Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets

Mr. Bucknuts picks on a lackluster effort by our beloved Buckeyes plus goes out of his way to offend Notre Dame fans on the embarrassing Irish performance Saturday. That, plus recruiting, some silly stats and more ruminations on the Texas fans in this week's Bucket of Bullets.

      Focus    Focus    Focus  Focus!!!

With all of the attention on being, what, the greatest team that ever played celebrating the greatest game in the history of college football, Ohio State might have lost a lot of their, well…focus in the worst/first quarter Saturday that threatened to become our worst/first half of play. JT got the Tressel Vessel righted in time, and for those around the nation that didn't actually see the game – the poll position is better off for the deceptively scored 37-7 triumph. At least, with a 52-yard field goal from a 27 year-old South African freshman, the Buckeyes were able to cover the spread! 

All elements were out of focus in that first half and for much of the game. Defensive blown assignments, no push by the offensive line, penalties so frequent that the Bearcats had to decide which ones to take; line-drive kickoffs returned half the field and a punting performance that could be labeled "laconic". The good stuff? That was mostly in the second half and that was mostly after Cincinnati got tired.

That "excuse me" game was the mark of a young team, to not bring their A-game and assume Those Other Guys would just roll over. No way. "Dantonio" is spelled with a big "D", and he had his little d-line stunting and slanting and – well, beating OSU to a punch that should never have been delivered. It's hard to see a 30-point win as a "wake-up call", but I am hoping that's what we saw.

In the first two games of the season, we were witness to – probably – the best back we are going to see all year (Garrett Wolfe), then both the best offensive line (Texas) and the best defensive line (Texas). Last Saturday? OSU played one of the best two teams in Cincinnati. And for the first time in years, it looks like the Bengals might be the better of the two. Yet, we made the Bearcats into a better team than they are. And as the Buckeyes start to see teams with both good QB's and good running attacks, they have to step up in all departments. Let's let the stepping begin this Saturday against Penn State, eh? Remember guys – you owe them one…

*     *     *     *     *

The March (and September) of the Penguins…And speaking of which; after Penn State dispersed the Youngstown State Penguins 37-3 last week, those Y-Towners certainly got an up close and personal look at the machinations of the Nittany Lions. Do you think someone there at YSU will share their observations with Coach Tressel (long-time Head Coach of Youngstown) or the defensive thoughts with Coach Heacock, whose brother is the Head Coach now of the Penguins? Hmmmm….

*      *     *     *     *

Charlie Weis getting undressed (1) and other horrid thoughts…The Notre Dame bunch was exposed by Michigan last Saturday as the same slow bunch we pummeled in the Fiesta Bowl last season. And the greatest embarrassment in Notre Dame coaching history (2) now has a game to match.

This is a coach with Heisman pretender "Tom" Brady Quinn and a defense that was going to get faster over the winter just because, well…because Charlie willed it. Yet, there we were, with a minute to go in the first half, and the man-mountain genius had willed his offense to but 35 total yards and one first down. Boy, give the big tuna a week to prepare, eh?

I said at the beginning of the year that Notre Dame would lose three regular season games and that the false aura would dim toward darkness. Weis was 9-3 last year and is 2-1 this year. He is a lifetime 9-3 type coach. Sort of like Earle Bruce without being lovable.

He should re-read the fable of "The Emperor's New Clothes". It's not a pretty picture, that…

(1) A sodden thought – when Charlie dresses, does he put talcum powder on his belt, to keep his under-arms from chafing?

(2) Some would argue that Moeller High's Gary Faust was the most embarrassing. Others back the charisma-less reign of Dan Devine. I say that you have to combine the arrogance of Weis and his inability to fulfill those implied promises to reach the depths he will ultimately reach

*     *     *     *     *

Roughing up the refs…and other irritating thoughts that just won't go away. From where I was sitting at the Texas game, the bogus roughing-the-passer penalty against mean Jay Richardson for beating up poor little Colt McCoy was about as egregious of a call as I've seen in my many years of seeing the world through (admittedly) scarlet and gray glasses. But what do I know? (Insert joke here…). So, let's hear what other people had to say.

The first quote is from a Texas fan off of a Texas blog and he says, "…I'm not sure what the refs could have possibly seen on the roughing the passer penalty. It wasn't late. If it was "helmet-to-helmet," that's even worse. Helmets touch at some point on nearly every tackle. Outside of Oklahoma, humans walk upright. Their heads generally touch at some point on a collision. It was actually great defense by Ohio State that gave Texas the ball 1st down near the goal line."

The next two observations were printed in the Dallas Morning News. Observation One: "Texas would answer but only with the help of the officials...Ohio State's Jay Richardson was called for roughing the passer when it appeared Richardson did nothing but tackle McCoy as he released the pass."

Observation Two: "Texas spent more than seven minutes on its only touchdown. Got a little help in the red zone, too, when the Buckeyes' 6-6 Jay Richardson slammed into McCoy and apparently was flagged for being too tall."

I liked that – flagged for being too tall. The refs should be flagged and flogged; made worse by the fact that they were Big Ten officials…

*     *     *     *     *

The eyes of Ohio are upon you…I received a lot of hate e-mail last week after I asked some cynical and pointed rhetorical questions about that old pot-boiler, "The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You". OK, maybe I was coarse and insensitive (a precedent for this space), but I did my best to remediate relations by answering most of the nasty return mail. My favorite response to my response came from Jeff Fowler and was as follows:

"Nah. Just prickin' ya. My poor attempt at Yankee humor.

FWIW, the song was penned back in the 20's or 30's to poke fun at a stuffy school president who had the temerity to tell an assembled student body that they must behave themselves properly at all times, because "the eyes of Texas are upon you." The song you heard was penned to poke fun at the sanctimonious jackass. Somehow, the silly ditty became so popular that people started singing it at the games and now, like our band's goofy Roy Rogers outfits, has become a beloved theme. Singing "the Eyes" is as much a part of Texas tradition as dotting the eye on the script "Ohio" at halftime is to tOSU lore.

Seriously, we greatly enjoyed having y'all down. I hope that you'll lobby your AD to schedule another series with Texas. I suspect that we'll be treated better the next time we go to Columbus, and playing a great program with fans like yours makes for a vastly more interesting early season than games with 3 paycheck foes and a BCS cellar dweller.

Best of luck the rest of the season. With anything but bad luck, I expect you guys to win the MNC this year."

I have said it before and I'll say it again (also not a precedent…), these Texas fans are almost too nice…

*     *     *     *    *

Corners on the market…As my long-running series of examining, position-by-position, the Buckeye lineup (and assessing recruiting ramifications) comes wheezing and stumbling to an end, we are brought to the embarrassment of riches we know as the cornerback position.

It would not be factually far off to say that three of the best four corners right now for the Buckeyes are either freshmen or red-shirt freshmen. By name, that would be Kurt Coleman, Andre Amos and Donald Washington. The fourth? I nominate starter and sophomore Malcolm Jenkins. Yes, there is former walk-on and over-achiever Antonio Smith but this is his fifth year and he will yield to the youngsters by year-end, I believe.

Who else is in the pack of corners? Shaun Lane is still considered a cornerback and is still considered a sophomore. Brandon Underwood is still considering a "comeback". And a better consideration is oft-overlooked Chimdi Chekwa, a true freshman, red-shirting this season.

So they are locked and loaded, young and restless? Does that stop OSU from going after even more super talent? Of course not! Already signed on for next season is the extremely fast Donnie Evege and the multi-talented and athletic Devon Torrence, both of whom have limitless potential. Torrence, of course, could still opt to play major league baseball. So does that stop them from searching the nation for corner talent? Of course not…

The Buckeyes are still looking at five-star type players. Why? Because you always look at five-star type players. The top name on that list is probably Eric Berry from Georgia or maybe Ronald Johnson from Michigan, perhaps the top two uncommitted corners in the entire nation. It would be greedy to hope for both, but that's the kind of fans we are. There is still some discussion, as well, about Donovan Warren from California and James Scott from Florida. Just for the record…

*     *     *     *

One was over-served, one just got passed over…Here's a quote that should make the blood boil even if you used to swoon at the sight of Matthew McConaughey:

"A very good team is coming to our house and wants to steal something that we own . . . a national championship . . . when the University of Texas Longhorns play for the love of his brother lining up next to him, for the pride of giving his personal best every down, for the honor of every grandparent that could AND could not be at the game, the final whistle will blow and we will be victorious . . . the wannabe thieves will be sent home hurting, humbled, and with a respect for our character."
--Matthew McConaughey,  before Saturday's Buckeyes-Longhorns game.

Great, now I can't go to Matthew McConaughey or Mel Gibson movies…

*      *     *     *     *

The search for other Weapons of Offensive Destruction…With all of the weapons the Buckeyes have shown in the first three games, it's almost noteworthy to consider those weapons that are just coming out of hiding. Maybe they don't exist; maybe they are simply yet to be exhibited. Some on this list were utilized for the first time this past Saturday. We can all make our own lists. Feel free to add to the one below:

1) Swing pass to the backs

2) Screen pass

3) Use the fullback

4) Roy Hall

5) Chris Wells running downhill

6) Ray Small

7) The tight end catching a pass by design

8) Option plays

9) Trapasso running the ball (he was a running back in high school, you know…)

10) Pettrey passing the ball (he was a quarterback in high school, you know…)

11) Troy Smith running the ball!

*     *     *     *

The ever-shifting middle class…At one point, OSU had middle linebackers stacked up like cord wood. First, there was "the next Kat", Mike D'Andrea. And they had to get him through school fast because Chad Hoobler was right behind him. Just in case, they had John Kerr as a back-up and there was always Austin Spitler and…

Well, from the old "Man plans and God laughs" school of thought, none of that scenario worked out. They now have "Son of Animal" (James Laurinaitis) and JUCO transfer (Larry Grant) as the two middle linebackers. And what does JL do in just his second game at that position? Becomes the Big Ten and national defensive player of the week. Now they just have to get Ross Homan comfortable and get Marcus Freeman motoring. But, man, in the middle – they do have a man in the middle!

*     *     *     *     *

Somebody has to keep track of stuff like this…And following up on the previous bullet point, from the Bucknuts premium message board, talking about tracking the linebackers in the Texas game -  from fellow friend/fiend BUCXS:

The Buckeyes were in nickle (5 DBs) 44 out of 65 plays in the game on defense.

14 out of 29 times in the first half
30 out of 36 in the 2nd half

44/65 for the game

The standard nickel package was Freeman, Laurinaitis, A. Smith (nickel)

This nickel group played most of the game together. Homan was sub'd in for Freeman once.

On the last series, Grant replaced Laurinaitis and Homan replace Freeman 5 times before Lauriniatis came back in for Grant on the final three plays.

The Buckeyes were in base 4-3 15 out of 29 times in the first half. This was almost always Homan, Laurinaitis, Terry. Freeman was in base defense only three times during the game. Kerr was in base defense four times during the game.Laurinaitis played in all but 5 defensive plays in the game (again final series).

Total Plays:
Laurinaitis = 60
Freeman = 44
Homan = 21
Terry = 16
Grant = 5
Kerr = 4

From looking at the film, OSU believes that Laurinaitis and Homan are their best base linebackers while Freeman is their best choice while in nickel. Terry and Freeman are inter-changeable in the 4 -3 with Terry playing more to save Freeman for nickel situations.

Tackles....

Laurinaitis = 10 + 3 = 13 13tackles /60 plays= 0.216 tackles/play
Homan = 2 + 2 = 4 4/21 = 0.19
Freeman = 2 + 1 = 3 3/44 = 0.068
Terry 1 + 1 = 2 2/16 = 0.125
Grant = 1 + 0 = 1 1/5 = 0.200
Kerr = 0 + 0 = 0 0/4= 0.00

It is the Bucknuts credo: too much is never enough (or was it "I like what I have so much, I want more"?)

*     *     *     *     *

One final middle earth thought…So who is the best middle linebacker in the nation according to the expert's expert, Mel Kiper? That would be Buster Davis, the effervescent Florida kid who wanted to come to Ohio State (but they didn't save enough letters of intent), then wanted to transfer here after his first year at Florida State (but they didn't want him at that point…). Funny how that one defensive position has turned out and a real morality play for those of us that think we can predict the future at any position.

*     *     *     *     *

Just how young were they, Johnny?...If all plays out the way God intends it, OSU will run the table and win the National Championship. And, if so, you will be telling your grandchildren that they did it with a very young group in the "back seven".

Just how young? Three of your top four corners are freshmen by eligibility (Washington, Amos and Coleman). Three of your top four safeties are either freshmen or sophomores (O'Neal, Patterson and Russell). And – arguably – your top three linebackers are either freshmen or sophomores (Laurinaitis, Homan and Freeman). Even on the D-line, three of the top four defensive ends are either freshmen or sophomores! That's Gholston, Wilson and Rose.

In the end, it's not "just how young were they?" but much more "just how worthy"…

*     *     *     *

Four of the last five games…We shouldn't be looking ahead even past Penn State (yet alone Iowa and MSU and the rest of those pretenders…) but it stood out to this hack just how bad a week that four of our last five opponents had the week the Buckeyes were spanking those Texans. On Saturday September 9 from Steve Helwagen's comments in his excellent "Buckeye Grove" article that week:

* Oct. 21, Indiana -- The Hoosiers nipped Ball State 24-23 in Muncie this past Saturday. OSU has not lost a game to Indiana since the late-1800s. (OK, it only seems like it's been that long.)

* Oct. 28, Minnesota -- The Gophers got a rude awakening with a 42-17 loss at Cal this past Saturday.

* Nov. 4, at Illinois -- The Illini got just as rude an awakening with a 33-0 loss at Rutgers this past Saturday.

* Nov. 11, at Northwestern  -- The Wildcats also got a rude awakening with a 34-17 home loss to Division I-AA New Hampshire

*     *     *     *

Finally, two thoughts on Coach Jim Tressel…

Thought One:  Coach T pretty much put the entire WHAC renovation together by himself and raised the money for it, as well. If that wasn't enough, he ensured that there was a "Coach's Room" which is a euphemism for a place that Coach Cooper and Coach Bruce could use as an office. Classy. Very classy. Might go a long way to Tressel becoming the first coach in 60 years not to end his career by getting fired at OSU. And even if he is fired, well…he will have an office.

Thought Two: Think JT isn't having fun with this team this year? 57 players in the first quarter against UT. In a huge game. Think that's good for recruiting? Yeah, I think so, too…

If you have thoughts, or you are just having as much fun this year as Jim Tressel and Mr. Bucknuts, you are encouraged to write down those thoughts and send them to Mr. B at MrBucknuts@yahoo.com




Buckeye Sports Top Stories

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      Focus    Focus    Focus  Focus!!!

With all of the attention on being, what, the greatest team that ever played celebrating the greatest game in the history of college football, Ohio State might have lost a lot of their, well…focus in the worst/first quarter Saturday that threatened to become our worst/first half of play. JT got the Tressel Vessel righted in time, and for those around the nation that didn't actually see the game – the poll position is better off for the deceptively scored 37-7 triumph. At least, with a 52-yard field goal from a 27 year-old South African freshman, the Buckeyes were able to cover the spread! 

All elements were out of focus in that first half and for much of the game. Defensive blown assignments, no push by the offensive line, penalties so frequent that the Bearcats had to decide which ones to take; line-drive kickoffs returned half the field and a punting performance that could be labeled \"laconic\". The good stuff? That was mostly in the second half and that was mostly after Cincinnati got tired.

That \"excuse me\" game was the mark of a young team, to not bring their A-game and assume Those Other Guys would just roll over. No way. \"Dantonio\" is spelled with a big \"D\", and he had his little d-line stunting and slanting and – well, beating OSU to a punch that should never have been delivered. It's hard to see a 30-point win as a \"wake-up call\", but I am hoping that's what we saw.

In the first two games of the season, we were witness to – probably – the best back we are going to see all year (Garrett Wolfe), then both the best offensive line (Texas) and the best defensive line (Texas). Last Saturday? OSU played one of the best two teams in Cincinnati. And for the first time in years, it looks like the Bengals might be the better of the two. Yet, we made the Bearcats into a better team than they are. And as the Buckeyes start to see teams with both good QB's and good running attacks, they have to step up in all departments. Let's let the stepping begin this Saturday against Penn State, eh? Remember guys – you owe them one…

*     *     *     *     *

The March (and September) of the Penguins…And speaking of which; after Penn State dispersed the Youngstown State Penguins 37-3 last week, those Y-Towners certainly got an up close and personal look at the machinations of the Nittany Lions. Do you think someone there at YSU will share their observations with Coach Tressel (long-time Head Coach of Youngstown) or the defensive thoughts with Coach Heacock, whose brother is the Head Coach now of the Penguins? Hmmmm….

*      *     *     *     *

Charlie Weis getting undressed (1) and other horrid thoughts…The Notre Dame bunch was exposed by Michigan last Saturday as the same slow bunch we pummeled in the Fiesta Bowl last season. And the greatest embarrassment in Notre Dame coaching history (2) now has a game to match.

This is a coach with Heisman pretender \"Tom\" Brady Quinn and a defense that was going to get faster over the winter just because, well…because Charlie willed it. Yet, there we were, with a minute to go in the first half, and the man-mountain genius had willed his offense to but 35 total yards and one first down. Boy, give the big tuna a week to prepare, eh?

I said at the beginning of the year that Notre Dame would lose three regular season games and that the false aura would dim toward darkness. Weis was 9-3 last year and is 2-1 this year. He is a lifetime 9-3 type coach. Sort of like Earle Bruce without being lovable.

He should re-read the fable of \"The Emperor's New Clothes\". It's not a pretty picture, that…

(1) A sodden thought – when Charlie dresses, does he put talcum powder on his belt, to keep his under-arms from chafing?

(2) Some would argue that Moeller High's Gary Faust was the most embarrassing. Others back the charisma-less reign of Dan Devine. I say that you have to combine the arrogance of Weis and his inability to fulfill those implied promises to reach the depths he will ultimately reach

*     *     *     *     *

Roughing up the refs…and other irritating thoughts that just won't go away. From where I was sitting at the Texas game, the bogus roughing-the-passer penalty against mean Jay Richardson for beating up poor little Colt McCoy was about as egregious of a call as I've seen in my many years of seeing the world through (admittedly) scarlet and gray glasses. But what do I know? (Insert joke here…). So, let's hear what other people had to say.

The first quote is from a Texas fan off of a Texas blog and he says, \"…I'm not sure what the refs could have possibly seen on the roughing the passer penalty. It wasn't late. If it was "helmet-to-helmet," that's even worse. Helmets touch at some point on nearly every tackle. Outside of Oklahoma, humans walk upright. Their heads generally touch at some point on a collision. It was actually great defense by Ohio State that gave Texas the ball 1st down near the goal line.\"

The next two observations were printed in the Dallas Morning News. Observation One: "Texas would answer but only with the help of the officials...Ohio State's Jay Richardson was called for roughing the passer when it appeared Richardson did nothing but tackle McCoy as he released the pass."

Observation Two: "Texas spent more than seven minutes on its only touchdown. Got a little help in the red zone, too, when the Buckeyes' 6-6 Jay Richardson slammed into McCoy and apparently was flagged for being too tall."

I liked that – flagged for being too tall. The refs should be flagged and flogged; made worse by the fact that they were Big Ten officials…

*     *     *     *     *

The eyes of Ohio are upon you…I received a lot of hate e-mail last week after I asked some cynical and pointed rhetorical questions about that old pot-boiler, \"The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You\". OK, maybe I was coarse and insensitive (a precedent for this space), but I did my best to remediate relations by answering most of the nasty return mail. My favorite response to my response came from Jeff Fowler and was as follows:

\"Nah. Just prickin' ya. My poor attempt at Yankee humor.

FWIW, the song was penned back in the 20's or 30's to poke fun at a stuffy school president who had the temerity to tell an assembled student body that they must behave themselves properly at all times, because "the eyes of Texas are upon you." The song you heard was penned to poke fun at the sanctimonious jackass. Somehow, the silly ditty became so popular that people started singing it at the games and now, like our band's goofy Roy Rogers outfits, has become a beloved theme. Singing "the Eyes" is as much a part of Texas tradition as dotting the eye on the script "Ohio" at halftime is to tOSU lore.

Seriously, we greatly enjoyed having y'all down. I hope that you'll lobby your AD to schedule another series with Texas. I suspect that we'll be treated better the next time we go to Columbus, and playing a great program with fans like yours makes for a vastly more interesting early season than games with 3 paycheck foes and a BCS cellar dweller.

Best of luck the rest of the season. With anything but bad luck, I expect you guys to win the MNC this year.\"

I have said it before and I'll say it again (also not a precedent…), these Texas fans are almost too nice…

*     *     *     *    *

Corners on the market…As my long-running series of examining, position-by-position, the Buckeye lineup (and assessing recruiting ramifications) comes wheezing and stumbling to an end, we are brought to the embarrassment of riches we know as the cornerback position.

It would not be factually far off to say that three of the best four corners right now for the Buckeyes are either freshmen or red-shirt freshmen. By name, that would be Kurt Coleman, Andre Amos and Donald Washington. The fourth? I nominate starter and sophomore Malcolm Jenkins. Yes, there is former walk-on and over-achiever Antonio Smith but this is his fifth year and he will yield to the youngsters by year-end, I believe.

Who else is in the pack of corners? Shaun Lane is still considered a cornerback and is still considered a sophomore. Brandon Underwood is still considering a \"comeback\". And a better consideration is oft-overlooked Chimdi Chekwa, a true freshman, red-shirting this season.

So they are locked and loaded, young and restless? Does that stop OSU from going after even more super talent? Of course not! Already signed on for next season is the extremely fast Donnie Evege and the multi-talented and athletic Devon Torrence, both of whom have limitless potential. Torrence, of course, could still opt to play major league baseball. So does that stop them from searching the nation for corner talent? Of course not…

The Buckeyes are still looking at five-star type players. Why? Because you always look at five-star type players. The top name on that list is probably Eric Berry from Georgia or maybe Ronald Johnson from Michigan, perhaps the top two uncommitted corners in the entire nation. It would be greedy to hope for both, but that's the kind of fans we are. There is still some discussion, as well, about Donovan Warren from California and James Scott from Florida. Just for the record…

*     *     *     *

One was over-served, one just got passed over…Here's a quote that should make the blood boil even if you used to swoon at the sight of Matthew McConaughey:

"A very good team is coming to our house and wants to steal something that we own . . . a national championship . . . when the University of Texas Longhorns play for the love of his brother lining up next to him, for the pride of giving his personal best every down, for the honor of every grandparent that could AND could not be at the game, the final whistle will blow and we will be victorious . . . the wannabe thieves will be sent home hurting, humbled, and with a respect for our character."
--Matthew McConaughey,  before Saturday's Buckeyes-Longhorns game.

Great, now I can't go to Matthew McConaughey or Mel Gibson movies…

*      *     *     *     *

The search for other Weapons of Offensive Destruction…With all of the weapons the Buckeyes have shown in the first three games, it's almost noteworthy to consider those weapons that are just coming out of hiding. Maybe they don't exist; maybe they are simply yet to be exhibited. Some on this list were utilized for the first time this past Saturday. We can all make our own lists. Feel free to add to the one below:

1) Swing pass to the backs

2) Screen pass

3) Use the fullback

4) Roy Hall

5) Chris Wells running downhill

6) Ray Small

7) The tight end catching a pass by design

8) Option plays

9) Trapasso running the ball (he was a running back in high school, you know…)

10) Pettrey passing the ball (he was a quarterback in high school, you know…)

11) Troy Smith running the ball!

*     *     *     *

The ever-shifting middle class…At one point, OSU had middle linebackers stacked up like cord wood. First, there was \"the next Kat\", Mike D'Andrea. And they had to get him through school fast because Chad Hoobler was right behind him. Just in case, they had John Kerr as a back-up and there was always Austin Spitler and…

Well, from the old \"Man plans and God laughs\" school of thought, none of that scenario worked out. They now have \"Son of Animal\" (James Laurinaitis) and JUCO transfer (Larry Grant) as the two middle linebackers. And what does JL do in just his second game at that position? Becomes the Big Ten and national defensive player of the week. Now they just have to get Ross Homan comfortable and get Marcus Freeman motoring. But, man, in the middle – they do have a man in the middle!

*     *     *     *     *

Somebody has to keep track of stuff like this…And following up on the previous bullet point, from the Bucknuts premium message board, talking about tracking the linebackers in the Texas game -  from fellow friend/fiend BUCXS:

The Buckeyes were in nickle (5 DBs) 44 out of 65 plays in the game on defense.

14 out of 29 times in the first half
30 out of 36 in the 2nd half

44/65 for the game

The standard nickel package was Freeman, Laurinaitis, A. Smith (nickel)

This nickel group played most of the game together. Homan was sub'd in for Freeman once.

On the last series, Grant replaced Laurinaitis and Homan replace Freeman 5 times before Lauriniatis came back in for Grant on the final three plays.

The Buckeyes were in base 4-3 15 out of 29 times in the first half. This was almost always Homan, Laurinaitis, Terry. Freeman was in base defense only three times during the game. Kerr was in base defense four times during the game.Laurinaitis played in all but 5 defensive plays in the game (again final series).

Total Plays:
Laurinaitis = 60
Freeman = 44
Homan = 21
Terry = 16
Grant = 5
Kerr = 4

From looking at the film, OSU believes that Laurinaitis and Homan are their best base linebackers while Freeman is their best choice while in nickel. Terry and Freeman are inter-changeable in the 4 -3 with Terry playing more to save Freeman for nickel situations.

Tackles....

Laurinaitis = 10 + 3 = 13 13tackles /60 plays= 0.216 tackles/play
Homan = 2 + 2 = 4 4/21 = 0.19
Freeman = 2 + 1 = 3 3/44 = 0.068
Terry 1 + 1 = 2 2/16 = 0.125
Grant = 1 + 0 = 1 1/5 = 0.200
Kerr = 0 + 0 = 0 0/4= 0.00

It is the Bucknuts credo: too much is never enough (or was it \"I like what I have so much, I want more\"?)

*     *     *     *     *

One final middle earth thought…So who is the best middle linebacker in the nation according to the expert's expert, Mel Kiper? That would be Buster Davis, the effervescent Florida kid who wanted to come to Ohio State (but they didn't save enough letters of intent), then wanted to transfer here after his first year at Florida State (but they didn't want him at that point…). Funny how that one defensive position has turned out and a real morality play for those of us that think we can predict the future at any position.

*     *     *     *     *

Just how young were they, Johnny?...If all plays out the way God intends it, OSU will run the table and win the National Championship. And, if so, you will be telling your grandchildren that they did it with a very young group in the \"back seven\".

Just how young? Three of your top four corners are freshmen by eligibility (Washington, Amos and Coleman). Three of your top four safeties are either freshmen or sophomores (O'Neal, Patterson and Russell). And – arguably – your top three linebackers are either freshmen or sophomores (Laurinaitis, Homan and Freeman). Even on the D-line, three of the top four defensive ends are either freshmen or sophomores! That's Gholston, Wilson and Rose.

In the end, it's not \"just how young were they?\" but much more \"just how worthy\"…

*     *     *     *

Four of the last five games…We shouldn't be looking ahead even past Penn State (yet alone Iowa and MSU and the rest of those pretenders…) but it stood out to this hack just how bad a week that four of our last five opponents had the week the Buckeyes were spanking those Texans. On Saturday September 9 from Steve Helwagen's comments in his excellent \"Buckeye Grove\" article that week:

* Oct. 21, Indiana -- The Hoosiers nipped Ball State 24-23 in Muncie this past Saturday. OSU has not lost a game to Indiana since the late-1800s. (OK, it only seems like it's been that long.)

* Oct. 28, Minnesota -- The Gophers got a rude awakening with a 42-17 loss at Cal this past Saturday.

* Nov. 4, at Illinois -- The Illini got just as rude an awakening with a 33-0 loss at Rutgers this past Saturday.

* Nov. 11, at Northwestern  -- The Wildcats also got a rude awakening with a 34-17 home loss to Division I-AA New Hampshire

*     *     *     *

Finally, two thoughts on Coach Jim Tressel…

Thought One:  Coach T pretty much put the entire WHAC renovation together by himself and raised the money for it, as well. If that wasn't enough, he ensured that there was a \"Coach's Room\" which is a euphemism for a place that Coach Cooper and Coach Bruce could use as an office. Classy. Very classy. Might go a long way to Tressel becoming the first coach in 60 years not to end his career by getting fired at OSU. And even if he is fired, well…he will have an office.

Thought Two: Think JT isn't having fun with this team this year? 57 players in the first quarter against UT. In a huge game. Think that's good for recruiting? Yeah, I think so, too…

If you have thoughts, or you are just having as much fun this year as Jim Tressel and Mr. Bucknuts, you are encouraged to write down those thoughts and send them to Mr. B at MrBucknuts@yahoo.com



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