Bucknotes 11/15

Are the Buckeyes tipping their plays?

Purdue safety Stuart Schweigert says so. He said it was "obvious" if the Bucks were running or passing in their 10-6 win over the Boilermakers.

What does Jim Tressel think about all of this?

"I don't think our guys are really tipping," Tressel said. "I think your biggest tip-off to start with is what formation are you in and what percent of the time do you do what out of what. Sometimes, I suppose, an offensive lineman can tip-off by the amount of weight on his hand, or maybe leaning one way or the other if he's pulling, or you can see this or that. But really, a free safety, and I think that's the position of the kid that was making the comments plays, he's taught to look at the uncovered linemen and if the uncovered lineman shows pass, it's pass usually, or draw. But usually it's pass and when he doesn't, when his hat is down, usually it's run.

"What you try to do is in your play-action pass is to keep your hats down and then get them thinking that they've read what you're doing. So, I don't know, maybe he (Schweigert) was supposed to be in the deep middle on the last play of the game, I don't know. But I don't think that our guys tip-off that much."

Gotta love that not-so-subtle dig at Schweigert regarding the game-winning play. But, I'm glad Stu said what he said. If the Bucks were in fact tipping their plays, it's better that they know about it two weeks before the Michigan game and not a week after.

PRIME TIME INSULT?

Only in the world of Chris Gamble is this possible. Last week, some of Gamble's teammates were comparing him athletically to Deion Sanders. Gamble's reaction? Believe it or not, he was somewhat insulted.

"I don't like that comparison to Deion because I want to show people I can tackle," Gamble said. "Deion was a great player, but I want to be a complete player."

Wow. Some might consider Sanders the best cover cornerback/return man of all time, but Gamble isn't impressed. And why should he be? Prime Time never played 105 snaps in a single game like Gamble did last week. He also never tackled as well as Gamble.

GESS WHO?

Is running his mouth again. Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser said on Kirk Herbstreit's radio show this week that Ohio State wasn't the best team that Wassu has played this year (USC was) and that if the Cougars would have scored on the opening possession of the second half against OSU, they would have won.

Yeah, that's about right. And if the queen had... she'd be the king.

What was Gesser thinking? All they had to do was score on the opening possession of the second half and they would have won? Maybe true, but going 80 yards against the best defense in the country fresh off halftime adjustments wasn't going to happen.

It's too bad Gesser had to open his mouth again because I really like the way he plays on the field. He's a gutsy quarterback and I've been rooting for Cougs all year for obvious reasons. But it's just a little odd that he still hasn't come to grips with the 25-7 waxing the Bucks put on him. Maybe Darrion Scott hit him a little harder than we remember.

CAPITAL AID

Word is the new sport turf at Illinois' Memorial Stadium is hard to get used to for first-timers. Therefore, the Buckeyes held their Thursday practice at Capital University this week. The Crusaders also use the sport turf and it was a nice gesture to help out the cross-town Bucks.

NUGE STILL PERFECT

Mike Nugent's field goal at the end of the first half was unlike anything I've ever seen before in football. Buzzer-beaters are supposed to be for basketball, not football. Anyway, despite the fact that the Bucks never should have put the field goal unit in such a hurry-up mode, it was one of the most exciting kicks I can remember. And more importantly, it allowed the Nuge to remain a perfect 21-of-21 on the year.

TONED-DOWN PRACTICES

As the Buckeyes near the end of the regular season schedule, they've decided to cut back on the amount of hitting in practice. They usually hit on Wednesdays, but the bumps and bruises of a long season have forced Tressel to lighten up.

"We really haven't had any live contact in practice the last two or three weeks as far as tackling and taking guys to the ground and so forth. You know, we do a lot of hitting on Saturday and we've been doing it now, this will be our 12th Saturday, and guys are still sore until Wednesday or so and you hope come Saturday you are fresh, both your legs and just the way you feel. So, really we have scaled back," Tressel said.

CHEMISTRY CLICKED RIGHT AWAY

There is a lot of stock placed on team chemistry and the way players get along on and off the field. One of the reasons the Buckeyes are on the verge of something special this year is because they worked well with each other from the opening day of practice. Tressel said the upperclassmen went out of their way to welcome in the freshmen and things just kept rolling from there.

"It's been a good group to work with from day one. I was impressed with the way, around Aug. 1, when I saw how the new constituency meshed with the old guys. The old guys really welcomed them and started coaching them. Started working with them saying, 'Hey, we're going to need your help,' and from that time on I really felt like we had a chance because I felt like we had the right type of people. And if you have the right type of people and the ball bounces your way a little bit, you never know what can happen," Tressel said.

STAT SHEET

Here's how Ohio State stacks up stat-wise in the Big Ten with two weeks left...

The Bucks are No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense at 12.2 points per game; No. 1 in total defense at 308.8 yards per game; No. 3 in scoring offense at 31.1 points per game and No. 7 in total offense at 386.5 yards per game.

Obviously we'd all like to see some more production from the offense, but that 12.2 ppg from the defense is a very impressive number.


Contact Dave at sports@madison-press.com


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