It was very interesting/encouraging that Jim Tressel and Craig Krenzel said after the Texas Tech game that the offensive game-plan was to "spread 'em out and throw it." They thought that the Red Raiders would be expecting the run and wanted to surprise them... This is a good sign for a couple of reasons: 1. The Bucks can dominate with the running game, even when it's not the gameplan, and 2. Tressel has enough confidence in Krenzel, the receivers and the offensive line to construct a pass-happy gameplan in the first place.
Recently, Tressel has told us that we're going to see a lot of multiple receivers and split tailbacks this year and that is sure to make the Bucks faster and more explosive on offense. They are still going to be a smash-mouth running team first, but you can almost hear the offensive minds of Tressel and Jim Bollman beginning to expand.
CLARETT'S NOT IMPRESSED
Well, everyone else is. But, as a Buckeye fan, I think I'm more proud of the way he's handling the success than I am of the success itself. How can you rush for 175 yards and three TDs in your first game without being a little bit cocky about it? Where is the Maurice Clarett who said things like this prior to his senior (half) year in high school: "They already have my name on that Mr. Football award, I just need to go down there and pick it up."
Oh well, stay grounded Reese. You'll need to be with all the attention you're going to receive this year. And next. And probably just one more after that.
OSU vs. WSU
Looking more and more like it will be a battle of top 7 teams. How fortunate is it that both of the big out of conference games are at home? It makes up for the fact that there's no night games... almost.
Potential to be a great punt return tandem. Will Tress keep doing it like this? (rotating them)... You also have to love Mo Hall returning kicks. He's going to break one or two this year.
The first thing you think about when you begin to get excited about the Buckeye offensive line is: "Texas Tech's defense was a pillow, don't get ahead of yourself." But, I really think this is a solid group. If you run an unbalanced line successfully (like the Bucks did several times against Tech), that means you are deep. It's hard to play six good linemen at once without six good linemen on your team. Now, an injury to any one of the top six and the Bucks would be in trouble, but the way it stands now, the line is deep and there's a lot to be excited about. Ivan Douglas will play in the NFL someday. Mike Stafford is the story of the year. Alex Stepanovich will be a better center than LeCharles Bentley by next season (Bentley's best position was always guard, he would have been an all-American there as well; never understood why Bentley played center when he couldn't snap the ball in a shotgun). Bryce Bishop is living up to the accolades that he had coming out of high school. He is big and athletic and seems to have the system down. Shane Olivea is the resident tough-guy of the group. He looks like he just stepped off the set of "The Sopranos." (You talkin' to me Aaron Hunt?) And it's good to see that Big Shane is nearly back to 100 percent from that broken ankle. Finally, we have Adrien Clarke. He has taken some flack for allowing himself to get out of shape, but is there a better "sixth-man" in the Big Ten? Or a bigger one? This guy is a two-year starter who is going to produce as the season goes on if he can stay injury free. As much as I like the idea of three/four receiver sets, I also like the idea of running that six-man unbalanced line from time to time, just so the defenses won't know what to expect.
OFFENSIVE LINE 7-10 GUYS?
We're looking at Rob Sims, Nick Mangold, Adam Olds and Andree Tyree. Tyree is back working at guard now that Mangold has locked down the backup center job. The coaches must want to redshirt Doug Datish, which has to be considered a big surprise. Most expected him to crack the two-deep. The roster says that Ryan Cook is still on the team, but I swear it's a misprint.
Relentless. One of nation's best. Great six-man rotation (which will grow to eight if Marcus Green and Joel Penton come on).
Did anyone think Pagac was actually going to start? Wilhelm is a force. Still surprised he wasn't one of the captains. His teammates must prefer Donnie Nickey's cool, soft-spoken personality over Wilhelm's talk-your-ear-off mode. But I still think he's a natural leader who's headed for a huge year.
Excellent game plan. Van Morrison might have called it "Fantabulous."
Best O-Line coach in the country?
I'm guilty of gushing about D'Andrea, others think Carpenter is the man. But is Hawk the best of the bunch? He got the pseudo-knockout blow on Kingsbury and the coaches seem to talk more about him than the other two... It's just nice having all three around.
Solid. Looks like he's too thin to tackle, but always gets the guy down. McNutt better step up, or he'll step-down to second-string. Underwood and Jacobs are breathing down his neck. The corners are going to have games when they get burned, just hopefully not many. Good to see Fox get off to a fast start. (See him crack that guy on the overthrow?)
More than solid. Should consider changing his last name to B-O-O-M.
CARTER/BAM TYPICAL 4/5 RECEIVERS?
Not exactly. I would say they are well above your average No. 4 and 5 guys (in that order)... And what is going on with Bam? He looks great in practice, but doesn't get the game time. It might take a big game against a lesser opponent (like Kent) for Bam to get his chances in a game like Washington State.
Openly campaigned on his radio show this week to get ESPN's College GameDay in Columbus for the WSU game (Sept. 14). Herbie actually called the executive producer of GameDay and had him on live. The guy basically promised that if the Buckeyes/Cougars was the only top 10 vs. top 10 game that week, the show would be in town. He mentioned that there are a lot of good games that day, but the top two they are considering right now are OSU/WSU and Florida State/Maryland (in no particular order).