Things to Build on

Submitted by ajhunte on November 22nd, 2009 at 9:56 AM

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

Offensive Line:
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

Defensive Line:
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.


Double Nickel BG

November 22nd, 2009 at 10:15 AM ^

I don't get how you are scared. We get the best player on our O back in Molk. We have at least 5 guys coming back with starting experience this year. We lose Moosman and Ortmann. If there's one part of the recruiting class you should be pretty confident in, its the OL. RR did a hell of a job picking up alot of quality guys like Lewan, Washington, Schofield, Barnum, Khoury. Even the 2 star after thought of the group, Omamameh, is starting and doing a good job. Give them another year under Barwis and the blocking scheme and look out.


November 22nd, 2009 at 10:09 AM ^

I understand your thought process, but dude a couple of different breaks this year and we go 7-5 OR BETTER. I don't think that there's any doubt that we're better next year, especially in the secondary. I don't really understand your worries about the O-Line. Molk will be back at center, and he has TWO years of eligibility left! Moosman and Ortmann will be missed, sure, but Dorrestein and Huyge can hold their own, and if they can't we'll see Taylor Lewan or Michael Schofield seizing the opportunity. Schilling will be back, and Omameh really came on at the end of the season.
As far as linebackers go, well yeah Stevie Brown's gonna be difficult to replace, but I think Marvin Robinson could win that job and do just fine; evidently his real strength is pass coverage, which would be his main job, just on tailbacks, slot receivers, and tight ends.
No doubt Brandon Grahams gonna be really hard to replace too, but RVB and Mike Martin have no doubt showed alot of promise this year.
And with Tate, he had a bad game against Ohio State, no doubt. But other than that he had an exceptional year for a freshman! I hope Gardner redshirts than is a two year starter junior-senior year like RichRod wants.
It's bold, but with our schedule I say closer to 9-3


November 22nd, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

don't know why it is a lock that the QBs improve but not the offensive line.

it hurts to say this, but i actually think the LBs take a big step forward next season for the same reason you said DBs would improve. I like mouton's athleticism, his smarts usually seem to get the best of him, he might be too big to be stevie brown next year, but it seemed stevie excelled at that position when he didn't have to think too much, like the previous year. don't know about ezeh, he seems like he is lost in the shuffle a bit. the young kids got some time this year though, so that is good.

i am hoping that getting GERG's reputation and salt and peppery good looks out on the recruiting trail will bring in some gigantic man-beast who can get plugged in for four years.

again, can't get much worse.


November 22nd, 2009 at 10:28 AM ^

but I think we should dismiss the idea that getting "Barwised" is going to give us an inherent advantage over other teams all by itself. Mike Barwis is not a magician—he can't turn guys who have little talent (totally aside from the factor of poor position coaching) into All Big Ten-caliber players simply because they're setting personal weight-lifting records. If that were possible, we'd be seeing more visible results on the field now, after two years of his regimen.

Before the "eee Barwis" crowd starts pounding the neg button, my point isn't that Mike Barwis isn't tremendous at what he does; he's doing exactly what is needed for RR's program. What I am saying is that what is most important, by far, is talent. I'd rather have a difference-maker in talent from a Gittelson S&C program than an untalented guy under Barwis.

If you disagree, ask yourself: who would you rather have on the field—David Harris, with his Gittelson S&C program, or Obi Ezeh? Steve Hutchinson with his "handicap" of Gittelson, or Huyge? Marcus Ray or Steve Williams? Of course, the best answer is that we want the equivalent of David Harris AND Mike Barwis together. That's why this next recruiting class is so important.


November 22nd, 2009 at 12:09 PM ^

I'll be one to say I think Tate starts the year with a sophomore slump but finishes the season well. Our schedule has a couple of formidable opponents in UCONN and ND to start. I could see him struggling a little out of the gate, and a pretty tough stretch down the middle of the season (Iowa is homecoming? I don't like it). I'm hoping the two easy games to close out the OOC get him rolling going into Indiana/MSU because if he doesn't he'll have a hell of a couple weeks with MSU/Iowa/Penn State back-to-back-to-back.