Paragraphs of the day, Homer Smith/Ohio State/Ross Fulton edition

From Ross’s great analysis of Ohio State’s offense (and the lack thereof) at Along the Olentangy:

Every primary backfield action needs to threaten all 11 defenders. What a primary play needs is good counter plays. Every defender needs to be worried about the ball coming to his area – on a throwback screen, a reverse, a play-action pass, or whatever – as a play begins.

What makes a defender good is something to read. If he can say to himself something like, “As soon as that quarterback makes that half-assed fake, I’m going to find the tightend coming across and try to get an interception,” if he can read initially and react accurately, he can play over his head. Counters, not mirrored primary plays, keep defenders from reading and jumping on plays.

The quote is of course from the great Homer Smith. Read all of Ross’s analysis here.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent analysis of Ohio State’s offense.

    People talk about this being a year of transition for Ohio State. At this rate, it will be a year of regression for their freshman quarterback, Braxton Miller, who is expected to lead the program back to greatness in a few years.

    It’s a shame. Miller appears to be fairly talented. Too bad the coaches failed to put him in a position to succeed. They didn’t even give him a fighting chance. As a result, Miller’s body and confidence will take more punishment than is typical.

    The (rightful) absence of Tressel likely is part of the problem. But even he was slow to develop the counters that the author describes as woefully lacking now.

    The best of Tressel’s offenses relied heavily on the athleticism of Pryor and Troy Smith. In terms of scheme, they were far from special. Urban Meyer and Florida exposed the best of Tressel’s offenses for what it was — a very talented Big Ten offense that was short on sophistication.

    Nor were any of Tressel’s offensive lines as good as 3 or 4 of Wisconsins line’s in the last 12 years or a 2-3 of Penn State’s offensive lines.I do think, however, the Michigan State game was a perfect storm. Not only did see a true freshman QB who never had started and a head coach who’s never been a head coach, the team lost its best blocker, best back and best WR to suspension, and the opponent was coached by a man whose expertise is defense, and who used to be Ohio State’s DC and, IIRC, knows well the tendencies of Ohio State’s none-too-savvy OC.

  • Dave Von Derau

    Your points are well taken.  I agree with all of them.  Braxton Miller is talented but he is 18 years old playing in front of 100,00+ fans with a limited play book.  You’ve got to give him a chance to produce!  Stretch the field out.  Other teams are not going to hesitate to come after him.  Our coaching staff acted like it was the first time they had seen a blitz.  They better prepare for stronger defenses that will be charging hard and crashing down because it’s not going to get easier.  There is nothing wrong with our backfield or for that matter with our offensive line.  But with no imagination from the coaching staff……..upcoming Saturdays will be tough to take.
    Dave  (ELK PRIDE!)