As usual, I am off to Ohio Stadium to watch our beloved Buckeyes battle the tunnel diggers. Check out the preview for the game, and then you can digest the following thoughts, analysis, and musings to get the conversation started.
1) Listen, I could talk ad nauseam about the scoreboard profanities, the insidious “First Down” cheer, the brand new “Hang on Sloopy” tradition, or the goofy/horrific booster awareness ads that are so horrible they belie the parody the wish to achieve. I won’t mention the sinister bobble head races or the rawk music pumped in on kickoffs. I don’t even have time to talk about the lack of statistics. But, I digress.
2) Thad Gibson (enter stage right): He looks the part, but then again so does Curtis Terry and he went from starting linebacker to starting fullback to having two positions to basically not playing at all. I cannot decide what effect this new lineup will have considering the coaches used to boast about playing so many guys that it did not matter who started. Are we going to see fewer players rotating in and out?Are they only going to sub one at a time instead of wholesale line changes. Something to keep an eye on.
3) Speaking of the defense; I think it has been better than it is getting credit for. Still, there is no doubt that it is not as dominant as predicted. I wonder if all the shuffling along the defense line coupled with the suspensions and injuries in the secondary has disrupted their consistency in practice.
4) Against Troy, Brandon Smith caught two passes and Rory Nicol caught one for a touchdown. That is 30-percent Pryor’s completions. If you include the running backs, 6 passes were caught by non-WRs. With Pryor’s running ability you have to believe that the pass catchers playing close to the line will benefit on scramble plays. When the pocket breaks down look for Pryor to roll out and quickly hit one of those outlet guys.
5) Am I the only one who wants to see more Donald Washington? Hines has been great in the nickel package but I would love to see three corners playing in that package instead of two. Hines can stay in there replacing Anderson Russell, who I barely notice on the field. Corners are some of the most coveted defensive players and the Buckeyes have three really good ones. I want them on the field as much as possible.