Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey, I wanted that

Wednesday afternoon on my drive home from work, I was listening to the daily Badger update, with Matt LePay talking with Bret Bielema about things. The guys were talking about Ohio State's front seven, which is nasty as usual.

Bielema was talking about linebacker Austin Spitler, who is from Bellbrook, Ohio. "Oh, I wanted him," said Bielema. "He was just a tremendous player."

Then the coach moved onto fellow linebacker Brian Rolle, who was Aaron Henry's high school teammate in Immokalee, Fla. "I offered him a scholarship when he was a sophomore," Bielema said. "He was just such an amazing athlete."

So, 0-for-2 on those priority recruits. It's always interesting to hear coaches talk candidly about the ones who got away. Especially college coaches, because you really don't hear them talk about it that often. After all, it's a reminder that they got beat on the recruiting trail, which is only slightly worse than getting beat on the field.

Spitler and Rolle are studs, but they're not as good as James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman. But the defensive line is just about the same as last year. They're big, deep, and fast. They lost their best cover corner from last year, but their safeties are outstanding.

Watching Ohio State against USC in Week 2, I got a feeling of dread. A "We're going to score three points in Columbus and be embarrassed" sort of dread. They're still tough, but having seen five games of our offense, I think we can score 17-24 points. As we've done so far, I can see the pass setting up the run, as long as the offensive line gives Scott Tolzien a little bit of time to throw. Did you realize he's only been sacked twice this season?

Which might be enough. Terrelle Pryor is a physical freak, but he ain't Vince Young yet. The rest of the guys are good, but none of them scare you like a Beanie Wells did.

Ohio State definitely should win this game, it being in Columbus, but we've got a puncher's shot. Our play doesn't necessarily need to be flawless, but it needs to be cleaner than any full game we've seen so far. No more than one turnover. Better kick coverage. Maybe a plus play in the return game. Garrett Graham is going to get the ball a lot. We might rush for less than 4 yards per carry, but can't go away from it.

Should be a good game. If we win ... the fall of 2009 gets exponentially more interesting.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"We've got a puncher's chance."

Just what I said to someone before the 1999 Rose Bowl.

Ohio State should win by 10-14 points, but with a few breaks and some good plays the Badgers can bring it off.
- BigAppleBucky

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