Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
When I called my Mom on Friday to let her know I was going to make it home for the weekend, she was thrilled. I was going to be able to spend some time with the family in Jersey, have dinner for the holiday Sunday night and see my grandparents visiting. In the interest of full disclosure, I also let my Mom know that my cable box had not arrived in Connecticut and the only way I could watch the Ohio State game on Big Ten Network was at home.
Regardless of my true motives, it was great to see my family and nice to watch Ohio State shut out Hawaii 38-0. Despite that score, I was incredibly underwhelmed by the Buckeyes’ performance. The biggest concern was that greatest-coach-of-our-generation Urban Meyer has not yet figured out how to best utilize two quarterbacks that both deserve to start. But that will come with time.
Here’s why I’m not worried: for the second straight season the staff scheduled a brutal start to the season. Last year the Bucks opened on a neutral site against Navy and their funky cut-blocking, triple-option offense. That took away a ton of time in preparing for the more traditional Virginia Tech team and their super defense. This season, the Buckeyes scheduled a Monday night opener in Virginia and then had a game just days later on Saturday. The team didn’t arrive back in Columbus, Ohio this week until 4 A.M. Tuesday, then had to go to class and most likely only had one day in pads to prepared for an interesting Hawaii team.
So in my mind, covering a 40 point spread would have been nearly impossible. The offensive line for the second straight game looked very average. The special teams were down. And the quarterback rotation was clearly flawed. But that’s okay. It’s to be expected after an extremely short week. Last year’s wacky scheduling ended up bringing this team closer through the adversity and it won a national championship. This year’s team is far more talented and will figure out how to get past a slow opening two weeks and return to the dominating team they are.
On top of all that, there’s not a true challenge on the schedule until Michigan State comes to visit on November 21! Sure, Penn State thinks that game is important and a rivalry game, but it’s really not (beat Temple before you talk…).
My biggest fear is that the quarterback situation comes back to bite them. No matter how close these two guys are, they’re both competitors with an NFL future on the line and want to play. I think that the uncertainty will hurt Ohio State, but not until that decisive November 21 game.
Will next week be the game where the Buckeyes finally put it all together? If so, I feel terribly for Northern Illinois.