Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Concerns From Ohio State/Navy From The Mind Of Minnich

Congratulations to Coach Urban Meyer and the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes for their 34-17 victory over the Navy Midshipmen.  On the road, with nine new offensive starters, against a quality opponent, having to defend the triple option...Ohio State rallied in the second half, escaped Baltimore without any notable injuries, and get to come home to Ohio Stadium to face the Virginia Tech Hokies in a nationally televised contest.  I seem to recall one joker predicting the final score as 35-17 in favor of Ohio State, but I digress...

1.  The Ohio State Offensive Line Remains A Concern:  At the conclusion of spring practice, I ranked Ohio State's offensive line group as my biggest concern heading into the summer, and nothing I saw versus Navy helped to remove or reduce that concern.  While Ohio State's offensive line chemistry will develop over the course of the season, it should be the primary focus of work this week before the Virginia Tech game.  Pass protection was shaky in the first half, and it remains to be seen if the offensive line will be able to control the line of scrimmage for a dominating power running game.  Which leads me to...

2.  Ohio State Misses The Power & Blocking Of Carlos Hyde:  As promised, Dontre Wilson was heavily involved in all facets of the game plan, and probably will be so as the season progresses.  An area of Carlos Hyde's game that Dontre Wilson does not have is strong blocking.  Wilson tried to block, but simply lacks the strength and power of Hyde; I wonder if Rod Smith will get more chances versus Virginia Tech, as Smith is physically comparable to Hyde.

3.  The Defense Will Be The Team Strength:  I am not concerned about the rushing yardage accumulated by Navy.  As I stated last week, the triple option is difficult to simulate and execute - giving up 390 yards on the ground is worse than hoped, but the final score still was in Ohio State's favor at the end of the game.  An area that I believe the coaching staff needs to address is the defense needs to wrap up, as many of the Navy rushing yards came after initial contact by an Ohio State defender.

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