issues per year now for a limited time.

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:40:44 PM)
The concern with Oklahoma beating Texas is that if they win out they could jump ahead of us in the rankings

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:41:43 PM)
Maybe. That loss to TCU hurts them, though. Particularly if TCU were to lose tonight to Utah and fall to 1-2. Quality of losses has to be factored as well. I'm sure the computer rankings would see through that. Hurts OSU that Miami lost a nailbiter last week to one of the Michigan MAC outfits.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:43:11 PM)
See, that's why I think it's weird to see OSU fans cheer when Michigan loses. I know your emotions tell you to root against anything they do and you revel in watching them suffer. But Ohio State doesn't play Notre Dame this year (unless it's in the Sugar Bowl ... ha ha). I would think you want UM to be 10-0 or 11-0 every year, because beating that kind of team helps OSU's cause. JMHO, though.

eggs (Sep 15, 2005 1:43:35 PM)
have you guys talked about the irish and usc matchup if the irish goes in that game unbeaten still? i could see a irish victory the biggest win we would need to get bck to a 2 ranking at the end of the year, that is if we run the table from here on out

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:43:56 PM)
Great point. ND also has to play Tennessee down the line, too.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:44:36 PM)
From OSU's standpoint, it would be great MSU somehow found a way to beat ND this week. John L. Smith and Charlie Weis, 2 great offensive gurus. Should be a fun one.

pm (Sep 15, 2005 1:44:44 PM)
Steve, If there is a team that scares me, it is ND....they have become the media darlings. This could be a factor down the road with the polls if they continue to win.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:45:27 PM)
Yep, you see how they have moved them from getting no votes to No. 10 in 2 weeks. Their house of cards will crash down eventually, I would think. Quinn is coming into his own as a junior, though.

eggs (Sep 15, 2005 1:45:30 PM)
yeah that would be nice

win_it_all (Sep 15, 2005 1:45:34 PM)
yup so ND has to beat USC and lose to Tennessee...that would be sweet

Behind_Enemy_Lines (Sep 15, 2005 1:45:41 PM)
Hello Steve, Lloyd Carr (mr. precarious) in an interview with "homer" Jim Brandstatter, claimed they won the second half, that he feels they have put together a defense now that can work together. They too, feel they need great improvement in the RedZone. Knowing they will be more "solid" by years end and knowing also that regardless of records, these two teams are a dogfight anytime they play, do you like our chances so far, given that improvement should progress on both sides as the year goes on. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME TODAY!

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:47:26 PM)
I think the OSU defense is far superior to Michigan's, so you have to start there. The Buckeyes should also have the confidence of knowing they beat UM last year when they had Braylon Edwards. Boy do they miss him. Breaston had 2-3 key drops. He has not stepped up to lead dog in that offense like everybody predicted. It will come down to containing the run and making Henne throw for 250-300 yards to try and beat them.

rbuck (Sep 15, 2005 1:47:50 PM)
Steve, I've heard some pretty bad things coming from some Texas fans at the game. I was there and didn't see anything bad from the OSU fans. Are our fans really that bad, some of the stories I've heard are pretty embarrassing.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:48:47 PM)
Isolated instances and drunk fans. I didn't see any hostile behavior myself, but I was busy, too. It happens everywhere. I just notice that for these big games, whether it's ND, Michigan or Texas, you get that extra layer of classless fans ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:50:19 PM)
These are people who probably didn't go to Ohio State, never go to a game and don't understand the tradition and the class the school should carry itself with. They are just low-rent, drunk people who come around to be a part of the party and they think taking out frustrations on people wearing a different color shirt than them is acceptable. It's one step from English soccer hooliganism. ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:51:45 PM)
But we see the same things at other places like Wisconsin, where there are bars literally right across the street from the stadium. Penn State is usually pretty mellow. I'd never expect red carpet treatment at Michigan. Why can't we live in an era when fans of these teams are friendly rivals? A few people spoil the fun for everybody ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:52:30 PM)
I tell my friends when they go to UM, don't wear the shirt or jacket. Go, watch the game, cheer at your seat, keep to yourself and get out of there without getting hit or spat on or have pee thrown on you (yes, that has happened).

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:53:53 PM)
They say, "But that takes all the fun out of it ... blah, blah, blah." Then you're going there at your own risk. Don't be upset when people throw stuff at you. You have no control over what others -- particularly en masse -- are going to do to you or your friends.

eggs (Sep 15, 2005 1:54:15 PM)
lol ..does anyone have nics or jessicas address.....plain old disrespect is what that was!! unbelievable

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:55:32 PM)
Yes, I agree. Kirk Herbstreit said on his radio show Monday that the producers told them Friday that's what they wanted to do. He, Fowler and Corso told them it was a bad idea, but they did it anyway. The fans booed but I never saw any riotous behavior on TV. Somebody said Kirk tried to get the people to calm down during a break ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:57:16 PM)
You have to remember this -- yes, the show was being done in Cols. But the show was also the ESPN key lead-in to Notre Dame/Michigan on ABC. So they had to spend key portions of the show doing UM and ND features. That is what they came up with for Michigan, the singing. I think some people would say it was a clever bit. Lachey and Howard only sang one bar from the song, so it didn't go on forever. Why OSU agreed to it after everything that has happened with ESPN is beyond me.

rbuck (Sep 15, 2005 1:57:25 PM)
What is eggs referencing?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:58:02 PM)
Nick Lachey and Desmond Howard sang Hail to the Victors from the top of the north end of C-deck overlooking St. John Arena during the ESPN Game Day show around 11 a.m. Saturday, caused a big ruckus.

eggs (Sep 15, 2005 1:58:07 PM)
what were the fans doing off "the air" ? any idea?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:58:15 PM)
I wasn't there. I don't know.

Steers Stink! (Sep 15, 2005 1:58:24 PM)
In light of the unfortunate loss last Saturday, do you still feel that this OSU team will face a difficult time at State Penn? Or do you think that this loss may actually cause a greater focus and thereby an easier game than it may have been?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 1:59:20 PM)
You hope so. Penn State is working through some of its offensive problems. We'll see how they do when they hit Big Ten play. But, yes, that game takes on added meaning for OSU. It's a must-win if they harbor any thoughts of winning at least the conference title.

BUCKS4FUN (Sep 15, 2005 1:59:54 PM)
Hi Steve, do you think we will see more of the fullbacks this week?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:01:27 PM)
Couldn't possibly see any less, could we? I think they need to make running out of the I (and by its nature also throwing out of it so they don't get too predictable) more of a priority. No doubt. They blathered about Schnittker doing this and that, and then he never saw the ball even in short yardage sets against Texas. It's like they had this very short list of things they wanted to try and do and didn't deviate from it ... and they lost.

Seabus (Sep 15, 2005 2:01:49 PM)
Steve, just joining. What do you look for out of our RB's this weekend? Will we see some ball control running?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:02:34 PM)
Maybe early, while Troy gets his feet under him. But they need him to have the ability to throw for 250 yards a game, too. That is their stated goal -- 200 rushing and 250 passing -- so you can expect to see the ball in the air as well.

Steers Stink! (Sep 15, 2005 2:05:23 PM)
If this has been asked and answered, then please forgive me... But can you explain why Ginn, did not get more touches?? Why no 'Shot-Ginn?' , reverses, and formations to get a LB on either holmes or Gonzo? It just seemed that Ginn was forgotten in the Texas game.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:08:32 PM)
Ginn had 2 catches for 9 yards and a reverse for minus-2. He had one drop and at least one other pass toward him incomplete. I can't explain it. I think Texas did a good job on him. I didn't think they could match up with him, but they did. The OSU offense has no flow or rhythm to it at all. Texas set up the long TD pass to win it by throwing underneath in the flat twice before that. I've watched this offense for 4-plus years now and nothing ever leads to anything. Maybe I'm completely ignorant, I dunno. It is as if Ted Ginn never played in that game. Troy Smith gets 13 rushes and the 4some of Ginn, Holmes, Gonzalez and Hall gets 11 touches. Nope, not even close. Go back to square one, day one. That's elementary football, people.

rbuck (Sep 15, 2005 2:09:03 PM)
Steve, I think you are a Cleveland Browns fan. Does TGII remind you of Eric Metcalf?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:09:29 PM)
Yes, love the Browns -- even this cheap bastardized 49ers sterilized edition that wears the uniforms today ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:10:49 PM)
At any rate, yes, Ginn and Metcalf seem to be the same kind of player. Ted is probably more of a vertical receiving threat, but Metcalf was also great on returns and screens, reverses, etc. I still remember a game against the Raiders where he took a pitch almost out of the Shot-Ginn alignment and scored standing up from the 5 yard line. That's what speed will do for you.

jcfiesta (Sep 15, 2005 2:11:20 PM)
Steve, has JT ever had a QB in his system that was highly rated (not a highly rated recruit, but someone posting +60% completions w/ 3-1 TD INT ratio, 200+ ypg)? I'm more concerned with the offensive scheme than I am of the QB's. I'm not sure Marino or Elway would look good in our offense.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:12:54 PM)
You make a great point. I'm sure at some point in his career he had somebody at YSU do that. Krenzel was kind of that guy without the huge yardage total. Krenzel had that sixth sense of knowing when to run and timing it perfectly. That is a knack, as we see, very few guys have. Don't know what to say about the Marino-Elway comment. I'm probably in enough hot water already.

BUCKS4FUN (Sep 15, 2005 2:13:07 PM)
Does Erik Haw finally get some PT this week? Need some backs with some carries going into big ten play.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:13:53 PM)
We hope to talk to Dick Tressel later today on "experts" day (one offensive and defensive assistant presents the game plan for ... yawn ... San Diego State). Maybe he can shed some light on Haw's double secret probation status.

eggs (Sep 15, 2005 2:14:11 PM)
steve ,you said its like a very short list of things we wanted to try why? even in the nt game against miami we mixed it up alot, heck we even tried a fake feild goal, we really need to try and run the ball to set up the pass in my opinion and not be so conservitive and predictiable in the BIG GAMES...just my opinion...i think jt was out coached...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:17:13 PM)
You make some very good points. I have not gone back to watch the game. I guess I'd just like to see them take more of a shot at the end zone. I think they were inside the 20 three times and maybe threw it in the end zone two or 3 times out of at least 9 plays down there.

Behind_Enemy_Lines (Sep 15, 2005 2:19:50 PM)
Discussing the games outcome with SDSU fans, they feel this will be an absolute pounding this weekend. I see their recent history with us and combine that with Tressels history of not running up the score against an opponent (preferring to get gametime minutes for his reserves) and see a mid thirty output at best. My question, if I am wrong and this is an easy win....does Troy and the first teamers stay in alot longer than say....the Miami of Ohio game...and do we see the possibility of something akin to "running up the score" against the Aztecs>?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:22:22 PM)
No, I predicted 45-14. How that breaks down, well, I'd bet Troy and the first team get 3 quarters at least to get everything down. SDSU has averaged 25 points vs. UCLA and Air Force. They will get some first downs and score a few points. If they approach 3 TDs, then this game is still "somewhat" in doubt in the fourth quarter, so maybe those guys play more. But my feeling is Ohio State comes out and is sharp and puts some of its red zone misery behind it. The optimum thing would be for the starters to put the game away through 3 quarters, giving Zwick, Boeckman and other reserves at least a series or 2 on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter.

Drew (Sep 15, 2005 2:22:48 PM)
HI steve, I just got in -- I'm glad to see you still chatting. I apologize if this has already been addressed - I just wanted to say that I feel real bad for Zwick as I'm sure Tressel does. He's a great kid with a load of talent - very little of it we've seen. REally , nothing has went his way at OSU - do you think it would be wise for him transfer and see if he can have better luck somewhere else? I feel if he ever gets his confidence level back to where it was early in 04 he could be a great passer and lead a run-n-shoot style offense that doesn't require much running to perfection. I also think he can still salvage his college career (somewhere else?) and have a shot at the pro's. He's definitely a more pro style qb than smith, imo.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:25:49 PM)
Shot at the pros? I think Justin is a better runner than anybody wants to give him credit for. And he has definitely improved from this time a year ago. But you need to be much more accurate than he has shown and just, in general, have better command of an offense than he has shown if you expect to make an NFL roster as strictly a pocket passer. Good kid, good-to-great skill set at times. He still needs to put some things together. Something just hasn't completely connected there. And again, if Hamby catches that perfectly thrown TD pass, we're probably not speaking in these terms. Heck, he's probably still starting. But once they lost that first game, the staff decided to go with who they think gives them the better chance to win ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:27:44 PM)
Regarding Zwick, the reporters who cover the team and who work at papers between here and Cleveland (i.e. more toward his home area in northeast central Ohio ... ha ha) say he was all but ready to go to Ashland last year until Smith got suspended. They convinced him to stick around, as the story goes. A lot will be determined over the next 9 games. Smith could get hurt, not do as well as he did last year or make another mistake off the field. Any of those scenarios would keep Zwick in play, certainly.

Seabus (Sep 15, 2005 2:28:31 PM)
Steve, what does tressel do to consistency get such production out of the kicking game? Trapasso pinned 4, maybe 5 balls inside the 20. He's here for another 4 years too. Can a punter go pro early??

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:29:47 PM)
Ha ha. I guess he could. Wasn't Ray Guy a first round pick by da Raidas? They just put such an emphasis on special teams. He has a super leg and after 2 games he is really growing into that role. Tressel promised everybody on the day he was hired that his teams would play extraordinary special teams. By and large, he has been right.

Drew (Sep 15, 2005 2:30:13 PM)
Concerning Ginn, after watching the 1st few minutes of the MIami game I realized something immediately -- we need to use Ginn as a decoy. I havent heard much talk about this and I can't understand why. I've never seen so many defensive guys key on one player. I saw the highlights of the Usc win over hawaii and hawaii didn't key on bush nearly the way miami and ,then , texas keyed on ginn. Why not let the defense follow ginn around all day and fake it to him and use our other great receivers and pittman. Look how well holmes did on kr's and how much single coverage he's getting. I'm not as upset about ginn's lack of production as much as his lack of use as a decoy. What do you think, STeve?

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:32:00 PM)
You make a good point, I guess. If I had to choose between using him as a decoy or getting him the right 10 touches -- and I mean the RIGHT 10 touches on plays you have worked hard to set up so it can't be anything but a success if you execute it properly -- I'd go with the 10 touches. He should have 6 catches and 4 runs every game. Anything less and I'd have to agree with his dad when he said "You aren't working him hard enough."

jcfiesta (Sep 15, 2005 2:32:21 PM)
What is the over under on QB draws this week? Someone asked if JT would run the score up on the aztecs....no way JT kicks 6 or 7 FG's to embarrass another team.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:37:02 PM)
Well, they had Miami down 34-0 and called off the dogs. San Diego State is just a middle of the road Mountain West team. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. In 2001, they led OSU 12-6 at half and ended up losing 27-12. That team ended up 3-8 overall and 2-5 (seventh) in the MWC. Two years ago, OSU was lucky with like 160 yards total offense to win 16-13. That SDSU team ended up 6-6 overall and 3-4 (fourth) in the MWC. Last year, Michigan squeaked out a 24-21 home win. SDSU was 4-7 overall and 2-5 in MWC (seventh). That's a 7-14 record in the MWC in three years when they nearly beat a Big Ten team in their stadium. At some point, you have to do what you're supposed to do -- get ahead of this team comfortably early and put them away. Will that be easy? No, probably not. I'm not prescribing a 60-0 blowout to impress people, either. Just a good solid, double-digit victory to nail down some things headed into the Big Ten. You want to be confident -- but not overconfident -- heading into the conference.

Drew (Sep 15, 2005 2:37:50 PM)
YOu might have addressed this already, Steve, but how do you like our chances at the NT? A lot of people are assuming that Texas goes undefeated - I for one don't see it. I think the only team in the top 10 who will most likely go undefeated is USC. As great as young looked at times , he still makes some bad mistakes and while texas definitely has a good team this year they really didn't impress me with their overall talent. They have a great oline, qb , but I'll take osu's wr's and defensive personal and special teams any day. I think Texas will be slightly overated now and I think we definitely have a shot at #2 before the year is out

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:38:28 PM)
We did go over this earlier, so I'll give you and any latecomers the Cliff Notes version ...

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:40:42 PM)
USC is still No. 1, but they have three tough road games (ASU, ND and Cal) plus the rivalry game with resurgent UCLA at the end. If Texas somehow gets by Oklahoma, they probably figure to run the table. The onus then shifts to USC. Obviously, one of those two teams must lose for OSU to get up to No. 2. I think the rest (the SEC and ACC teams) will knock each other off. Virginia Tech may be the one that sticks out the most there. I'm not sure who they play beats them.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:41:10 PM)
OSU fans probably need Oklahoma to beat Texas and watch for the rest of those teams to cannibalize one another.

SteveHelwagen (Sep 15, 2005 2:41:35 PM)
Guys, that has been 95 minutes of pure fun. Gary Housteau will be by tomorrow at 11 a.m. Take care!

Behind_Enemy_Lines (Sep 15, 2005 2:46:02 PM)
Always enjoy his chats. Good man. GO BUCKS! See you all later.Bob

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