The Scheme, The Scheme, The Scheme!

Submitted by Dailysportseditor on November 20th, 2012 at 8:54 PM

It's 4am and I wake up in a cold sweat.  I've been dreaming about The Game but can't remember my dream.  I start to wonder if Borges and Fickell are sleeping well these nights.  My guess is they probably aren't, unless they rely upon prescription drugs for assistance.

Fickell's got a tough job defending two excellent athletes who are triple threats [maybe quadruple threats if they go back to the pooch-punting days of a few years back.].

Ultimately, though, Borges has the toughest job because Fickell can't really prepare defensive schemes;  all Luke can do is make sure his best football players [Simon, Shazier, Boren, Roby] stay aggressive, but not too agressive, and do what they do best--make plays.

For Borges, he needs to do things which curb the OSU defense's aggressiveness and punishes Buckeye defenders whe they are overly aggressive.  To slow them down, he must make the Buckeyes THINK, THINK AND THINK.  When they think, they slow down.  Here are a few suggestions on dealing with OSU aggressiveness in the Horseshoe:

  • Keep Denard on the field most of the time, at least 2/3 of the offensive plays.  He is equally dangerous as a decoy as he is when he has the ball;
  • Run the hurry-up offense repeatedly but irregularly.  Keeps defense off-balance as they try to cope with Michigan's 2-QB offense;
  • Motion everybody everywhere  Again, this gives defenders more to think about.  It obviously also helps the QB read the defense;
  • Before critical 3rd or 4th downs in the first half, line-up in a play, then call a time-out.  Use the time-out to remind the play-makers they don't need to make a play at the expense of risking a turn-over.  Also, it makes Fickell and his players THINK, THINK AND THINK.
  • Use a trips back-field of Denard, Norfleet and Smith behind Devin.  Send them sprinting out in patterns on the edges, then run the QB draw.
  • DON'T GO FOR 4TH AND SHORT [Unless the game is on the line.]  On the road, the better part of valor is to punt and force the Buckeyes to complete a long drive to score.
  • On 3rd and 12 or longer, keep Smith and Kwiatkowski/Williams in to block, swing Denard to the outside, roll-out Devin and air it out with jump-ball 50-yard+ passes to Funchess and Roundtree.  This avoids potential QB sacks/fumbles;  even if its intercepted, its probably an equal percentage play re field position as punting to Brown will be.

Edited

Comments

orobs

November 20th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

"DON'T GO FOR 4TH AND SHORT [Unless the game is on the line.]  On the road, the better part of valor is to punt and force the Buckeyes to complete a long drive to score."

 

 

Nice try, Lloyd

Tater

November 20th, 2012 at 9:11 PM ^

It won't happen this year, but I want to see the multiple formations and "mad scientist" plays that Borges reportedly prefers.  It might take five full years, but once the upperclassmen know the basics and are teaching them to newcomers, it will be easier to add more plays and formations.

LSAClassOf2000

November 20th, 2012 at 10:19 PM ^

"Ultimately, though, Borges has the toughest job because Fickell can't really prepare defensive schemes;  all Luke can do is make sure his best football players [Simon, Shazier, Boren, Roby] stay aggressive, but not too agressive, and do what they do best--make plays." - from  the OP

Though Ohio State's pass defense is very exploitable to the tune of over 250 yards per game on average and it is rather easy to get their secondary to bite where the play is not (actually, the Buckeyes have nothing that could be called a "pass rush" for the most part), they have a pretty good rush defense despite it all, and if we're going to run at any point, we need to account for that as well. They haven't made it easy for teams to get to the second level on the ground, giving up only a shade over 3 yards per rushing play on average, and against at least a few teams with decent rushing games (well, most years anyway). They don't have an elite defense by any stretch, but by the numbers, it is still in the upper half of Division I. 

 

 

MichiganMan_24_

November 20th, 2012 at 10:02 PM ^

And you know what..that draw wil work if for one thing..THEY BLOCK with everything they got because its going to be a fight..and they have to want it..

so trickery is fun and yes we need to keep them off balance..but this is an old fashion fight

RedGreene

November 21st, 2012 at 8:17 AM ^

Just to add to your wonderful post:

  • Punt on first down to avoid turnovers
  • Put Denard  behind center... but then run Devin onto the field as quickly as possible...send Denard over to the slot and then send Devin to WR.... run Jack Kennedy out and line him up behind center.. THEN, and this is the good part, call a timeout!!  Urban will be confused, confused, confused
  • If we win the coin toss we should defer... BUT, at the start of the second half we should go up to the ref and say, we defer again.  Urban won't be ready for this and will have to hurry his offense onto the field hopefully resulting in a 3 & out
  • On defense we should play 11 guys on the line on every play to help contain Miller
  • Finally, throw the ball on every down.  Throw short, throw long, just throw, throw, throw!!!

 

03 Blue 07

November 21st, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

I realize it's a snowflake, and you're getting crushed here, but I agree with you, OP. Each of your suggestions is sound and makes sense. I especially like the concept of keeping them off balance by leaving DR on the field most of the game in non-traditional ways (i.e., not at QB) and mixing up the tempo (huddle vs. hurry up) throughout the game. Beat Ohio. 

Dailysportseditor

November 22nd, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

I'm not sure why the original post brought on so much generalized disdain and ridicule as opposed to specific objections or criticisms.  My suggestions were focused on dealing with the usual keys to The Game:  avoiding turnovers by our offense and dealing with the speed and athleticism of their defense.  If anybody has better ideas I would enjoy reading them.

mtxgoblue

November 21st, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

This one is priceless

 

Before critical 3rd or 4th downs in the first half, line-up in a play, then call a time-out.  Use the time-out to remind the play-makers they don't need to make a play at the expense of risking a turn-over.  Also, it makes Fickell and his players THINK, THINK AND THINK.