Besides the obvious, what is your biggest concern for next season?

Submitted by bluebloodedfan on December 31st, 2008 at 4:26 PM

Besides are glaring weakness at QB and an overall maturation of the offense what would be you guys biggest concern? For me it is definitely defense.



December 31st, 2008 at 4:41 PM ^

My interpretation of your post:

"Besides offense, what's your biggest concern? Mine is the defense."


I'm inclined to agree with Gerry Ford above - the ball security on special teams this year was horrible. I have a hard time believing that it will be as bad next year, but there really wasn't any improvement throughout the year. Hopefully our kick returners being 19 instead of 18 will be all the improvement they need.

But my biggest concern (outside of QB) is safety play. We're going to be very young, and the only veteran back there plays like a true freshman. If we do indeed switch to a 3-3-5, I'm hoping that will help mask some of our deficiencies at safety. We have a lot of talent back there, but it's talent that hasn't played very much.


December 31st, 2008 at 4:47 PM ^

If we didnt have a 1000 turnovers last year we would have won atleast 2 more games last year. I think the team will be better but the secondary still scares me along with linebacker. Hopefully these young guys will step up!

Elno Lewis

December 31st, 2008 at 5:00 PM ^

No player scandals.

Those suck and can happen to anyone.

Other than that, I'm fairly excited by the 2009 squad. We'll get to some crappy bowl and continue building. 2010 is when this dog is gonna bark.


December 31st, 2008 at 6:22 PM ^

My biggest concern, is getting that sinking feeling like I get when I watch the Lions. Seriously, it would be not capitalizing on opportunities when they arise. I remember watching the NW game and how many times they settled for a FG rather than getting a TD. Ugh. Which is basically what the Lions did all season too.


December 31st, 2008 at 6:37 PM ^

About 1/3 of the drives this year were three and outs. Many times, this was because Threet or Sheridan couldn't convert on third down passes. That caused our defense to spend way too much time on the field, which eventually neutralized the second half conditioning advantage our defense had in the first few games.

If our quarterback next year can take the team on, at least, drives where the team gets a couple first downs, as opposed to repeated three and outs (1st half Wisconsin comes to mind), the defense will be better on the field, the opposing defense will wear down due to the offense's speed, and the team will click in a way we thought it would this year.


December 31st, 2008 at 7:21 PM ^

Is Ohio State's team next year. This year was supposed to be a rebuilding year. After all the crap, Pryor was the No. 1 overall recruit of 2008 and by the time we face him next year he will be almost to the mid-point of his college career. After Pryor, the Buckeyes are a deep bunch of generally experienced 4-stars, pockmarked with 5-stars. Michigan's loss these last few years have been OSU's gain. We haven't gone head-to-head for as many guys, but they've won most of the ones we have, and won a lot more that we never suited up for.

I want nothing more than to beat Ohio State in the Big House next year. That is my only goal. But from many indications, that could be even harder in '09 than it was in '08, particularly since the key to stopping OSU is good d-backs and a good interior d-line, and we have neither.

This doesn't feel better until Ohio State loses, and loses in such a way that all the pain of our deterioration -- The Horror, Toledo, and Death -- can be transferred to that rotten state and its rotten university.


January 1st, 2009 at 8:44 PM ^

The team that ended up getting bent over by LSU last year was technically their "rebuilding year" team. THIS years team was stacked for a NC run. Thank God for Penn State and USC.

Regardless, OSU is always going to be very very good with the kind of recruits they pull in.


December 31st, 2008 at 8:33 PM ^

The 2008 D was the worst in UM history. It was at or near the bottom of every D1 D statistical category. That will not be turned around in one year. Not with a new DC and a new system. The best player, BG, is not well suited to a 3-3-5. Will he play LB or DE? The returning LBs are average at best or inexperienced. No big timers here. Ditto the corners. The safety position is a twighlight zone. This D will struggle early. The best hope that by the end of the year they are able to play average D1 D.


December 31st, 2008 at 8:41 PM ^

Brandon Minor (among others) hinted that some upperclassmen on the team didn't fully buy into the system and work as hard as they could have. Given that the offense seemed to make progress as the year went on, my suspicion is that these malcontents were mostly on D. If that's true, and those guys are gone now, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that we see improvement on D - especially if our new DC is more on the same page with the rest of the staff (which Shafer apparently wasn't).


January 1st, 2009 at 6:42 AM ^

Considering that there practically weren't any upperclassmen on offense, yeah, I'm guessing the malcontents were on defense, too. However, I'm having a hard time figuring out who these malcontents were, unless they were backups like Doug Dutch. I'm sure Carson Butler was one. Kevin Grady, maybe? John Thompson?