When I previewed this game, I said that mobile quarterbacks presented Pete Carroll with a math problem: How do you cover all of a team's receivers, guard the box for the run game, and account for the mobile quarterback? Fortunately for Carroll, he didn't have to solve this tricky arithmetic problem because Jim Tressel can't count.and this:
Jim Tressel is the closest thing we have to that Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler style. This is not to say power running is gone, but the absolutely ridiculous idea that you can beat Southern Cal by running the same power play -- what Tressel calls "dave," with a pulling guard and a fullback who kicks out the defensive end -- over and over again, is to "live in the deep dark past." Jim Tressel is a dinosaur, and like all dinosaurs, not like for this world. And if I was the multi-talented Terrelle Pryor, stuck in the straitjacket of the OSU offense, I'd be thinking long and hard about where I might transfer to.
the insults have extra impact. Brown has done a great job over the past year of betraying no agenda or rooting interest, so when he unloads on the Buckeye offense, he has credibility because he isn't coming from a place of obvious bias.
I can't remember whom I was talking to when watching the Ohio State-Navy game, but I remarked to a friend that Jim Tressel's use of Terrelle Pryor reminds me of a 13-year old boy confronted with his first bra strap. Jim knows that he has something awesome there and he'd really like to unlock it, but he doesn't have the first clue how to do so. As a result, he fumbles around tediously, pushing and pulling in every direction without ever releasing the bounty that's right in front of him. Brown's post explains Tressel's failings perfectly. To briefly summarize:
- Ohio State never used the zone read play that was its only effective weapon against Ohio State in 2008, not to mention the play that Texas and Oregon relied upon in beating the Trojans in 2005 and 2007.
- Ohio State was predictable that USC was able to ignore the Bucks' slot receivers altogether, except when Tressel called for his idiotic formation that places a bubble screen threat in a position where a bubble screen is his only option. In other words, Ohio State gave away its plays by its use of formations, demonstrating that Tressel has no idea how the various plays that form the basis of the spread 'n' shred fit together.
- Ohio State never deployed Pryor as a running threat to negate backside pursuit. Tressel has a quarterback who allegedly runs a 4.33 40 and yet he doesn't use the threat of Pryor running on the bevy of conventional iso plays that he calls. As a result, he makes life more difficult on an already taxed offensive line.
After reading Brown's article, I have never felt stronger about the comparisons between Tressel and Lloyd Carr. Carr, like Tressel, was noted for predictable playcalling that led opposing defenders to comment after games (especially bowl games) that they knew what was coming. Carr, like Tressel, shied away from deploying some very talented players unless his team was trailing. (Don't get me started about some of the first half gameplans in the 1999 season when Carr had Tom Brady throwing the ball with four future NFL starters blocking in front of him.) Carr, like Tressel, often had specific formations for certain plays, as opposed to having a set of constraint plays from the same formation. Carr, like Tressel, was criticized by program insiders for failing to develop offensive linemen. (Carr, unlike Tressel, was very good at developing quarterbacks, whereas Tressel is very good at putting out consistently productive defenses.) Carr, like Tressel, is an honorable man and was an impeccable representative of his state and university, but he was often found wanting against top opposition.
I had a lengthy debate with a commenter about Tressel's merits during the offseason. My points were that Tressel is behind the times offensively and that the losses to Florida, LSU, and USC were indictments above and beyond the small sample size that they represent because they were the few games in which the Bucks didn't have pronounced talent advantages. This seems like as good a time as any for this clip: