1. With the way things have gone for Ohio State in recent high-profile games, do you expect the coaching staff to open things (i.e., press coverage, blitz, more unique offensive packages) or do you think they will lean heavily on Tresselball (i.e., the punt is the most important play in football)?
P: Let’s just say that if one wheel route to Brandon Saine is opening it up, I may turn off the TV. Yes, it worked in the game against LSU, and I’m all for that, but LSU wasn’t exactly confused the rest of the game. I don’t think the principles of Tresselball and “opening it up” are mutually exclusive. For the USC game, they have to open it up.
With all I’ve been told about special players and special formations, I expect it to be unleashed against USC. With as ‘conservative’ as Tressel has been labeled, he did try a fake field goal at the beginning of the 2002 championship, unleashes it on Michigan yearly, went for a 4th and 2 against Florida, and let Todd bomb away on LSU. The pistol, the pony, the read-option, the motion, the reverses, the 5 wide sets, the receivers out of the backfield, the screens, and Brandon Saine as a wide receiver have to happen sometime.
More important, the defense has to do something different. Maybe it’s all been a big setup for the USC. OSU has let Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and LSU pick them apart just to switch over to an aggressive defense against USC. Maybe not, probably not. But Coach Heacock, it’s not working. You are the guru, I am not. Fan comments such as “play man, play man” and “blitz everyone” are not the solutions I’d take, but I feel you might want to play some high risk, high reward defense sometime. USC is going to be out there trying to bring the pain, and Ohio State might want to do the same. Jim Heacock is going to be a man on an island if OSU can’t stop the USC attack. People will tune in to see Ohio State get their clocked cleaned, but maybe if you can unleash the Silver Bullets, it will be the Trojans falling.
Now is a better time then never.
M: God, I hope so. I think a half back pass is definitely in the works. Psyche! Has Tressel ever done that? The Trojans are good candidates for tricks plays because they are so fast but I do not expect a double flea flicker.
On offense, I think we see plenty of Tresselball. And, I am okay with that. On defense, however, I think the staff has to show some belief in those eleven guys with blitzes and aggressive coverage schemes. If they let Sanchez sit back there and sling it, the game is over. I would love to see blitz packages from the Nickel defense. I love the blitzes where the DE drops into the flat and they bring a cornerback or outside linebacker. They do not need to be crazy, but I would not mind seeing an extra guy coming every other play.
2. Do you have any gameday traditions or superstitions?
P: I can barely function as a human being I have so many. When I was on campus, every home game required an early morning pre-game. As I’ve grown up (trust me, not that old), my need for something to do on gamedays has devolved into superstitions. I used to religiously watch “College Gameday” on ESPN, but I’ve grown tired of the SEC fluffing (low-lighted by last week’s Watch Tim Tebow Work Out). Plus, I’m not in college (I wanna go back, I gotta go back), so the drinking doesn’t begin at 8am. That’s only weekdays.
I’ve been sporting the same Brutus Buckeye T-shirt EVERY game since the 2005 Texas game. Sure, it might be a little small. I’d glady give up the shirt for a #2 Buckeye jersey (donations welcome). Then throughout the 2006 and 2007 season, every game I watched at my house, the Buckeyes won. When I didn’t watch the game at my house? Florida and Illinois. So needless to say, the hatches were battened down and I made sure I was at the house for the LSU game. Yea, so that didn’t work. But I blame it on wearing a Buckeye undershirt under the Brutus shirt. That cancels out, didn’t you know?
M: I wear the same red shirt and red shoes. Mostly, I just wanted to see what Poe would say.
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