Helwagen Chat: Nov. 3 Archive

Here are excerpts from Thursday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Gary Housteau will Chat at 1 p.m. Friday and Scout.com's Jamie Newberg will Chat at 1 p.m. Monday.

JimC (Nov 3, 2005 1:09:11 PM)
Steve, Any insight to Tressels formula on 'player grading'. It seems pretty complex. (This was in the Dispatch today).

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:11:09 PM)
I did not read the article, but I will share what my impression is of what they do based on what they've said. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:13:16 PM)
I have heard they expect the players to come in at some point and issue themselves a percentage grade on how they did carrying out their assignments over the course of the game. The coaches are also watching each of their players on every play to see how they carry out their assignments. The great thing is they get to see the coaching tapes from the end zone and also the sideline if they want on each play. I imagine if Troy Smith plays 100 plays and he carries out his assignments on 85 percent of them, his grade would be 85 percent. Now they may adjust it up and down based on big plays or turnovers, mistakes, wrong reads, etc.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:13:26 PM)
But that's what I've heard for that process.

expresblfc (Nov 3, 2005 1:13:30 PM)
Was Ginn really hurt at the beginning of the year?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:14:04 PM)
Nobody ever really came out and said that. I guess it is possible that he was. He certainly did not have the explosion he had last year or right now.

DuluthBuckeye (Nov 3, 2005 1:14:09 PM)
Steve, Did you flash back to 1998 vs Michigan State watching the Gophers complete long pass after long pass? Seriously, should we be concerned about this defense or was this a fluke. I am in the fluke corner but I do think these linebackers were exposed as guys who struggle to get off blocks.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:15:55 PM)
That was a fluke because the front 7 sold out to stop Maroney. They didn't even sack Cupito. So if the oppressive heat isn't there and he has time to deal you get big plays. I don't care if Deion in his prime is back there. Youboty got caught playing the man instead of the ball. They burned him on probably 3-4 big plays. But he also had 3 important PBU's too. So you have to look at both sides of that equation. Did he have a rough day? Yeah. But they won and everybody is entitled to one bad day.

expresblfc (Nov 3, 2005 1:16:15 PM)
With the offense showing some signs of life.. do you think we still see coaching changes on that side of the ball at end of year?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:18:54 PM)
I'm not sure what it would be. Everybody on the outside wants Tressel to bring in a "hot shot OC" who majors in "new offensive football." But I don't see any signs that anybody who is on staff will be leaving anytime soon. I have seen no inclination that Tressel is ready to get rid of Bollman, his brother Dick or Daniels. Hazell and Peterson are young guys enjoying the best assignments they have ever had. They aren't in a hurry to rush off. Moreover, everybody is back on offense except for Sims, Mangold and Hamby. I'd say now that this staff seems to have a handle on what this offense can do, ride it out.

erikbert (Nov 3, 2005 1:19:10 PM)
Hi Steve. Any chance we see some of Erik Haw at Tailback on Saturday? I heard he might get some special teams opportunities. Also, wasn't Youboty a little dinged up last week?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:20:32 PM)
Haw is third on the depth chart behind Pittman and Wells. My guess is if they are up comfortably after 3 quarters, Wells and Haw may split the work in the fourth. But they definitely want to keep Pittman in the groove. If he can go out and get a buck-50 in 3 quarters and turn it over to the freshmen with a good lead and they each get 5-8 carries, that would be great. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:21:08 PM)
Youboty had a hip pointer against MSU. Not sure if that was still bothering him last weekend. He's a tough kid and they are perilously thin there until Everett comes back, so he wasn't leaving the field.

bunks22 (Nov 3, 2005 1:21:20 PM)
Do you think the O-line will be better next year? It seems that for that last 4-5 years Buck fans have been waiting for next year....the line should be better despite loosing Mangold...Sims doesn't hurt in my opin.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:23:23 PM)
They have the potential to be just as good when you consider that Barton would come back in. This is me just speaking on my own but the sensible unit here would be Boone at LT, Downing at LG, Cordle at C, Datish at RG and Barton at RT. That just makes perfect sense to me. With the idea that Person, Skinner, Mitchum and Connor Smith (and whoever else) are waiting in the wings. They'll miss Mangold (Tressel thinks he's the best C in college football) and Sims (versatile and led the way on the TD last week).

bunks22 (Nov 3, 2005 1:24:10 PM)
Right on

teambuckeye (Nov 3, 2005 1:23:30 PM)
Who do you see filling the LB spots for next year? Obvious choices of Freeman & D'Andrea, but who do you see as the third piece in the puzzle?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:25:08 PM)
That competition will be wide open and it would not surprise me to see Coach Fickell rotate guys through different spots WLB-BLB, BLB-MLB, etc. So forget the notion that, say, Hoobler is strictly an MLB. They will start from scratch in the spring and aim to get their best 3 guys on the field. D'Andrea for instance seems a perfect fit for the Carpenter, pin your ears back and go kill the QB role as an OLB. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:25:58 PM)
I agree, D'Andrea and Freeman could be 2 of the lead dogs in that hunt. Hope they both stay healthy. Then, Hoobler, Kerr, Laurinaitis and maybe Terry and Spitler will enter the discussion. (Hope I'm not missing anybody.)

buckgrad (Nov 3, 2005 1:26:05 PM)
Did you watch the film from last year, just wondering how you though Marcel Frost did in terms of blocking? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:27:44 PM)
This past week, you mean? No, have not had a chance to watch that game. I was on the sideline for much of the first half taking pics. After speaking with Marcel after the game, it is like the light bulb went off in his head. Yes, he is playing almost out of necessity more than anything else. But he has been given a blank canvas to show this staff he truly is a football player. I think there are some who would have liked to have seen him earlier this year, but Tressel was not comfortable with him out there. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:28:17 PM)
I even had one guy say (not so glowingly), "Hey, Marcel Frost can whiff blocks and drop passes, too. Why ain't he out there?"

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:28:20 PM)

bunks22 (Nov 3, 2005 1:28:48 PM)
D-line? This year I would say it is better than last year, but still lacking a "Will Smith, Jason Simmons, Vrabel...difference maker.. Can Wilson or Worthington...other step up?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:30:15 PM)
Great point ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:32:41 PM)
They do seem to me missing that difference maker who always gets the job done. It's almost been by committee -- Kudla one week, Patterson the next, etc. You hope that a Wilson or a Worthington will be that guy. They were recruited to be those type of players. But it's hard for a freshman to step in and dominate like that. Let's see where they are next fall and the fall after that.

MuskieBuck (Nov 3, 2005 1:32:47 PM)
Steve, has there been any further info. on where the three red shirt frosh Offensive linemen are? It seems that we need to send out a "Missing persons" alert-play on words there.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:34:03 PM)
Person and Skinner were at least on the trip to Minnesota. I did not see Mitchum. They moved Schafer back over to offense, so that doesn't bode well for those guys. Hey, this is only their second year. They have 3 years left to make an impact. It took Datish that long, too, and he was every bit as highly acclaimed. So relax and let them develop. Everybody grows at a different pace.

erikbert (Nov 3, 2005 1:34:07 PM)
Any chance of seeing TGII finally make an appearance at CB this Sat.?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:34:45 PM)
Against Illinois? I doubt it. Everett is supposed to come back. I can't see why Ginn would risk injury playing corner in a game they figure to win by 5 touches. Against NW? Maybe.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 1:35:03 PM)
Just joined but I would like to say that I wasnt very impressed with Pittman. Yes he would get 180 yds but now that he hit the endzone and showed some points we are going to have a great back. Great backs score points

expresblfc (Nov 3, 2005 1:35:59 PM)
How can AP score TDs when TS keeps the ball :)

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 1:37:33 PM)
But when they are close they could have handed to him a few time this year

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:37:44 PM)
Pittman has gotten better almost week to week. After the PSU game, he began finishing plays that he wasn't finishing before. That doesn't always mean scoring, that means falling forward, holding on to the ball, etc. He's been rock solid. He's on line for about a 1300-1400 yard season if he can keep it going. expresblfc makes a point: Smith has 8 rushing TDs, some of those could have gone to Pittman. But Smith obviously made right decision on scoring himself ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:38:14 PM)
I'd have to go back and review my stats on each game, but I don't recall Pittman being slammed out of there more than once or twice all year. Maybe I'm wrong.

buckgrad (Nov 3, 2005 1:38:19 PM)
What is the scenario for the Bucks right now, we win out and PSU wins out are we co-champs? We win out and Wiscy wins out, whats the deal? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:39:15 PM)
It is very simple: OSU wins out, it is at least co-champion. However, the Big Ten's automatic BCS bowl bid to either the Sugar, Orange or Fiesta will go to the co-champ that prevails in the conference's tiebreaking procedure ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:40:02 PM)
If OSU wins out, it would be 9-2 and 7-1. If Wisconsin or Penn State win out, they would be 10-1 and 7-1. UW would trump OSU for theBCS bid on better overall record while PSU holds the head-to-head win over the Buckeyes ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:40:10 PM)
The best case scenario for Ohio State is ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:40:17 PM)
Beat Illinois, beat NW ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:40:25 PM)
Beat Michigan (of course) ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:41:28 PM)
And then hope the PSU-Wisconsin winner goes on and loses its last Big Ten game. The Badgers play Iowa at home on Nov. 12, while PSU visits MSU Nov. 19. The most likely thing is PSU will win and be playing for a BCS bid at MSU. But stranger things have happened.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:42:18 PM)
Wisconsin also plays at Hawaii on Nov. 25 I think, but that game has NO IMPACT on the Big Ten's BCS bid because it is beyond the 11-game schedule. Plus, even with a loss, UW's 10-2 mark would still trump OSU's 9-2.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:42:29 PM)
As Coop used to say, "Just keep winning, baby."

leroydx15 (Nov 3, 2005 1:42:34 PM)
Steve. In your opinion what are the keys to success for the last few games this year?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:44:03 PM)
Got to get back to affecting the quarterback. 12 sacks vs. MSU, then just 3 at IU and none last week. Result: 376 yards passing by Cupito. If they allow Basanez and Henne time to pick them apart, it could get ugly. OSU also needs to keep the heat on with the special teams (3 more special teams TDs the next 3 weeks would be great) and just continue the growth on offense. OSU is hard to beat if Pittman can eclipse 100 yards.

BucknutsinAnnArbor (Nov 3, 2005 1:44:31 PM)
I live up here behind enemy lines and all the talk up here is how Michigan has it all fixed now and they are so focused finishing out their season strong. But I keep telling them that if LLLoyd Carr doean't win this game the heat is being turned up. That would be 4 out of the last 5 to OSU. Come on lets thank the big ten for giving Michigan 3 weeks to prepare for OSU. A bye week, followed by Indiana at home what is that???

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:46:07 PM)
Agreed, the schedule really works in UM's favor again this year. But we've seen teams win and lose off bye weeks. Got to play well within the confines of The Game if you expect to win it. The OSU offense is coming together at the right time. I think the Buckeyes are also poised for a big finish. That should be some game on the 19th (and, really, also on the 12th).

NYCBucks (Nov 3, 2005 1:46:15 PM)
What is going on with the lack of OL offers. With Browning to accept in the near future, where do we stand with other prospects. How about Nagy from Hudson, I figured he would have an offer by now.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:47:38 PM)
They are doing it their way. They aren't rushing things. I can't speak for the OSU coaches and they can't tell us what they're thinking either. Most people would look at the situation and say they need to sign 3-4 OL. Maybe they don't see it that way. But I would agree that they need to find some impact OL. Maybe they are hopeful of finding a good one OOS.

NYCBucks (Nov 3, 2005 1:49:49 PM)
What is the latest on Colin McCarthey from Fla? This kid looks like he could be a player. I would love to see a few more LBs offered so that we can offset the losses we will incur in the future.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:50:23 PM)
He had OSU No. 1 in late October, but he is also looking at Miami, PSU, Ga.Tech, Nebraska and nearby South Florida. GT is a late Jan. visit. I like McCarthy. At 6-3, he has the frame to get up to 245 or so.

MuskieBuck (Nov 3, 2005 1:50:57 PM)
Now that we have 8 games perspective, is it fair to say that some of the criticism about play calling that most of us leveled at JT this season is more due to the lack of snaps and lost games of Smith and Tressel, knowing more about how much Smith had absorbed was merely calling plays he thought Smith could handle? I ask this because of the night and day performances of Smith against TX, PSU on the one hand and MSU and MN on the other hand. But you are probably in a better position to answer this.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:53:23 PM)
Muskie, I think you make a very valid observation. Something also needs to be said about the opposition. I don't have the NCAA stats in front of me, but PSU and Texas have to be top-25 defenses, I would think. Nobody else they have played has even come close to that. Smith is now 10-2 in his career as a starter. He is getting better each week with distribution and decision making (when to run, etc.). He wasn't anywhere near this good when they played Texas, plus he was rusty. Add it up and you got what you got -- one real big missed opp.

buckgrad (Nov 3, 2005 1:53:26 PM)
Is Santonio an All-Big Ten receiver right now? Seems to me him and Avant are clearly 1st teamers.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:53:41 PM)
Yes, but statistically others may look better and sometimes that's all voters see ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:54:48 PM)
Holmes is seventh in catches per game and fourth in rec yards per game. His 7 TDs trail only Hardy from Indiana (10). My ballot would be Avant and Holmes.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 1:54:58 PM)
I didnt get to see the Mn game but i did see the high lights of the TG kickoff return, I just got to say this MAN IS HE FAST 4.2 40 YA THINK

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:56:29 PM)
I was on the field and even got a pic right after he faked that handoff to AG. I looked up and saw him dart right and nobody touched him and, in that split-second, it dawned on me he had a chance. Then, he put it in high gear and was gone. The kicker, if I remember right, was a QB and/or DB at Canton Central Catholic, I think (I could be wrong). He is no slouch of a football player and he had no chance.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 1:56:34 PM)
In the National champioon ship who would you root for Texas or Usc

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:56:44 PM)
Or stadium blow up? (ha ha)

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:56:47 PM)
I dunno ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 1:58:06 PM)
Probably Texas. I think Pete Carroll jumped the shark this week. They're flipping the ball to Snoop Dogg after TDs and dropping a LenDale White dummy off the roof of a building. They just seem bored by everything. Vince White obliterated Oklahoma State -- albeit a bad OSU team -- last Sat. in their stadium. 200 rushing and passing? That is sick.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:00:15 PM)
I wonder if UCLA may have something for USC when they meet. You want to see somebody jump off a roof. Go to ABC's headquarters if either USC or Texas falter or fall to No. 3 and they have to take Va. Tech from nowheresville, Va. Egads.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:00:48 PM)
You can't get a bigger game any year than USC-Texas (unless OSU was involved somehow).

rbuck (Nov 3, 2005 2:01:00 PM)
If we finish in the top 6 of the BCS, does that get us in a BCS bowl regardless of what PSU and Wiscy do?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:01:52 PM)
Now you're getting into the fine print. I just don't know. I have a BCS media guide somewhere that spells all of that out. I'd have to check it. ND supposedly also gets in automatically if it's 9-2 and in the top 12. They are 14th this week. OSU is 10th. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:04:10 PM)
When you look at what's ahead of them, USC, Texas and Va. Tech all seem secure in front of OSU -- maybe even with a loss. So there's 3. Alabama or LSU will lose and fall below OSU. Miami and FSU also figure to fall below OSU if they lose to VT. UCLA is also tenuous ahead of OSU, unless they lose a tight one to USC. Buckeyes could get to 6th just by winning out. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:05:01 PM)
We are assuming quite a bit to say OSU will win out. They've won once at Michigan in 8 tries since 1987. You can't simply assume that win as if it's like going into Bloomington.

NYCBucks (Nov 3, 2005 2:05:23 PM)
How serious is Youboty's injury? I wondered is he was hurt because he looked awful out there last week. On the other side Omar Jenkins looks like the stud CB not Youboty. He is very physical and loves to lay a helmet on people.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:06:03 PM)
Everybody just says Youboty is a "tough kid". We get no injury news from coaches beyond whether somebody is expected to play or not. They rarely even say what the injury is. These are the new days of the HIPA regs.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:06:17 PM)
Agreed on Jenkins. They've found one corner for next year already.

Guest (Nov 3, 2005 2:06:35 PM)
Steve, did anyone question why coach Tress didn't call a time out right before the half last week against Minny? That allowed them to take a free play on 4th down into our endzone. We call time out they punt to Ted Ginn where is the downside in that?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:06:57 PM)
Bucknuts in Ann Arbor asks why OSU didn't call timeout before halftime to make Minnesota punt. ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:07:08 PM)
That is a damned if you do and damned if you don't scenario ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:09:10 PM)
Minnesota called timeout with 2 seconds left and threw the Hail Mary. If OSU calls timeout with 20 seconds left or even down to 8 seconds left, you give Minnesota time to run 2 plays -- an underneath route for 15 yards and, with a stoppage of some sort, a field goal to go ahead. I think the OSU coaches were comfortable with the scenario as it played out. Hitting a Hail Mary is less than a 10 percent proposition. If they had called their own timeout to force a punt, Minnesota could still have run a pass play and set up a FG. That was my take on it.

leroydx15 (Nov 3, 2005 2:09:32 PM)
Steve, are there any northwest Ohio prospects flying under the radar?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:10:56 PM)
That is weird, but I hear nothing from Toledo either for the senior or junior class. There may be some guys, but I don't have their names.

NYCBucks (Nov 3, 2005 2:11:05 PM)
With the speed that Ginn has you would figure that Tress would attempt at least 1-2 long throws per game to him. But if I'm not mistaken he hasn't tried once. Why not keep the defense on it's heels with the long ball to set up the running game?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:11:26 PM)
First play of last week's game was a deep ball to Ginn, he was open, too much air on it and it got knocked away.

buckgrad (Nov 3, 2005 2:11:34 PM)
Speaking of that TD by Ted, I have been rough on the coaches on here, but that was a great move to put 3 burners back there on kickoffs and get D'Andrea out. Just a thought...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:12:21 PM)
Agreed, you constantly have to change your game plan because people will outscheme you. The 3 men back plan means they can't kick short without some repercussions, so you may as well kick long and take your chances.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:12:25 PM)
Do you think that Chirs Well will have a better impact that MC did

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:13:22 PM)
That would be hard to do. Clarett had about 1200 yards in 11 games and they won the national title. Wells comes into a situation where Pittman will be the established 1,000-yard back. It will help that Wells should go through spring ball. Two guys at or near 1,000? Wow is all I could say about that.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:13:41 PM)
With the defensive losses do you think OSU will be a top 5 team next year

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:14:29 PM)
No, I don't think so. Road game at Texas, too. If Young comes back, you can pretty much forget that one. I think top 10 is possible and a Big Ten title maybe, but they're probably looking at 10-2 at best.

rbuck (Nov 3, 2005 2:14:37 PM)
Have you heard anything on the status of Oden and Conley signing next week?? Will you be in Indiapolis?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:16:01 PM)
Have not planned on driving out for that. Haven't heard if there will be a ceremony. Conley Sr. told the Dispatch they were leaning toward signing. Certainly they want assurances that they get a full release if OSU gets dinged, but that seems so unlikely. They have already served one year and could serve another this year before those guys arrive. I can't see OSU getting another year. Michigan got one year. That's what I keep coming back to.

Minnesota Buckeye II (Nov 3, 2005 2:16:10 PM)
Since you mentioned that Tyler Everett is back this week...but Youboty is still dinged...will Teddy Ballgame ever get over to corner? This year? Also, Troy is seeing the field better...since Tress is a former QB coach, shouldn't he get the credit (along with Daniels) for the improved play?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:16:39 PM)
Who said Youboty was dinged? I have no idea if he is or not because you never get the full answer on that ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:17:32 PM)
Maybe you see Ginn against NW and UM. But if they think they can win those 2 without him over there, he will not play defense. He plays 90 percent of the plays on offense and returns kicks and punts. Does he have to do everything (ha ha)?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:18:28 PM)
Agreed on Tressel and Daniels. They work in tandem on the QBs. Hey, it takes a village to develop a quarterback. Smith is second to Stanton in passing efficiency in the Large Eleven.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:18:38 PM)
Do you think boone will be are next pace

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:19:52 PM)
No, there was only one Orlando Pace. He's the greatest of all time. He was a 6-7, 330-pound athlete at OT. His high school coach told me if he was 6-2, 210 he would have been an A-A wide receiver. But Boone has a chance to be among the elite OL who have ever played here if he continues to grow (emotionally more than physically because he has a pro frame now) and develop.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:20:35 PM)
We are ready for the November to Remember here ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:21:14 PM)
We have Chats planned through Michigan week, so please stop back as often as you can. Check the front page for the schedule. Few more ?? today if anybody has any ...

TerryGordfish1 (Nov 3, 2005 2:21:18 PM)
Steve, I believe that Pittman and Beanie are incredible backs and perfect complements to each other. The bottom line is that holes still need to be there for these guys to achieve the kind of success we're all hoping for. We've talked about losing so much depth at LB, but what about the o-line? Our o-line is not dominant now and loses Mangold and Sims. Our o-line depth primarily consists of underachieving top recruits. What gives?!

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:25:40 PM)
Well, they will be upperclassman underachievers a year from now (ha ha). Really, Ohio State is still recovering from years and years of neglect in OL recruiting. This was a problem this staff was dealt and they've taken steps to improve it. But even some of their choices aren't necessarily panning out like they would like. The OL is typically not a position where you get a quick fix. Ideally, you'd like to always be starting 2 seniors, 2 juniors and 1 soph. That way in any given year, you have 3 starters back. Unique thing next year is they'll have 2 full-time starters (Downing and Datish) and 2 part-time starters (Barton and Boone) back. That is a great nucleus to start with. Not many teams will be as talented at tackle as OSU figures to be, IMHO. Now they need Cordle to be healthy at center and get serviceable play out of 2 other guys and they should be set. Maybe Connor Smith comes in and gets a sniff at guard next year and they groom him for 2007 like they tried to do with Boone this year. They've been hu

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:25:49 PM)
hurts them by default ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:26:37 PM)
That the tight end position was decimated by injuries and the fullbacks/H-backs/Schnittker have all been in-and-out, too.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:27:18 PM)
The offense breaks down (like Tamba Hali hitting Smith and denying OSU a chance to win that game) but it may not have been the OL's fault. They get blamed, though.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:27:30 PM)
Ya think we will keep pittman through his sr season and if he has an 1500 yd season next year

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:28:14 PM)
Wow, I have somebody earlier say they weren't impressed with Pittman until he crossed the goal line at 2 p.m. Eastern last Sat. and now you've got him going pro. We run the gamut of all levels of opinion here, don't we?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:29:09 PM)
That is so hard to tell. My guess is he will be just around 1,000 next year if they split the load. Dare we say, Wells and Pittman could join Maroney-Barber as the only two-time 1,000-yard guys in NCAA history? That would be something.

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:29:17 PM)
I still belive that its no so much the line that is the problem but the RB. When MC was in there we had great sucess and when he wasnt we didnt have sucess. With pittman on the prowl and then wells coming, we may be wondering next year whats wrong with out defence when he have a great offence

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:29:43 PM)
That's a good point. OSU's RB play the last 2 years was so substandard it's not funny.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:30:02 PM)
Anything else today?

3morewins (Nov 3, 2005 2:30:24 PM)
just keep scoiring points and i will like pittman

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:30:28 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:31:15 PM)
OSU fans can scout Iowa-NW at noon on ESPN. I will be watching and interested in your viewpoints next week on NW. Anything else today?

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:34:02 PM)
My connection timed out. I was asked whether ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:34:11 PM)
Chris Wells would start by Michigan game ...

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:35:22 PM)
Knowing Tressel as I kind of do, I would say no. Pittman is their guy. Wells, if he is healthy and can make plays, would certainly play. But they would go with seniority as the starter and use Wells as the second back (maybe they would both start in a split back or spread look). Who knows. They usually favor the older guy who is established, and Pittman is headed there now.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:36:15 PM)
A 72 degree day in November. The only way this would be better is if it was Feb. 25 and we were coming out of winter and not going into it.

SteveHelwagen (Nov 3, 2005 2:36:28 PM)
Good night now!

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