Happy Festivus! For those of you who are unaware or unfamiliar with Festivus, please click on this link, and you will get a better understanding.
For those of you who are familiar with Festivus, I am going to take some time away from my preparation from The Feats Of Strength (if you clicked on the link, you already know what that means) to give my annual Airing Of Grievances (again, please click on the link) as they relate to the 2016 Ohio State Buckeyes.
I do not have too many grievances – after all, Ohio State is 11-1, only a blocked field goal from being undefeated, and will be playing in The College Football Playoff for the second time in three years with a roster that is largely comprised of freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Not too shabby.
- The Lack Of A Downfield Passing Game ~ Even Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer recognizes that Ohio State needs to improve its passing game, saying, “In the offseason we’re going to become a good throwing team and spend some time on it…”. Perhaps it is a measure of a young offensive line not giving quarterback J.T. Barrett enough time to throw, perhaps it is the roster lacking a receiver who can get deep separation (I would dispute that one), but Ohio State’s passing game has become all too predictable and easy to defend, especially during the latter portion of the season.
- Ohio State Needed To Play More Freshmen ~ This one will sound like a contradiction, as the following true freshmen played in 2016, based on my records – Jonathon Cooper, Demario McCall, Tuf Borland, Michael Jordan, Austin Mack, Nick Bosa, Antonio Williams (but he will be redshirted due to a shoulder injury), Binjimen Victor, Keandre Jones, Rodjay Burns, Jordan Fuller, and Malik Harrison. Here is where I would gripe – in so many blowout games, why not give those players even more time? A case in point is redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow was able to get some playing time, but when Ohio State was blowing out Bowling Green, Tulsa, Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland…could he have received even more time?
- Quit Relying Upon J.T. Barrett’s Legs ~ This is tied somewhat to the first grievance. Coach Meyer has a tendency to put the ball in Barrett’s hands in crucial situations, and Barrett has been very dependable. This has also led to the predictability of the Ohio State offense. Who is not expecting a quarterback draw on short yardage? Be honest. More play-action passes, even if incomplete, will actually help to spread out the defense.
Well, I have to get ready for The Feats Of Strength. I am usually adept at keeping the kids from pinning me, but they are getting older, and so am I – one of these years, the kids will be able to pin me without my wife’s help.
Happy Festivus, and sincere wishes to all of you for a safe and happy holiday season. Go Bucks!