It wasn’t always pretty, and there were times in the first half where many OSU fans were triggered with visions of a paw print on the side of the helmet, but the Buckeyes were able to get it done. The stat lines will look good in the morning with a cup of coffee, and all in all it’s a decent start to the season for a team with high expectations again. Here are three takeaways from OSU’s defeat of Indiana in its first game of the college football season.
The Passing Game is Still a Work in Progress
Anyone hoping to see Ohio State passing game go from 0 to 60 since Clemson game has to be disappointed. Could still happen. Could.
— Rob Oller (@rollerCD) September 1, 2017
If you were drinking from the cup of eternal optimism that was flowing like milk and honey out of Columbus during camp, you were likely expecting J.T. Barrett to shoot lightning bolts out of his ars and drop dimes all over the field. That didn’t happen — especially in the first half.
In fact, the bulk of the thirty minutes looked more like the Ohio State that got run over by Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl last year, than a new and improved version of the Scarlet and Gray passing machine we’ve all heard about. Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson were brought to Columbus to get the J.T. Barrett 2.0 model up and functional with a green receiving corps, but it just wasn’t there in the first half.
Sure some plays were made in the second half, but there’s still signs of smoldering smoke with this passing attack that we saw last year. You have to expect some development, so at least there’s hope that the second half was more of what we’ll see than the pedestrian first half.
J.K. Dobbins is a Stud
J.K. Dobbins now has the most rushing yards for a true freshman in his Ohio State debut. https://t.co/emy0G6WX61
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) September 1, 2017
Mike Weber who?
True freshman J.K. Dobbins got the start because of a hamstring injury Weber was still nursing, and Ohio State might have just stumbled across its next big star. I don’t know how else to say this other than Dobbins gives the Buckeyes more at running back than Weber does. And that’s not taking anything away from No. 25.
Look, I know the incumbent starter went over 1,000 yards last year as a freshman, but you watched the same game I did. Dobbins has better breakaway ability and can make people miss in the open field more than Weber can ever dream of doing. On top of that, the kid came out of the box ready for college football with uncanny strength for a freshman. All the kid did was break the all-time freshman single-game rushing record at Ohio State by going for 181 yards on 29 carries.
Now the coaching staff has to figure out how to handle this going forward.
The Buckeyes Have a Leaky Secondary
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 1, 2017
When it’s all said and done, I think we’re going to see that the Hoosier passing attack is fairly prolific this year, but boy does OSU miss the guys it lost last year via the NFL draft. Time and time again, Indiana QB Richard Lagow went with back-shoulder throws on the outside with man coverage, and time and time again Ohio State was outmatched.
In the end, the coaching staff finally got wise and bracketed safeties over to help out the corners, but I feel as though it’s time for a public service announcement here. Next week, Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma come calling in the Horseshoe and there’s a good chance they’ll fire up the film on this one. There’s also a better than good chance it has the personnel to exploit the weakness on the back-end more than what Indiana did.
And things don’t end there. After the Sooners, Penn State’s Trace McSorley and company will also get a shot at testing out this rebuilt secondary. The DBs have to play better as a unit if OSU has designs of crashing the College Football Party again.
Phil Harrison is a contributor to Talking10 and the featured Big Ten writer for Collegefootballnews.com. You can get his analysis and opinion all year long on Talking10.com. You can follow him on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB
Greg Schiano out at Ohio State, Michigan’s Mattison reportedly in
In terms of rivalries, there is no more intense in the Big Ten than Michigan an Ohio State. It’s one that lives on in the fans, players and coaches for 365 days a year.
On Jan. 7, 2019 things got a whole lot more interesting for the next 365 days that’s for sure.
First, news broke that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will not be back with the Buckeyes under new head coach Ryan Day. Many believed this past season wasn’t up to par for the Buckeyes and Schiano seemed likely to take the fall for that.
OSU finished this season ranked 72nd in total defense after back-to-back seasons in the top 10 of that category nationwide. The Buckeyes gave up over 400 yards of total offense this year as well.
So, who will replace Schiano? In a really interesting twist, multiple reports have come out stating that Day has his replacement ready — in the form of Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
According to Mike Sullivan of 97.1 The Ticket, Mattison’s contact with Michigan was about to be up and that Harbaugh chose not to renew his deal.
Thus, he is a free agent and Day has chosen to scoop him up.
Mattison is very familiar with this rivalry, having served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator under Brady Hoke (2011-2014) and then accepting just the defensive line coaching position on Jim Harbaugh’s staff.
His defenses were very consistent in his four seasons as defensive coordinator. Michigan was never worse than 31st in the country in total defense and peaked at No. 6 in his final season at the helm of the Wolverines defense.
Coaches plying their trade on both sides of the rivalry is nothing new, but it is a rarity overall.
BREAKING: Urban Meyer announces retirement
Last week, FootballScoop.com reported that Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer would be stepping down by the end of the 2019 season and likely by the end of this season.
They also reported that Ryan Day would take over as the new head coach once that happened.
After a weekend in which the rest of the media attempted to discredit the report, it is now exactly what is happening.
Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com broke the news early this morning. In the report, Lesmerises notes that Meyer is being forced to step down due to complications from a cyst on his brain.
The Rose Bowl game against Pac-12 champion Washington will be the final game he will coach at Ohio State.
Additionally, Ryan Day, who replaced Meyer as interim head coach while he was serving a three-game suspension to start the year will take over as the full-time head coach starting next season.
More information will be made available at a news conference scheduled for 2pm ET.
Meyer has had one of the most successful tenures as a head coach in Buckeyes history. He’ll retire having never lost to Michigan (7-0), won three Big Ten championships and with an 82-9 overall record at the helm of the Scarlet and Gray.
OSU athletic director Gene Smith is the one who decided Day would get the job on a permanent basis, seeing what the Buckeyes did under his leadership in that three-game stint earlier this year and hoping to ride the wave of young coaches making big splashes.
His rise up the coaching ranks comes just as the Buckeyes are putting up some of the most dynamic numbers in the pass game that college football has ever seen.
Star quarterback Dwayne Haskins could potentially top the 5,000-yard and 50 touchdown marks in the upcoming Rose Bowl game.
Talking10 Podcast Episode 100: Something, something Urban Meyer
Ohio State made its decision on Urban Meyer. Andy and Phil are here to break it all down for you and give you the truth in a hazy situation. What better way to celebrate episode 100 of the podcast than to spend 50 minutes breaking down a mess of a situation in Columbus, right?
We’ll talk our reactions to the press conference, break down the actual findings of OSU’s investigative report and we’ll even talk how the media-at-large and the OSU media handled the fallout from Wednesday night’s press conference.
Don’t forget you can listen to the podcast each week via Radio Public and other podcasting apps.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @talkingB1G
Urban Meyer and OSU AD put on suspension following investigation
The media stakeout of the Ohio State Board of Trustee’s meeting can now end. It only took 12 hours or so, but answers finally came.
According to multiple reports, including from the AP, OSU head coach Urban Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the season. In addition, athletic director Gene Smith will serve the same suspension from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16 — both will not receive pay during that time frame as well.
Both came under fire as this story unfolded. It began just prior to the Big Ten media days in late July, the story that Zach Smith had been arrested for criminal trespassing in April of this year broke and Meyer fired Smith on Monday morning of the start of Big Ten media days.
Brett McMurphy then detailed in an exclusive report that Smith had previously been “arrested” back in 2015 for a second allegation of domestic abuse against his then-wife Courtney Smith.
Meyer was questioned about that arrest and allegation from 2015 at media days and struck out against reporters repeated questioning. He would deny knowing of the arrest report back in 2015.
However, further reporting by McMurphy put that denial in to further question and Ohio State decided to get to the bottom of it.
Once Meyer was put on paid administrative leave, he would put a statement out admitting to knowing about the 2015 incident and alerting athletic administrators of the domestic abuse allegations.
Meyer has stayed silent since that statement and awaited the outcome of the 14-day inquiry in to whom knew what and when and what action was taken.
That investigation ended this past Sunday, with the committee verbally advising the Board of Trustees on Monday morning of its findings. Two days later, the Board of Trustees would come to meet publicly and then behind closed doors to discuss what would happen to Meyer and others involved in this situation.
Meyer’s suspension is for the first three games, and on the field that is a big hit with three FBS games coming at the start of the season. OSU kicks off the year against Oregon State, plays a Big Ten contest against Rutgers and a massive game against TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
We will have more on this situation and the reaction to what Meyer and Smith had to say on the talking10 Podcast tomorrow.