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Number one concern for the Iowa game


Serenity now
For me, it's the middle linebacker. Much like Wisky, Iowa will not give up on the run. Fred Russell is 2nd in the Big Ten in rushing. They'll keep pounding away at us. I doubt OSU will play much nickle.

Pagac hardly played against Wisky, and D'Andrea wasn't in all that much either. It was Reynolds that was playing MIKE for a good amount of plays. It's pretty clear how much confidence the staff has in Pagac and MDA at this point. Neither is getting the job done. Without Reynolds, our LBers are fairly thin. I doubt we see Bond or Matthews subbing for Carpenter or Hawk. I'm worried about having Pagac & D'Andrea in the middle the entire game.
The MIKE position is a big concern but so is the OL. They got beat at the point of attack pretty much all night Saturday. Either way I am concerened a little bit but not too awful much but it is going to be a tough one. I will also say that I am a little less concerened about this because of the loss. To me it would seem that they are more focused now than they might have been.
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I would too, but neither one has exactly lit the world on fire. I gave up on Pagac a long time ago. I think D'Andrea may have to find a new position next year; between Schlegel and Kerr, I don't see how D'Andrea would get any time in the middle.
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I like Pug alot, the kid is a plugger and he's always giving his all... with that said he got crushed on several plays (kind of like he was a grape, and the OLine/FB was a mack truck) that just took him out of the play...

The OLine has been suspect for several years now... the MIKE is a new concern of mine.

I still think the bucks will make a statement on Sat. I will be surprised if we don't come out and just put it to Iowa...
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It's been said before but I would love to take D'Andrea's physical skills and Pagac's knowledge of the defense and combine the two. I still think D'Andrea will be a good player at Ohio State be it at the Mike or DE. I'd rather see #5 get most of the PT from here on out. I just dont think Junior has the physical tools to be an effective MLB in the Big Ten.
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The funny thing is that this is the second year in a row that Wisconsin's fullback has taken OSU's middle linebacker out of the game.

Last year, it was Wilhelm getting handled by the iso blocks. This year, Pagac.

I wish to God that OSU had a fullback like Wisconsin seems to have every year.

- Rip
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I thought MDA played a terrific game today. When he was in, he was making his presence felt. Would love to think that maybe this is where he starts to turn it on, if the kid can just put it all together, our LB corps is going to just be *sick* the next few years. Hell, it's sick (good sick) now.

All in all, it was a fun game to watch. People don't seem to realize we're running a more balanced offense now, it's just that we're not running it effectively. Today I actually thought Craig was just plain off, I found myself hoping McMullen, Zwick and/or Smith would see time -- but we got the win, so I guess I'm glad they didn't. Obviously we have no running game to speak of, but I like what Ira G. is showing. I thought the OL was a noticeable upgrade without Bishop. Feel bad saying it, but they just seemed better, and against a damn good D too.

Anyway, I was going to make some comments elsewhere, but the whinefest is in full tilt.

Rip said elsewhere that if we can find an offense, we're unstoppable. I couldn't agree more. Oklahoma *may* have a better D, but I wouldn't trade ours for any other. I don't buy that Purdue's is better. We'll see. Our STs are just plain awesome, or at least they were today. Credit to BJ Shankers (woops, SANDERS), he's totally destroyed that old nickname that people loved so much, and has turned into nearly as effective a weapon as Andy Groom. Nuge is still Nuge. We'll really miss him when he goes. Most teams are happy to have a good kicker, few get to relax behind great kickers.

Anyway, enough rambling.

No, not enough -- how comical is Big Ten officiating these days? Someone needs to mail those remedial fools (all of them) pictures of what holding looks like.
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Excellent analysis
I didn't get to watch the game here in the southwest but listened to a sizeable portion of it. I really DO like our offense but we just don't seem to be executing it very well. I'm still excited about this year but more excited about next year when we'll have a accurate passer back there plus more MLB that are studs than you can shake a stick at.

I hear you on the whining. Anymore I just go there and find myself at the General Board more than any other.
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I will definitely say that I was more impressed with both D'Andrea & Pagac than I've been the last two years. Pagac finally seemed to avoid getting lost in the DL and made some nice lateral reads and cut off a couple runs. He also recovered one of Iowa's fumbles. D'Andrea's instincts also seemed much better yesterday. I've seen improvements, albeits small one, and I still think he can be an effective LB'er.

if the kid can just put it all together, our LB corps is going to just be *sick* the next few years.
IMO, our LB corps will be absolutely sick with or without D'Andrea playing a significant role. Hawk thinks Schlegel's ball instincts are even better than his own... that's saying something. There will probably not be a better starting three than that of Carpenter, Schlegel, and Hawk. Not to mention they'll all be back for 2005, along with D'Andrea, Kerr, Freeman, and whoever else.

Next year I think our LB group will finally be on the same level as the DL has been the last two years... rotating two at every position, dominating the field, reloading every year.
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Mostly, that statement comes from imagining guys with prodigal talent like D'Andrea, Kerr, Carpenter, Smith, etc. actually having to be backups. I mean, it's almost funny to think about. If Hawk and Schlegel are givens to start next year (Schlegel being the only leap there), then 3 of those other guys will be at least 2 deep.

That's comical to me. That's also ignoring guys like White and Arden who may or may not have found other positional homes. And ignoring any incoming frosh talent.

We're gluttons at LB, and I love it.
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