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Carmen Ohio

This year's offense can't help but be better and the defense more opportunistic.


My hunch is that as soon as the second half of the Cincinnati game, Justin Zwick will have us starting to forget Craig Krenzel. He can't help but be more accurate... and a healthy Lydell Ross and Brandon Joe will limit the decisions he'll have to make. I fully expect Lydell to have a tremendous senior season in line with what we saw from Eddie George and Jonathon Wells, and Brandon Joe to be an absolute stud as evidenced by his performance in last year's Fiesta Bowl. I can also envision Troy Smith used on special drives when we need a quick score. We should take heart in having a faster, more mobile line this year. Pass protection may be an issue early... the only area of the offense I see as a concern in the first two games. Consider that Bam Childress is due to break out, Roy Hall has bulked up without losing speed - if we can develop a passing scheme that utilizes quick throws, even the protection may not be an issue. Throw Louis Irizzary in the mix and you've got a potential juggernaut.


If you can have DT's that can occupy two linemen then your DE's are primed for success. Quinn Pitcock and David Patterson are animals! We might have a better front this year because of the mere energy from the "new" guys. With the sheer number of speed rushers we can platoon into a game we could possibly see more sacks this year, though the trade off could be more runners breaking through our first line of defense. But the linebacking corp of Anthony Schlegel, AJ Hawk and Bobby Carpenter backed up by Mike D'Andrea, John Kerr, Thomas Matthews and Marcus Freeman may seriously be the best ever assembled at Ohio State... in any combination of the three that includes one of the starters! I think we get better at field corner from a playmaking standpoint. Coach Tressel said EJ Underwood had the best skills of anybody he's ever seen at that position (Gamble included) and Ashton has been making plays all over the place. With the sheer speed and athleticism on that side of the ball - I think our defense will be a scoring threat!

Special Teams:

Turano can get the job done though Trepasso gives us more options given his running back experience. Protection has got to be better or we could end up looking like last year's early Michigan team. With Tressel at the helm I just can't see that happening. Field goals - Mike Nugent - nuff said. Likewise our return teams can ONLY get better.

I offer my opinion without even mentioning the incoming freshmen or any of our touted backups. If we fall it will be because of turnovers on offense and over-aggressiveness on D.

Guys... it will be a very good year.

I didn't mention Santonio Holmes because he's a given!
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One of the key tradeoffs this year will be the added ability of the slimmed-down O-line to pull vs. the possible dropoff in thier ability to run block. I see Tressel using a two man backfield with Ross/Pittman going outside and Joe running between the tackles. That should maximize the talents that our runners possess.

Guilford and M. Hall will see very little if any action in the backfield unless there is an injury and or Haw/Pittman redshirts. I along with the coaching staff have little confidence in Ross' ability to remain healthy through a long and brutal season. Therefore I think Haw and Pittman play, one of them alot.

I also think it will be essential for Zwick to mix up the short passing game with occasional big gainers to Holmes anytime we are past the 40 yard line. Just like a good pitcher, we have to keep the defense off balance. This mixture worked very well in the Fiesta Bowl and we have the weapons to make this work.

I certainly hope that our new steams coach is confident in how to improve both kickoff and punt returns. Ginn is a great start to the problem but we should take an approach of earning several solid returns instead of hoping for TG to save the day with natural ability.

Am not sold on Roy Hall yet. Hope to be soon. LBs should be great and it is wonderful to have the depth that we do. Lots of inexperence in the secondary. Don't expect perfection back there. Teams will once again go for the 5 yard quick passing game and our defense must remain patient and make solid tackles.

Will we have the imagination to put Ginn at wide receiver and run an end around? (I suggest defenders who are not ticketed for the Athens Olympic Games to use extreme angles if you expect to cut him off).
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PQBuckeye, our O-line run-blocked oh so well last year. I can't see them being any worse than last year. I hope that between Lydell and maybe Mo Hall/a particular freshman who doesn't redshirt our run game hopefully will be much improved. As for Zwick at the helm, as I can't see troy Smith making the grade there, it should be a learning experience. I just hope he throws a better ball than Krenzel used to.

Now as far as our defense goes, we lost so much up front. I do see depth and talent there. Many of those guys had solid playing time last year. With the addition of Schlegel in the middle, Hawk should shine once again, and Carpenter will develop into one hell of a linebacker. I just hope Mike D'Andrea can get some playing time. As for our DB's, I can't see any of them bitting on as much shit as Gamble did. The depth and outstanding talent level there will leave at least 2 of them sitting on the pine when they would most assuredly play at most other D1 schools. But all of this is just my humble opinion and thoughts
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OFFENSE This area will look alot like last year but with better execution, the only thing missing the last two years from the o-line was a mean streak and I have to believe these young guys will get it done, they are all talented. The running back position will be just fine with Ross having a good year and Joe running over some helpless DBs all year. With the quicker offensive lineman, I have to believe they will try to get outside more and throw a few screens, look for more dumps to the backs and for Zwick to depend on the TE early in the year until he gets comfortable. The receivers will be solid with Holmes and Hall and Hollins in the mix. The "O" will still be ball control but probably a little bit more unpredictable based on the weapons they have. Key player is Zwick, it depends on how he handles the decision making.

DEFENSE The defense could be the fastest we have had in ten years and that is no joke! The D line will be stout with Frazier, Green, Pitock and probably Kudla, with a heavy rotation of the younger guys, we have to get Frost on the field, I think the line will be solid and apply enough pressure, the linebackers are the strength of the team and with Hawk, Carpenter and Schlegal, along with Kerr, D'Andrea and Mitchell (led the team in tackles both scrimmages). The secondary will be young but have Salley, Fox, Whitner and probably Yobouty, they can all run and they might be the best secondary in the big ten in my opinion. By the end of the year, this D will be better than last years.

SPECIAL TEAMS The kickoffs and field goals are not a problem with All-American Nugent there, the punting is a different story and is a very key position, I am not even going to guess who it will be but whoever it is HAS to average around 43 yards a key for us to win the field position battle that coach T loves. Our return teams have to get better, we are going to need good field position for that offense early in the season especially. I look for Ted Ginn to make an impact on the return teams.

INTANGIABLES The schedule is in our favor, the road to the big ten title runs through the shoe, we have a key game at Iowa that will be a test. The coaching staff will have us prepared.

OUTLOOK I see a 11-1 season with one loss in the big ten, but good enough for at least a share of the title, but unfortunately we will be screwed by the BCS polls and not get a shot at the Nat title and make your reservations for the Rose on New Years.

:bigten: :osu2: :osu3: :scum3: :drunks:
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O - So much depends on Zwick. Nothing against Smith, but I don't see him running the O on an 11-1 team. All the other pieces are there inlcuding a much better running game than last year. Irizarry adds a dimension that will be very difficult for other teams to handle and could clear space for some big gains by the RBs. I also think/hope folks are selling Mo Hall short. One year behind MC and Ross and the next year running on TWO bad knees. If he is healthy I would love to see him make Pittman the third option and let us move Joe back to FB - but with double knee surgery the chances are not good.

I am also encouraged by the coaching changes JT is making and the comments he has made - indicating he too sees need for change. If we finish in the lower half of the Big Ten in 3rd down conversions again I don't think I can take it. Especially without a proven punter.

D - Once Ginn sees the field this could be the fastest D we have ever seen. I am in love with our DL - just so many talented kids and most of them got some reps last season. David Patterson is going to make us forget all about Will Smith. Throughout the D there are no weaknesses and depth everywhere. If we don't stumble at NC St while the D is still inexperienced I look for us to run the schedule all the way to the Michigan game.

Special Teams - I have not seen anybody who makes me comfortable with the punt, but we have enough options somebody will emerge. The return game HAS to be better. Just too many speedsters. But I have been saying that for three years now.

My big concern is the schedule. While we are playing at Purdue and at MSU Michigan has a bye and IU. They had that kind of prep time last year and it clearly made a difference.
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I'm glad to see everybody's glass is half full here. I really have a good feeling about this years team. I think they are being set up to be one of the most domminating teams ever in a couple years. It'd be nice if they showed up a year early.
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