I know Taulia Tagovailoa and the Maryland passing attack are going to be the most interesting test for the Ohio State defense yet. So far this season the passing games the Buckeyes have seen have been overmatched or too conservative. Western Kentucky got rid of the ball quickly. Notre Dame went to the tight ends. Maryland wants to use their receivers all over the place, and they will take some time doing it if they have to.
I think the OSU secondary is going to be stressed by talent and scheme. Four Maryland wide receivers have catches of 30 or more yards this year (OSU has two), and two Terp tight ends have catches of 30 yards as well. The scramble drills have been a focus these past two weeks.
I wonder how much longer Ryan Day can encourage a more passive defense. He has been adamant that Ohio State is never going to be bend-but-don’t-break. We know he likes an attacking defense. That’s what he hired Jim Knowles to do. But they both also like only giving up one touchdown per game. I expect they’ll be ramping it up soon. Until it’s time to ramp it back down.
I know it’s always a surprise when an in-state guy decommits, but when I look at the departure of Marc Nave, my thought is that Ohio State needs more tackles and fewer interior linemen. They are a team of guards and right tackles now and Nave didn’t do anything to change that.
I think if the Ohio State defense contains Taulia Tagovailoa this week, you’re going to need to give some credit to freshman quarterback Lincoln Kienholz, who has done a very good job this year on the scout team. Talking to people in the program about Kienholz this summer and they were adamant that even though he may never throw a pass this season, he was going to have an impact on this team. The scout team quarterback runs the opposing offense and mimics the opposing quarterback. With Kienholz’s skillset, he can mimic a bunch of different guys, including Tagovailoa’s ability to be a pain against the rush.
I wonder if Tyleik Williams has been hitting the Monarc machine to work on catching passes like I suggested to him. I never stop trying to help.
To read the rest of this extended edition of What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder, you can click here, but you must be a premium subscriber. Additional topics include plans for Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, moving pictures on defense, the Buckeye cornerbacks, expecting more from Tyleik Williams, an in-state decommitment, some credit to a true freshman, thoughts on the OSU running game, the danger of the quarterback sneak, Justin Fields, CJ Stroud, and much more.