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[font=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]9. Ohio State[/font]
Last Season: 11-2 (6-2 Big Ten)
Hard to believe, but people are actually talking about football at Ohio State these days. No more debate about the kid who wore No.13 and generated two years of nonstop questions. Maurice Clarett is gone for good. "Now we can just focus on football," says CB Dustin Fox. Most of that focus has been on the post-Mo, post-Craig Krenzel offense. Jim Tressel expects to revive the nation's No.84 rushing offense (126.1 ypg) with a healthy Lydell Ross, freshman blur Tony Pittman (105 yards in the spring game) and a slimmed-down FB Branden Joe (down from 257 pounds to 235). Sophomore QB Justin Zwick, a consensus All-Ohio pick who threw for 10,500 yards at Massillon Washington HS, should replace Krenzel. After Tressel implemented a no-scramble policy for this year's spring game, Zwick excelled with a Krenzelesque 16-for-26, 165-yard day. Versatile sophomore Troy Smith, a WR last year, will compete with Zwick, but don't bet against the 2001 co-Offensive Player of the Year in Ohio. The co? Don't ask. –J.W.

<!---------------------INLINE TABLE (BEGIN)---------------------> <table cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" border="0" width="200" align="right" id="inlinetable"> <tbody><tr><th colspan="1" style="background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><center>Ohio State schedule</center></th> </tr><tr valign="top" style="background-color: rgb(236, 236, 236);"> <td width="184"> 09|04 Cincinnati
09|11 Marshall
09|18 at NC State
10|02 at Northwestern
10|09 Wisconsin
10|16 at Iowa
10|23 Indiana
10|30 Penn State
11|06 at Michigan State
11|13 at Purdue
11|20 Michigan </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!---------------------INLINE TABLE (END)--------------------->

The Edge
Transfer MLBs Anthony Schlegel and John Kerr sat out last season, and gave the first-team offense headaches as scout-teamers. In 2002, Schlegel left Air Force as an All-MWC sophomore, and Kerr transferred from Indiana after a 114-tackle freshman year. Both were outstanding this spring; Schlegel should start with Kerr backing him up. Now it's the Big Ten that'll need the aspirin. Donnan Takes The Edge Off
"They see power football every day at practice, so don't expect to outmuscle them. Instead, throw misdirections and counters at their defense. Complete passes and pick away at the defense. Base play-action passes off your best running plays to keep their LBs confused, and test their CBs, Fox and E.J. Underwood, deep at least once a quarter. Some West Coast-type offenses, like NC State's, have enough protection to burn the Buckeyes on underneath routes. When you do have to punt early in the game, have your best fake ready."

For Argument's Sake
Can Ohio State go controversy free?

Gene: If Tressel gets his way (he usually does), this team will be as bland as his sweater vest. only possible controversy: a QB decision if Zwick scuffles.

Ivan: If you define controversy as how Buckeye fans grumble about going 8-3, then there will be controversy. This team is built for 2005.

he was talking about the other teams strategy against us, although i may be confused. If i was playing against our D i would take the 5-7 yard down field passes that our soft corners give up (slants, hitches, short outs) ocasionaly go downfield, but only on skinny posts and bench cuts that our secondary cant react to. I would resist the temptation to throw bubble screens bc in the 2 seconds the ball is in the air Hawk and company usually close on the ball. Running the ball? only draws and load option, true option where our DE beats up the QB is suicidal.
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Ivan may be an idiot, but in a way he is right. IMO 10-2 would be a dissapointment this year, but think how nasty tOSU will be next year. The only bummer will be losing Fox, Nuge, Fraser, and Joe (not necessarily in that order) and it will help if Houston gets his medical redshirt.
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JimOtis, I love the LB quote about play-action. If you hadn't spelled ogre wrong, I'd have to put that as a signature or something. :biggrin: As for Chris Perry, the DL was exhausted for that game, and it was basically just an aberration. Wisky got over 100 yards against us as well, but I think with a true MLB this year, we'll be even better against the run. I wish they would've moved RR there earlier and gotten Carp on the field earlier at OLB.
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Chris Perry did nothing to earn the yards he got against the Bucks. We gave way too much respect to Michigan's offense as a whole unit and the manifestation of that resulted in a complete defensive failure. I don't remember Perry making any incredible moves that game, but rather making the simple decision to run through gaping holes. Last season, USC's defense was not better than ours, but they executed much better against Michigan than we did.

When you play prevent defense the entire game, a running back will rack up yards.
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Re: Mi. game

Tend to agree that our LBs weren't up to snuff in this game.

DL seemed flat, like all they had to do was show up.

DBs didn't wrap.

These mistakes will not be repeated this year.

Offense actually didn't look too bad. Looked like Tressel could turn them on when he had to and loyalty allowed CK back onto the field when perhaps it shouldn't have, but that's just Monday Morning Quarterbacking. When do you tell your Fiesta Bowl/National Champion Leader/Brainiac/Clutch MVP QB he's got to ride pine versus his homestate arch rival? Only if you KNOW he's not up to task.

Mostly- I still blame the LBs.
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