Baver’s Buckeye Bag 11/19/14
Gopher game thoughts, moving forward, and misc…
--Fans need to get lay off Jalin Marshall. The kid made some mistakes, but it’s NOT time to sh*tcan him as the punt return and the idiots that degraded him on Twitter are just that - idiots. Absolutely embarrassing (….the Twitter idiots, not Marshall). Marshall will bounce back and his future at Ohio State looks as bright as ever.
--The Minny game wasn’t too surprising. I guess the only thing that surprised me was the Buckeye rush defense. David Cobb is a very good back, but 145 yards & 3 TD’s at 5.4 yards a pop? Shouldn’t have happened. The Buckeyes defense is going to have to play better or they will not beat a playoff team, should they get there. But the 7-point margin of victory? Not the end of the world. The Bucks beat the Gophers more soundly than the score indicated, and the weather conditions certainly did not favor Ohio State.
-- Joey Bosa. What can you say that hasn’t been said already? How many plays did Bosa disrupt that you didn’t even see in the stats?
--Is there anything not to love about JT Barrett?
--Things could obviously change (as stranger things have happened) but it’s looking like the Bucks and Badgers in the B1G title game. My biggest fear is a worn down OSU defensive line having to face Melvin Gordon and Wisconsin’s O-line. That will be the Bucks 8th straight game since their last bye week, and it’s been the starting four D-linemen going most of the way every game. I am not sure why the backup DT’s have not emerged to contribute more. The lack of depth at DE has been well documented, though. The Bucks have played against two very good TB’s the last two weeks that combined for 282 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry between them. And Wisconsin’s power running game is an upgrade over the last two rushing attacks the Bucks have faced.
-- If Ohio State beats a 10-2 Badger team to go 12-1, that will carry some weight with the playoff committee. Wisconsin has pulled things together nicely and a victory by the Bucks over the Badgers would look far better than TCU’s (likely) victory over Iowa State that same day. And TCU’s game at Texas will not be easy. With the Bucks passing Baylor in this week’s committee poll, it tells me that a 13-1 Buckeye team will not have to worry about Baylor being ahead of them. Of course there are many other games that factor in as well, so things could play out many different ways. But it looks like the Bucks are in the playoff “if” they win out.
--The Game is a week and a half away. Am I overlooking Indiana? Yes, and rightfully so. As far as The Game, we’ve seen the Buckeyes lose as a 17-point favorite, and the spread should be around 17 for this one. One last chance for Brady Hoke. Last year, Michigan took a lot out of Ohio State prior to the Big Ten title game, and you can argue that UM should have won the game. Probably won’t be the same story this year, but as I said above, stranger things have certainly happened.
Hoosier Daddy – The Michigan tune-up
How did Indiana beat Missouri at Missouri? Not that the Tigers are all that, but this is a very bad Indiana football team. Purdue, power ranking wise, is probably a touchdown better than Indiana. That should tell you most of what you need to know about Indiana. What looked like a program on the rise under Kevin Wilson looks worse than bad right now. They are winless in the Big Ten (0-6) losing by an average of 23 points per game.
The one bright spot for the Hoosiers has been tailback Tevin Coleman, who has rushed for 1,678 yards & 12 TD’s, while averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Hard to reconcile how good Coleman has been with how bad Indiana has been overall. As far as the top B1G defenses Coleman has faced, he was held to 71 yards and 3.5 ypc against Penn State, but ran for 132 yards and 8.8 ypc against Michigan State. The Buckeye defense has done a poor job at stopping the run lately and containing Coleman looks like one the only individual challenges Ohio State will have to face Saturday.
The look-ahead to Michigan - is it a problem? If the Bucks were facing a team like (say) Iowa, it would be a concern, but not against Indiana. Bucks roll (and cover) Saturday. The Call: Ohio State 49 Indiana 10