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Colin: Ok, it's the question that's been asked a million times, a million different ways, but here goes: Oklahoma puts 10 guys on the line with one safety and we cannot complete a down field pass. This should be like shooting fish in a barrel. What the hell?
Baver: It’s several things… JT’s inaccuracy, JT not trusting his WRs, the WRs inability to get open, and the offensive game plan. There are HUGE problems with JT and the WRs, no doubt about it. And OSU’s all-time leading passer in several categories may soon find a seat on the bench. But the offense we saw Saturday night is still Urban’s…”same as it ever was…same as it ever was”. And the video on Eleven Warrior’s Ramzy Nasrallah’s Twitter Feed linked here >https://twitter.com/ramzy/status/906929593671712768 shows OU free safety Will Johnson knowing the precise rout Parris Campbell would run before Campbell even ran it. This is mind-boggling. But back to your comment about Oklahoma selling out to stop the run. Ohio State still ran the ball well, getting 101 yards off 16 carries between Dobbins and Weber. Why did they only have 16 combined carries? This is an Urban thing, and the extended 5 ½ year honeymoon officially ended for Urban this past Saturday.
Colin: Teams have adjusted to stop J.T. Barrett. The offensive numbers against Michigan, Clemson and Oklahoma are brutal. Let alone the fact Watson and Mayfield completely out played our QB. That is not the recipe for success. Is there any hope of a J.T. revival?
Baver: I was one of JT’s biggest supporters, and finally started to jump ship after re-watching the Indiana game. After watching the Oklahoma game twice, I have little hope for him. As mentioned before, it’s certainly not all JT’s fault, but his confidence is shot, reminding me a lot of Todd Boeckman’s downward spiral in 2008. If Urban sticks with JT, I will still root my ass off for him and hope I’m wrong.
Colin: Meanwhile, the defense hasn't exactly been kicking ass and taking names either. What do you see on that side of the ball?
Baver: The D-line is still fine, actually better than fine. The back-7 was horrendous Saturday. Losing Raekwon McMillian has hurt way more than I thought it would. Worley looked lost all night against OU, and preseason All-American Jerome Baker looked lost as well. I never saw this coming….not thinking a Greg Schiano defense would get shredded at any point this season. Damon Arnette making huge strides in the offseason? Not. JUCO transfer Kendall Sheffield the next great OSU corner? Far from it, so far. And the safeties appeared to be out of position much of the evening as Baker Mayfield carved up the entire back-7.
Colin: Does anything that happens against Army this weekend matter at all?
Baver: Who knows, maybe JT gets some confidence back, or maybe we get a look at Burrow or Haskins, possibly even in the first half. I loved how Jim Tressel bent over backwards to salute Navy when they came here, but actually playing these service academies is not good for your team. Gotta hope the Bucks avoid injuries facing Army’s blocking schemes, specifically cut blocks. And you have to spend all kinds of time stopping an offense you won’t see again during the season. Urban said they spent time in August preparing for Army, noting that you can’t play that kind of option attack with only one week of preparation. I do think however, that OSU covers the 30-pt spread in similar fashion to how they covered late against Indiana. I look for 4 or 5 second half Buckeye TDs after the Black Knights run out of gas. The call: 48-14 Ohio State.
Colin: What other games and lines will you be keeping an eye on this weekend?
Baver: Give me Tom Herman in the underdog roll every time….as the Longhorns visit USC in the Coliseum. Should be a good game, and I’ll gladly take Texas and the 16 pts there. USC made me pay last week, but I’ll try again. And I will stick with Oklahoma St again this week, laying 13 ½ pts at Pittsburgh. Seems like a lot of points on the road, but I’m still not convinced anyone outside of Alabama can slow down the Ok State offense. And I like Clemson -3 at Louisville, even though they are in a letdown spot after their win over Gus’ Auburn Tigers. Clemson is still loaded and I think will be too much for Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals.