Sigh… okay… let’s see here. It’s not too late to beat the Trojans… albeit a different set of Trojans.
Lots of people on the internets have been clamoring for lots of different changes around the program in light of the most recent big game debacle, but I think there are few things that are within reason that we should expect to see for the Troy game.
- First, Boeckman absolutely must be on the bench to begin the game, and not for the reason everyone is saying (giving Pryor, the future, more snaps). Simply put, at a program like Ohio State, you should never be entitled to your position. And, simply put again, Boeckman has not done anything to merit him being the starter. The pick-six for Maualuga sums it all up: staring down a receiver AND throwing an interceptable ball on an out route. Freshman mistakes for a 6th year senior and two-year starter. Sure, Pryor is a true freshman and might make a freshman mistake or two against Troy, but we remind ourselves who was making the freshman mistakes against USC. From the sound of it, the staff is seriously considering this and no starter at the position has been named. I’ll be so bold to say that not benching Boeckman to begin the game sends the wrong message to both the team and the fans. I’d be really disappointed if either Bauserman or Pryor isn’t starting.
- Second, I would have Alex Boone begin the game on the bench in lieu of freshman Mike Adams. Again, at Ohio State, you should not be entitled to your position. For a senior and 3 year starter, Boone’s boners on offense are basically criminal. Two costly false start penalties + 3 plays being torched + making the wrong read resulting in the Boeckman fumble = senior leadership epic fail. What bothers me even more is Boone’s response to this: saying he was pissed after the game for it being deja vu all over again to thinking that he did a wonderful job. Wow. That’s all I got. If he thinks that was a wonderful performance for he and his unit, I would hate to see what he thinks would be an awful performance. If he’s honestly, truly pissed about the game like he first said he was, he can stew about it on the bench while Mike Adams takes care of things in the first quarter. Afterwards, he can let out his inner mean drunk on the Troy Trojans. Then, he can go to Chipotle and have a burrito, a couple Coronas and figure out how he can pull another prank on Michael Brewster again.
- Third, I would consider splitting time between Browning and Shugarts at right tackle. I think 11w’s UFR on the offense against USC was a subtle way of telling me that so much of my disgust with Browning’s performance may have been a function of Ben Person. Still, though, Browning was absolutely demoralized during the game (and I stand by that), especially in the second half. It’s my opinion at least that the difference between Shugarts and Browning right now is miniscule at the most, but that Shugarts’ ceiling is much, much higher. I’m all in favor of subbing liberally.
- Take out Ben Person, put in Justin Boren wearing Ben Person’s jersey. Hell… why not. I’m also in favor of subbing out Person in favor of a road block. At this point, I’m convinced such a barrier would be more effective protection in the interior of our line than our current personnel.
You know what the fun part is about the Buckeyes’ recent big game debacles? It’s not enough that we get humiliated on the field, but we’re also entitled to the continued post-game humiliation. No really, only the Buckeyes are entitled to this blessing. Some scrub on USC’s defensive line offered this:
“‘Easy”‘ was one word defensive end Kyle Moore used after missing practice two days last week with back spasms before having the game of his life (eight tackles, a fumble recovery, two tackles for loss for 19 yards, including a sack for 15).
“You can tell they don’t practice full speed,” Moore said of the massive Buckeyes who made it “easy” to fly past them.
“They were still getting into their [first blocking] move, and we’d already be into our second move [on defense] and past them,” Moore said.
There are several things that make this quote even more demoralizing. First, it’s true. Second, it’s showing that for me, at least, that reality for the Buckeyes is becoming a caricature of itself. It’s an almost cartoonish pseudo-reality that’s an exaggerated version of even our most exaggerated interpretation of it. At this rate, we’ll probably see 2 SEC teams playing against each other for the BCS title, the winner of that game moving on to the NFL to play in the Super Bowl, Tim Tebow winning the next two Heismans just to really piss me off, the Buckeyes not hanging with the Southern speed of Troy and losing by 3 touchdowns and the Big Ten being demoted to 1-AA. Third, and most damaging, I’m powerless to do anything about it and the players and coaches seem unwilling to do anything about it.
My freshman roommate e-mailed to remind me that Steve Rehring is out (which I knew), but also that the staff is mulling over two replacement schemes for Rehring’s absence. One has Bryant Browning sliding over to left guard and JB Shugarts moving in at right tackle. This was the arrangement at the end of the USC game when Rehring went down. The other has Michael Brewster coming in at center and Jim Cordle moving to left guard. I think the latter scheme seems more plausible, though I’m also in favor of putting in Shugarts at right tackle and subbing Ben Person out for a roadblock.
Beanie is out for the Troy game. Not that it matters, because he’s not winning the Heisman.
If this were the 2007 Troy Trojans, I’d be scared shitless. However, they have lost Leodis McKelvin to the NFL and their offensive coordinator (Tony Franklin) to nearby Auburn. As it is, I’m only scared just short of emptying my bowels into my pants. And let’s be frank, here, the run of play in the past two games hasn’t given me any reason not to be scared.
Oh, and speaking of Auburn, Brian of MGoBlog will be there for the LSU game. I think he reads this blog, but if you haven’t seen Auburn yet, be surprised that there are just that many trailer parks in Auburn. Enjoy yourself, Brian. I think he needs a disguise if he ever ends up in Tuscaloosa, since most of my coworkers know who he is and aren’t very fond of him for calling out Bear Saban.
But on the Alabama front, we’ll be in town watching the game at a bar. We won’t be around for during-game comments.