Now that the 2012 season has begun, I thought I would share some of my thoughts and opinions about this current season.
There certainly was much hype leading up to this season as Urban mania has swept Buckeye country. We have one of the best coaches in college football at the Ohio State helm. However, he can only be as successful as the athletes can be on this team. The so-called experts and some of the fans have been so bold as to predict an undefeated season. They seem to forget this is a team that went 6 and 7 last season. I know I am as guilty as anyone for having a rosy outlook on this year. As I stated earlier in my book, the 2011 team could have easily gone 8 and 4 or even 10 and 2 and gone to a BCS bowl instead of the Gator Bowl. However, I believe a more realistic record would be 8 and 4 or 9 and 3.
After watching the Bucks in their first three games, I have been disappointed in the performance of their defense. It was supposed to be the strength of the team with the offense struggling to learn the spread offense. In all three games the defense has given up big plays to inferior teams. A question, are we missing long time defensive coordinator Jim Heacock? Maybe he was one of the previous staff who should have been retained.
On offense they need to develop a strong running game with their running backs. Braxton Miler cannot continue to run the ball as much as has against the non-conference opponents. He will most certainly suffer injuries even a possible season ending injury if he continues to run the ball as much as he did in the first two games. It was good to see him carry the ball only 12 times in the Cal game. However, Jordan Hall didn't look like the answer at running back. Hopefully, this was due to his being a little rusty after being sidelined with a foot injury and missing playing time in both practice and games.
I was encouraged to see a good pass rush in the Cal game, however the sloppy tackling enabled the Bears to make a game of it. Another concern is way too many penalties. The one on Corey Linsley for pushing a Cal player after the play had been blown dead cost the Bucks good field position and killed a possible good drive.
Once again, as the Bucks did last year, they are dropping interceptions that were sure six picks. Bradley Roby had a sure six pick and he dropped it early in the Cal game. A TD there could have turned the game into a one-sided victory rather than ending up as a nail-biter win.
After Notre Dame's win over Michigan State in East Lansing, the Bucks game at MSU doesn't loom as foreboding as it did earlier. It will be the Bucks first road game and they had better cut down on penalties and tackle better or they could taste their first defeat of the 2012 season.
Michigan and Wisconsin appear to have been overrated coming into this season, therefore the Bucks could be the best team in the Big Ten. However, the way the Bucks have played in their first three non-confernce games, maybe this going to be a down year for the Big Ten.
The comments and statements I have made in A Buckeye Remembers are strictly my opinions. Let the chips fall where they may.