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Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 Football: Did 2015 Shortcomings Help Young Team

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The 2014 team mantra was The Chase. The Buckeyes took heed of head coach Urban Meyer’s ultimate team goal. OSU won the Big Ten championship by destroying the Wisconsin Badgers 59-0, thus putting the scarlet and gray into the first ever College Football Playoff. Elliot ran through the heart of the south in their win versus Alabama, then they won the final piece of hardware defeating the Ducks of Oregon.

The 2015 team mantra was The Grind. That team too seemed to take heed of Meyer’s mantra —playing lesser teams close, grinding out wins at times. Having elite talent on the field didn’t seem to propel the team into the stratosphere as many had predicted and a once historically talented team didn’t live up to historic levels of hype. A loss to Michigan State in the Shoe in November made a Big Ten championship and a College Football Playoff berth a pipe dream.

The 2016 team mantra is The Edge. Having a young inexperienced team for this season, coach Meyer is lighting a fire under the young Bucks. Letting them know you are currently average, you need to cross over The Edge to become extraordinary.

However, the question facing this team seems to be if the disappointment of 2015’s results carried over enough for the team in 2016. So, let us look back at what this team may have learned about itself last season before we move forward.

 

The Good

A team finishing the season with a 12-1 record is very good, playing in a New Years Day bowl game along with finishing No. 4 in final AP rankings is also good news. There are a ton of coaches, coaching staffs and fan bases wishing their teams could do that.

Offensively Ohio State finished second in scoring with close to 36 points a game, third in total offense with 434 yards a game, meanwhile finishing first in rushing averaging 245 yards a contest.

They also finished second in defensive scoring with 15 a game, third giving up 311 yards. The Buckeyes tied for second with close to three sacks a game.

It all added up to 14 players who were selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft, and that was the ultimate good for the 2015 season.

 

The Bad

The quarterback competition that lasted till about the Penn State game (seventh of the season) seemed to really have the team misfiring. Cardale Jones seemed to sputter and miss throws, resulting in having to use J.T. Barrett in the red zone and chop up any flow the offense may or may not have had going. The play calling was extremely questionable at times — as was extremely evident in the Michigan State game.

The lack of consistency from the offense seemed to cause damage to the defense since they seemed to have to play more than usual. The defense was getting worn down quicker than usual, leading to mental mistakes that seemed to cost this team at crucial times in key games. Even star defensive end Joey Bosa was not immune from those issues.

It all resulted in some shuffling of the look of the coaching staff on game day. Urban finally moved offensive coordinator Ed Warinner up into the press box with co-coordinator and QB coach Tim Beck after the debacle that was the Spartan game. The final two games of the season showed how talented and explosive the Buckeyes could have been.

 

The Ugly

November 21, 2015 , a day that will live in infamy for the 2015 Ohio State players, staff and fans. Michigan State came into Ohio Stadium and pulled off the upset. The Spartans win allowed them to play Iowa in the Big Ten championship game and then play Alabama in their first ever showing in the college playoffs.

After the game, running back Ezekiel Elliott went on a rant blasting the offensive coordinators while releasing to the media that was his final home in Columbus. He went on to have great games against Michigan and Norte Dame to finish his college career.

Yet, few really got over what took place on that infamous date in Columbus back in 2015.

 

What it means for 2016

Ohio State has six returning starters from 2015 — three on each side of the ball. J.T. Barrett is firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback. Hopefully, he can be back to 2104 form following a rough 2015 with the rotation happening at QB.

Young inexperienced players will need to step up around him though, which puts a lot of responsibility on Barrett and the few returning starters on offense.

Mike Weber is a redshirt freshman being thrown into the fire of having to replace Elliott, Michael Jordan is a true freshman who has wowed coaches playing for a starting guard spot. There is still a number 97 with the name Bosa who will be getting playing time but his first name isn’t Joey.

A young inexperienced team will have to learn how to cross over The Edge in order to etch their names into the Buckeye historical lore.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

Buckeyes Football

Greg Schiano out at Ohio State, Michigan’s Mattison reportedly in

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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.

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Buckeyes Football

BREAKING: Urban Meyer announces retirement

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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. 

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Buckeyes Football

Talking10 Podcast Episode 100: Something, something Urban Meyer

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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

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Buckeyes Football

Urban Meyer and OSU AD put on suspension following investigation

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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. 

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