Mike Lantry, 1972
I just wanted to get a feel of what the fanbase feels we have to look forward to next year. My thoughts:
I think we have established that Tate is the QB (non-wildcat). The question is, will he improve, digress, or stay the same. Without looking at stats, I would say that he digressed on the season from start to finish, but I am also pretty sure (actually I am positive) that the opponents were tougher at the end. I think it would be ridiculous if we start Devon Gardner too soon. We can't keep this quarterback carrousel going. With that said, I think that Tate is going to improve a lot, though the increase in turnovers at the end of the season makes me hesitant to stick with this thought. Improvement Expectation Scale (1-10), I give it a +3.
Our RBs are good. I dont expect to actually see improvement, but I dont really think that is a problem. I am happy with them. Vincent Smith I think will be the starter over Shaw, but I think both will see playing time. Their improvements will come from versatility in run play calling and better reads by the QB in the option (this will prevent the loss of yards that they get without ever having a chance) .I am happy. Give it a +1.
I expect Roundtree to get faster (I Hope). I think our play calling doesn't quite have that 'Open Receiver' play in the playbook like most teams seem to have. I watch a lot of college football and it seems to me that our receivers aren't ever wide open like a lot of teams get. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel like that is true. Stonum and Hemmingway look good, but I don't know if they have been given a whole lot of opportunity to shine. Too many bubble screens and hitch routes. Expectation for improvement comes from the coaching staff calling better routes and Tate throwing more accurately: +4
Catch balls consistently and I would have no complaints: +2
I am scared. I don't really have a lot to add besides for I am scared. To be honest, I don't know if we will improve in this aspect: 0
Craig Roh looked good and I like the run stuffing that Will Cambell showed toward the later parts of the season. HOWEVER, Brandon Graham is the best thing in the history of the world ever *insert every random jibberish statement about awesomeness* and he is leaving. I dont know that this will improve. Maybe this will allow for a more fundamentally sound line without a superstar, but probably not. I actually expect it to digress: -1
Only one way to go but up. Donovan Warren will be missed *EDIT: I assume he will be going to the NFL, but apparently he confirmed he is staying*, but I expect the team to be much more fundamentally sound with another year of coaching under their belts and maybe Greg Robinson will use his second year to integrate better schemes for the DBs: +6 (which would put them at just above mediocre).
Steve Brown did an amazing job at OSU and for most of the season. He will definitely be missed. I don't really have a good feel for what to expect here, so I am going to leave it blank.
Overall, I think the team will improve. However, the cold logic part of me says that it is unlikely that we will be competing for a Big Ten Title. Obviously we will have an improved Big Ten record (nowhere to go but up). If I were to put my expectations for the team vs. the exact same schedule they played this year. I would guess 7-5.