In this episode of the Buckeye Weekly Podcast, Tom Orr and Tony Gerdeman take a look ahead at this weekend’s game against Penn State by answering listener questions about the biggest game of the year so far.
What will Dallan Hayden’s role be this week and moving forward? Is the Devin Brown red zone package here for good? Why unveil it one week before the Nittany Lions come to town? What were the pros and cons of showing Penn State the red zone wrinkle?
What’s the deal with Penn State’s lack of downfield passing? Does that mean the OSU linebackers are in for a long day on Saturday? Should the Buckeyes play more 4-receiver sets in order to spread the defense out? Has Penn State’s defense dealt with anything close to Ohio State’s offense this season?
The fellas talk about all of this and more.
You can find a full, automated (and unedited) transcript below the video player.
Tony Gerdeman 0:01
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Buckeye weekly podcast. I am Tony Gerdeman. Here as always, with Tom Orr. Tom
how’s it going?
Tom Orr 0:16
No, no, please take your time. Saturday is not getting here in an enormous hurry. It’s fine. We have lots and lots of time to screw around. Yes, please, by all means, go ahead.
Tony Gerdeman 0:24
No, it is getting here and an enormous hurry. And normally, on today’s show, we would look back and rewatch Ohio State’s previous game. But Purdue is gone. This is it’s time to pay more attention to Penn State. Penn State is the game this weekend. It is the biggest game of the year of the week. So we’re going to spend as much time as possible on it. And the best way to do that is to seek out listener questions. So we did that. And we’ve got some good topics on hand, Tom, on a scale of one to 10 How would you rate the questions?
Tom Orr 0:58
Boy, there’s some pretty good questions here. I’m gonna say I’m gonna say like an eight and a half year on the part of the listeners. That’s that’s pretty good. We got to leave ourselves a little bit of room. I’m sure we will do a listener question show for Michigan week want to give them an opportunity to still have a little room to improve for the Michigan game? But yeah, these are these are questions worthy of the week I will say we’ll start with one from at CFB Chief of Staff, is there any consideration in playing Dallin Hayden against Penn State and Michigan while preserving his red shirt. And Tony, it feels to me like if you feel like he’s worth playing against Penn State and Michigan, he’s probably worth playing against Wisconsin and Michigan State and Minnesota and a theoretical big 10 championship game and a theoretical college football playoff appearance. If you think he’s worth playing, and you think he’s going to get carries, I think at that point, the red shirt is no longer really a consideration to me.
If Dallan Hayden is the best option for those two games, he’s the best option all season long. I can’t imagine you he’s played in two games now played against Indiana has now played against Purdue. You play him against Penn State and Michigan. And he you know, he does well in those games. And then you’re like, Alright, that’s it. No big 10 championship game. No playoffs, we don’t want to waste it use his redshirt. So I don’t think that is going to happen. I still wonder what happens when everybody gets back. But in terms of I think right now, he is willing to bet you’re he’s willing to do whatever they need, I think he needs to be they need to be willing to that plan was nice. But we need to move the ball, we need to run the ball, we need to stay stay on schedule, you need to keep the season on schedule. And if he’s the guy that can do that, then make that happen. I I think that comes down to what he does against Penn State and how they use him. Like if he’s effective against Penn State boom, he’s your number two the rest of the way out there, in my opinion. And as much number two as as we thought maybe mine Williams is going to be the champion Henderson where it’s a one a one b rather than a one and a two because fees is effective against Penn State as he was against Purdue nothing, I’m expecting that. But if he is, you know, that’s actually your best running back at that point. If he can be effective against Penn State in the same way he was against Purdue, I’m not expecting anything, anybody to do that. But if he doesn’t play in either of those games, I’ll be somewhat surprised because you’re saving him for a reason you’re saving a year, but you’re also saving him for some games later on down the road. And you can’t worry about Michigan right now, when you have to beat Penn State and you who knows how healthy their running backs are going to be going into that game this week?
Tom Orr 3:46
Well, I think that’s a really interesting part of this question and a part of the next question, too. And I’m just going to lump this next one. And it’s from David, who’s your one, two part question, who will get the majority of carries and who should get the majority of carries? And I’m gonna let you answer this one first. But before you do, I’m going to throw two pieces of information out there. Number one is, as you said, the health of all the other running backs treyvion Henderson, we were expecting to see him last week, we’re sort of assuming that it was because of the wet turf that he we did not see him at Purdue, but we were told to expect to see him and then we didn’t see him. So I think everyone’s expecting to see him this weekend against Penn State. But that was the case last weekend, too. So we’ll see probably you’re gonna see him. Mine Williams, there has not really been much information but what exactly the issue is with mine Williams, so that’s a little bit TBD. And then chip train them. You know, they haven’t said it was a concussion, but boy that hit shore looked like the type of hit that would lead to a concussion and he stumbled and fell as he was trying to come off the field. So how long is that recovery take? I don’t know that there is any one of the top three running backs that you can feel are the top three running backs. And during the season that you can feel totally confident is going to be healthy and play a full The complete game on Saturday against Penn State. So I think that’s one part of the conversation. The other part of the conversation, Tony is the reason that Delon Hayden hasn’t been playing. And this just kind of Ryan day just sort of slipped something in at the end of one of his answers during the postgame press conference. And I was not there. So I didn’t hear it live. I only heard it when I went back and listen to it later. He talked about protection protection being sort of the thing that Dallin Hayden still has, you know, there’s still some work to be done in terms of protection, which, you know, in case in the case of a running back means, blitz pickup, that kind of stuff, you know, all the all the unsexy stuff that, you know, when they don’t play wide receivers until they can block they’re not going to play running backs until they’re comfortable with them in terms of blitz pickup and that kind of stuff. So I think that’s the answer to the why, in terms of why down hidden hasn’t been playing as much as his play when he’s actually carrying the ball might indicate that he should. So okay, with all that said, Tony, who will get the majority of the carries and who should get the majority of the carries?
Tony Gerdeman 5:57
Time? I don’t believe you answered the question at all. You just threw out more complications there. The the also the protection is also protecting the ball. And we’ve talked about that in the past where it seems like maybe that hasn’t necessarily happened in practice, where maybe he’s put the ball on the ground. And that continues to be a conservative Ryan day was pleased that he didn’t in this one, in terms of who will get it, who should get it after the game during the postgame or has the reaction show. I said that it felt like, wouldn’t be surprised if this was the most efficient game for a running back at Ohio State this year in terms of the success rate, the success rate being when you’re moving that when you’re on offense, if you get half of the yards needed on first down 70% of the yards needed on second down and all of the yards needed on third or fourth down. And so I went back and looked at all the times Ohio State had a running back this season carried the ball at least 10 times because they wanted some sort of a sample size. And so there have been five such games only five where Ohio State has had a running back with at least 10 carries. And Hayden’s performance against Purdue was the most successful in terms of the success rate had the highest success rate of any of the other running backs. He was successful on seven of his 11 runs. And one of the runs he was not successful on he picked up eight yards on second and 20. So not going to hold that one against him. But you look at the the next one was treyvion Henderson, eight of 13 against Western Kentucky. Then chip training was eight of 20 for 40% against Maryland, and treyvion Henderson, four of 12 against Indiana 33%. And the best game for treyvion Henderson this year in terms of yardage 14 carries 104 yards against Notre Dame, three of his 14 carries would be considered successful. And the other thing here is the longest streak of successful runs for the buckeyes this year. For many of these guys. Hayden had seven in a row. The longest streak prior to that was like two or three. And so not only does he keep them on schedule, in a drive, but just drives upon drives. He was keeping them keeping them on schedule.
Tom Orr 8:18
Yeah, it feels like if you’re just going by the what does he do? Or what has he done with the ball in his hands during games? It feels like he’s the answer to who should. And the great unknown is like you said ball security what what does it look like in practice is you put the ball in the ground a bunch in practice, and we just haven’t seen it during the games. Is he is it the Blitz pickup stuff that I talked about earlier? That’s a little bit, you know, protection. I guess you could interpret either of those ways. It feels like this is one of these great unknowns, like the coaches are not idiots, despite what people on Twitter might think, during the course of the game. I’m sure they recognize I’m sure they have seen the film, I’m sure they have figured out that hey, the ball was moving further down the field every time we give it to him compared to other people in the past. So I’m sure there’s a reason. I still kind of think, you know, if it’s, if it’s a past pro issue that feels like something you can scheme yourself, like just leave another tight end in or something and figure it out or whatever, whatever you need to do. There’s going to be a workaround there if that’s if that’s the issue. And if he really is turns out to be the most consistent guy, give it to him until it stops working. Basically, who is it going to be? If trophy and Henderson is healthy treyvion Henderson is the number one running back and I think that’s because they feel like treyvion Henderson can be trusted to not put the ball on the ground to do all the stuff they need to do in pass Pro to hit the big plays. And you know if he’s a if he’s an eight on all of those and down Hayden’s a six on in terms of ball security or pass Pro or whatever, but he’s an eight and a half in terms of the running on the Round, they’re going to they’re going to default to the veteran who they feel they can trust in those big moments with the, you know, the whole holistic picture, I guess, of what it takes to be a running back at Ohio State. So who you know and then so yeah, who will get the majority of the carries? If it’s if he’s Henderson, if he’s healthy, it’s treyvion Henderson
Tony Gerdeman 10:20
and I think also, let’s let dominate and have more of a sample size himself, judging him on one game against a pretty poor run defense that’s going to be advantageous for anybody that you’re looking at. I do wonder how many times we’ve seen treyvion Henderson run the guard tackle counter that they were running with down Hayden seemed like he ran that maybe four times down Hayden ran it like four times in the game against Purdue alone. I don’t know how much we’ve seen that this season. You’ll talk to Ross and you guys are probably go over that throughout this week. But I’m just gonna throw that question out to Ross. Like how, how often have the other running backs got to run get to run that play that was being blocked very well. And there were some success there. So, advantageous, scheming, advantageous, in red advantageous schedule? I think those played into Dallin Hayden’s success. But let’s see more of it and see if it is you can blame everything else, or give him some credit. Football is back in full swing with another week of Epic Games and who’s going to come in on the action for every single one of them. DraftKings sportsbook and official sports betting partner of the NFL your customers can bet $5 on football get $200 instantly and bonus bets nobody’s missing out on the action this season. All DraftKings customers can take advantage of two new offers every game this September get in on the NFL backs and with DraftKings sportsbook download the app now and use code huddle up to sign up new customers combat just $5 and take home 200 instantly in bonus bets only on DraftKings sportsbook with code huddle law the crowd is yours gambling problem call 100 game or visit www dot 100 gambler.net in New York call 8778 Hope and why or text hope and why in Connecticut help is available for Problem Gambling Call 888-789-7777 or visit CCP g.org Please play responsibly on behalf of Boot Hill Casino Resort Kansas 21 and over age varies by jurisdiction void in Ontario sports book that draftkings.com/football terms of responsible gaming resources bonus bets expires seven days after issuance eligibility and deposit restrictions apply.
Tom Orr 12:27
Alright, next one from Eric miles are II do you think the Devon brown redzone package is here to stay? I think the answer is yes. Depending on how we’re defining here to stay. I don’t know that you’re going to see Devin Brown. Every time it’s first in goal. I don’t think you’re gonna see Devin brown trotting out there. But I think there’s a decent possibility you see that at some point in most of the games moving forward. And maybe that’s once again, maybe that’s twice a game. Maybe that’s just if it’s third and goal at the one. It just it feels like they think they’ve got something there. Again, maybe this is sort of related to the dowel and Hayden question where yeah, it worked. And then the second time they tried it he put the ball on the ground? And did they feel that they can trust him to hang on to the ball? And that’s that’s going to be an important part of this equation as well. But, you know, we weren’t for sure going to see that. Moving forward. I just I don’t know if that’s, you know, do we see that once against Penn State? Or do we see that five times against Penn State, it doesn’t, it feels like if they’re down in the red zone a few times, you’re going to see it at least once.
Tony Gerdeman 13:36
My initial thought when we saw against Purdue is that we were seeing it because we weren’t going to see it at Penn State. Just they wanted Penn State to waste time dealing with it. And this was just a ploy. But it was effective. And you can say yes, he fumbled. But the blocking scheme, everything was affected up to that point. And he would have scored if he held on to the ball. So that is an effective scheming and play calling and almost execution of that situation. I do think that part of the your red zone strength is Marvin Harrison. And if at some point and they did try to throw the ball with Devin Brown, so that is good. But he has to throw it better. That is that is a concern and maybe throw it higher and just let Mark go get it. It doesn’t need to be pinpoint. You don’t need you know, just keep it away from where a defender can get it and only Marvin can get it if you can throw some stuff like that. Just to keep the defense from assuming or even knowing that this is going to be a run play because you can have the numbers and the defense, you know can be they can be at number but if they know that you’re only going to run it that’s going to make life more difficult for Devin Brown.
Speaker 1 14:54
If there is some threat of the past there, then that’s going to ease things up but a difference how As to respect the past, but they don’t necessarily have to expect it until you start connecting on it.
Tom Orr 15:06
Yeah, it felt last week like they were setting up for, you know, the Devon brown jump pass or the Devon Brown takes one sort of fall step towards the line kind of leans over, you know, does the one step forward, lean over and then pop back up and then zip into Marvin Harrison after the linebackers and the safeties all sort of suck in and to stop the run it? You know, there’s an infinite number of variations you can do off of that. And I, you know, I mean, I think we’ve just just seen them scratching the surface on this and you saw them throw in the goal line last week, it didn’t go great. But then he threw the, you know, he threw the 58 yarder to Brendan, and so you know, you know, he can throw the ball so, it feels like there’s gonna be there’s gonna be different iterations of this. And the next one’s really interesting. And it’s something we talked a little bit about during the postgame from at zero h state Buckeye, St. Buckeye pros and cons of showing the different brown package last week instead of debuting it versus Penn State. Because, I mean, we talked after that game about, you know, if if you want to just completely blindside Penn State with it. Yeah, we covered this team. We know this team pretty darn well. And when Devin brown trotted out on the field, I went, Oh, wow, you know, what’s going on? It’s kind of record hurt, do it happen? And it kind of caught me off guard a little bit. And so that’s, you know, certainly, certainly, I mean, college football coaches are paid to be paranoid and worry about everything. And so I’m sure they’ve considered you know, well, what if they have a Tyreke? Williams quarterbacks neat package, like I’m sure I’m sure someone at Penn State, some grad assistant is gaming out what they’re going to do if they put Tyler Williams in the shotgun or something like that. But, you know, to trot it out against, you know, against Purdue in a game where you didn’t really have to have it, you were, you know, they were up. They had been driving the ball? Well, you probably, you know, they’ve been moving Purdue off the line a little bit, they probably could have done without it. It felt very intentional to put that out there at that moment. So, you know, besides the make them waist practice time, you know, is there another benefit to that, that you see,
Tony Gerdeman 17:13
I think the other benefit is doing it, and repping it and then having it on film to coach off of and just the experience of doing it. We talk all the time about you get experienced in practice, but the experience during games is so much more valuable for players. This is that experience and they didn’t do it just once they did it several times. So I do think that is a benefit. But it sure is interesting in the question, the real question is why now? Why did you show it? What is the purpose of it? Because the purpose of it wasn’t just to we want to use it the purpose, there’s added there’s intrigue, there’s layers, you got to peel this onion. Why then why one week before Penn State? What do you want Penn State to do about it? I think is the other question like What is? What is your motivation? What is the ploy here? Because it’s not just well, we needed something we needed to fix our redzone. That’s, I don’t think that is the reason you do that on the road. Or you do that against Purdue when you’re probably feeling pretty good about how things are gonna go. And even though they did Break it, break it out early. So they went in with an entire plan for this. And part of that plan includes what this is going to make Penn State do. So I wonder if we can Friday, we’ll come out and talk about it after the Penn State game, and like really let people in like, yeah, we wanted we this is why we did it. Or if you know, he would just be like, well, you know, it’s we need to be strong in the redzone. And we want to win one for the Gipper. And you know, just all of that coach speak. So, yeah. Am I do you have anything else there? Like? Any other pros cons there for that one?
Tom Orr 18:54
Not really, it just it? Again, I was a little surprised when they ran it out. I do wonder what you know, I don’t I don’t think that means that’s an absolutely crucial piece of the offense moving forward. Because otherwise, you would save it for a big moment against Penn State. Because, you know, the moments he gets pretty good. We’re just not that big based on the way the game was going. But again, you know, I mean, it’s you like, you can do so many different things off of that, that maybe, you know, maybe there’s assuming that, okay, this is a heavy run tendency when he’s in and you’re setting up the fact that oh, he can you can throw the ball to or, you know, he goes in, but you have a separate package with the income record on the field at same time. I don’t know. I mean, there’s just, there’s a lot of different possibilities there. But, you know, it was not an accident that they did that last week. So you know, just I guess I guess my big thing would be kind of your first reaction, which was make Penn State waste a bunch of time trying to figure this thing out. And you know, whatever time they spend on that they’re not spending on something else.
Tony Gerdeman 19:58
But this is also assuming that They make it to the red zone.
Tom Orr 20:01
That’s true. I couched my statement earlier in terms of you know how many times it would make it down there? Well, we’ll say this does this feel like it might be a little bit defensive slugfest? Next one from at Tony underscore Lisa 13. DREW eller doesn’t seem to threaten downfield that much. Does this game come down to our linebacker play? And if so, is that a good thing? And just to put in perspective, the amount of downfield threatening that they do, Tony, I think we talked about this on a show last week. But Penn State is currently tied with Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin in terms of number of 20 yard plays this season. They are actually behind behind Iowa in terms of 20 yard pass plays this season. They are however, ahead of former future Heisman winner Joe Milton and Tennessee who have only 1120 yard plays this season through the air but the Nittany Lions with 12. Six plays a 30 yards or longer one play one of 40 or more yards through the air. You know, it feels this feels like a trap in some ways like Penn State has good skill talent. So have they just not needed to do this? Do they just not have the game braking ability like they can be they’ve been very efficient in the passing game, but they haven’t really been explosive in the passing game. And their yards per pass stats have kind of borne that out as well. It’s just they’ve been just kind of fine. Like they’re not. They’re not remarkable. They’re not, you know, they’ve just they’ve just been completely fine. They are 6.9 yards per attempt, which is I mean, it’s not great. They’re they’re right in the neighborhood of Boston College, Kentucky, Pitt, Iowa State San Diego State, Western Kentucky actually below them in yards per attempt, which I would not have not have guessed that Tennessee down there as well, Clemson, Michigan State Indiana like that, though, that is not really the neighborhood you want to be in in terms of yards per attempt, passing wise, they’ve just been very efficient so far this season. So you know, I guess to the second point of the question, linebacker plays going to be a part of it, I think. But I think to me, a lot of this comes down to the defensive line, if the defensive line can do its job and, you know, keep keep the running great game and in check. This does not seem like a Penn State team that is likely to hit a bunch of big hitters. So then you just have to get off the field on third down. If you’re not giving up a bunch of big plays. You got to gotta keep them off schedule. You just got to get yourself off the field on third downs and how much of that comes down to the linebackers in your mind.
Tony Gerdeman 22:41
Well, I think the linebackers making the tackles and I am expecting it to be more Cody Simon and Steele Chambers as we maybe continue on the season looks like maybe that job is being wrestled away. I still, I don’t know. I don’t know if I do expect Steele chambers to start but I don’t know if I should. So that’s going to be figured out but I’m with you as the defensive line. Penn State’s running game has not been that great either. So there is that fact like, you can be concerned about Ohio State’s linebackers, but Penn State’s fans are concerned about Penn State’s running game against Ohio State’s defense. I will say in terms of the big plays. You said that one pass play of 40 yards or more this season for Penn State that happened on their second throw of the season. They’ve now gone like 178 passes and then 779 passes without anything beyond 39 yards or so. So that’s that is pretty significant and talking with a Penn State beat writer on Monday because I asked him Is it hasn’t been a matter of just safeties two safeties over the top trying to limit it. And so there’s nowhere to really throw it downfield and there’s been some of that but no interceptions right now for Drew Alor. He they’ve kind of preached to be be safe. And I think that that preaching to be safe, and they want to throw the ball away. feels to me like that is also being interpreted as check it down, throw short, take easy ones, move down the field. And then there’s also a third aspect or fourth aspect wherever we are in the numbers here in terms of I I don’t know that they have many explosive receivers, and it’s a topic that we talked about prior to Notre Dame. We’ve talked about it prior to the Michigan game. We’ve been half right in terms of those two teams, but the CADRE Lambert Smith had the long one and he’s really their number one receiver and everybody else is 910 11 yards a catch. So I think there’s there several reasons for a lack of big plays. And I don’t know why that would stop against Ohio State but I do You think you need to take some shots against Ohio State when you find when they do move into the single high and you know because Josh proctor is defending a slot now life and ransom is the single SAP attacking downfield see what happens? Especially if Denzel Burke is still a little banged up or out.
Tom Orr 25:18
Yeah, that’s going to be an interesting question is the health of Denso Burke going into this game but you know, with the safety play being as good as it has been for Ohio State, there is no one on the Penn State team when you look at the just yards per game in terms of receiving candy Lambert Smith, you mentioned 67 yards per game. No one else is above 35.5 And that’s Harrison Wallace the third and he he’s a 35.5. I came into this year thinking Dante CFS who was a transfer from Kent State, I thought he might be a difference maker for them. He was a big big play receiver in the Mac, seven catches 103 yards. He’s played in all six games, averaging 14.7 yards per carry, but I mean a catch but along at 26 they just they’re not hitting the big plays right now downfield and you know that you can hit a big play with a short pass. If you guys are making people miss and you’re you’re doing you don’t have sure tackling if the Ohio State corners are sure tacklers and they make Penn State try and drive the ball down the field. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on morale, because you mentioned the run game not being great that they’re running attack is 4.55 yards for per carry right now that’s 52nd in the country. That is a little ahead of Ohio State at 4.26. But you know, Ohio State fans, how do you feel about your running attack right now, based on the season on the hole probably not great. And so for Penn State to be only marginally better than that, but also not have a real obvious big play threat in the passing game. That feels like a little bit of a concern. And, you know, I always I always get a little skittish when there’s a young quarterback and he’s been asked to play it safe and you know, and be cautious and don’t You don’t need to push it. And then okay, now you’re gonna go on the road into the most hostile atmosphere you faced as a starter and now now you got to start pushing it downfield against what is undoubtedly going to be well, maybe maybe within the neighborhood of the Iowa secondary but one of the best secondaries you faced all season. One of the best defenses overall, you face this season. That you know that that seems like a weird time to take the training wheels off. So I you know, all of this to me, Tony makes me feel like boy, we’ve used the word rock fight a bunch this week. I think I’m gonna use it again, think this think this this has a possibility of being a rock fight? What beats rock. So Ohio State, I do refer to game on paper a lot into game on paper.com for my advanced analytic stuff. So yes, so if Ohio State can play game on paper.com, they have a good chance against Penn State, we got to get to the Penn State defense again and again, a couple questions because there’s some interesting stuff there. But first, Tony from at real Golden Bear. Do you think it really is Jack Nicklaus? I’m gonna say should Ohio State play for receivers more within his intake out there to spread defenses out?
Tony Gerdeman 28:10
We know that Ohio State is almost abhorrent to this idea. They’ll do it out of you know, desperate times or when they need to need to throw the ball downfield and they’re trailing or they’re in some sort of a hurry up. But they really don’t like going without a tight end in there. And I think it with with the way I don’t know if you saw my tweet time about Brandon innocence, 58 yard touchdown. And the last Ohio State freshman I assume to open his career.
Tom Orr 28:41
I did Yes. David Boston back in 1996. Yes, that is that’s not bad company in terms of Ohio State freshman wide receivers.
Tony Gerdeman 28:48
No, and I assume I didn’t go and check all of the freshmen but I assume that was the only other time it has happened. So congratulations to him. But I think it would be cool to see him more involved Brandon Ennis, I don’t expect that to happen because the games are going to get bigger now and so every possession every throw a miscommunication at this point could cost you a game especially on Saturday so I don’t expect him to be out there. I think you’ll continue to see Cornell Tate out there. Although this is a that was a game that Brandon is should grow from should learn from and they can maybe trust him a little bit more. I think is Mike Bucha going to play we don’t know yet on that one. So maybe that moves Brennan in the dumpster but they just really do not like going forwards and running out of the I’ve said for the last couple of weeks they need to spread things out more and run it. They would do that if they go for wide one of those four is going to be a tight end and Kate Stover or Gee Scott will go from being in line to to spread out to into the slot like they’re not going to. Rarely will you see them go without a tie down and I don’t expect that to happen and when They do go for wide. It’s usually a tight end in
Tom Orr 30:02
there. Yeah, I’m not expecting to see them playing. I mean, I guess you could theoretically do that without a without a running back. But they tend to want one of those guys back there as well. They have done that. And they’ve, they’ve had the, you know, 11 personnel out there and just go on five wide at times this season. We’ve seen that with the, you know, get the running backs split way out. But I don’t you know, that’s that’s going to be maybe a little bit of an exception, because you know that that is also a How much do you trust your offensive line? And I don’t think the answer is 100%. Totally without reservation right now. And so you’re putting a lot on the line to block with if you don’t have an extra guy in there to help. So I think you you might see tape again this week, if Mecca Ibuka isn’t in there. But I still think you’re probably your top four receivers right now in their minds are probably still Harrison, aboda Fleming and Xavier Johnson and then Tate’s probably number five, and are just basing that on the order in which we’ve seen guys and the number of snaps we’ve seen for guys, Tate I can see working himself into that top four group, maybe by the end of the season. But right now, I think that’s sort of where things stand. It is yet God,
Tony Gerdeman 31:20
I do think that Tate has now gotten to the point where they can put him in at anytime, and I do expect to see him. And it won’t be a surprise when he’s out there because he has progressed and continues to produce when he’s out there. So I think they’re confident enough at this point that they can put them into any situation and they’re not worried about it.
Tom Orr 31:40
All right, last one from Hank Scorpio has Penn State faced anything close to Ohio State’s offense this season and this is you know, this is sort of one of those there’s the rub situations where the pensive defense has been so good. But here’s the about Tony, I just I did this with a yards per play and points per game. They’re both I mean varying levels of useful information, but I think they both paint the a very similar picture Ohio State 13 in the country and yards per play 28th in the country in points per game. They have not been up to the standard of typical Ohio State offense, but they’ve been perfectly good. So 6.94 yards per play 36 points for game for Ohio State 13th and 20th. The next best team that Ohio State has played in terms of yards per play this season that Penn State has played sorry in terms of yards per play this season is UMass, which is 69th in the country. The next best team they have played in terms of points per game is West Virginia, which is 78th in the country. They have played two teams ranked 126 or below out of 133 teams in FBS in yards per play. That would be Northwestern at 126, Iowa at 128th. West Virginia is 90th Illinois. 76 UMass 69th There, they have played one team West Virginia is the only team ranked in the top 100 nationally in points per game. And yes, you’re still only halfway through the season. So you know Penn State defense completely locking people down, plays some role in that but you miss 107 points per game. Northwestern 119 points for game Iowa 115 10 points per game, Illinois 117 10 points per game. This is going to be a challenge that is not something that Penn State has seen before I still don’t think well while you talk about this, I’ll pull up some, you know, some of the yards allowed compared to opponent averages stats. But right now this feels like a Penn State defense that has not really been tested. So you know, the great, it all looks very impressive, but it feels like you’re still kind of grading them incomplete at this point.
Tony Gerdeman 33:49
Yeah, they have not seen a great offense. I don’t think they’re gonna see a great offense on Saturday, which is the other aspect of this like yeah, they haven’t seen anything like Ohio State. Ohio State hasn’t seen anything like Penn State and Ohio State’s offense to this point. hasn’t played as well as most Ohio State offense is over the years. So Penn State doing what they have done to everybody they faced. You look at what Ohio State the way they struggled in that first half against Maryland. This is an offense that is incomplete right now is up and down is a little banged up, you know, missing their number two receiver missing their number 123 running back, so it’s not a great situation, the offensive line still coming together. So Wow. This will be by far the best offense that Penn State has faced. I don’t think anybody that watches Ohio State’s offense would think this is an offense that no defense can contain no defense can’t. You can only hope to to contain you can’t stop Ohio State’s offense. I think there is an ability to stop waste Ohio State’s offense and it starts upfront with the past rush and stopping the run. And honestly I think the pass rush is almost more important in stopping the run in terms of focus because Ohio State will kind of stop the run themselves a little bit. But if you’re getting that, that pass that pass rush, and we’ve seen kind of a court person passes, that defenses aren’t intercepting. And so this will be an opportunity for Penn State’s defense, I think to get some pics because they’re gonna have opportunities, they just need to capitalize on them and Kyle McCord needs to be a little bit more careful, a little more more accurate. And, you know, catch the balls when they come to you I that’s my suggestion to the Ohio State receivers. This is not an offense, that is the end all be all. And so I do think they’re going to struggle against Penn State. But the potential is higher, certainly than any offense Penn State’s face so you can struggle and struggle and you can shut them down. But it only takes one hit to Marvin one hits a Julian Fleming Lake, they can make up for lost time pretty quickly. But it’s much, much more difficult if Kyle McCord has no time to throw.
Tom Orr 36:05
Yeah, and Penn State has been okay, in terms of what their opponents have done relative to their averages. On the ground, Penn State’s actually allowing 7% more on a per carry basis than opponents are averaging in other games. That makes them 80th In the country against that, but you know, Maryland was kind of in the same boat and Ohio State wasn’t able to really run the ball particularly well against Maryland, Penn State 11% Better than opponent averages against the pass and a yards per play basis, that’s 39th in the country. But again, this is we’ve sort of had this conversation with Michigan, where when the opponents are so bad when the opponents have been so bad. Overall, if you’re averaging five yards and attempts, you know, if you’re playing Iowa, and they’re averaging five yards and attempt against everyone, it’s almost impossible to get lower than that. Because normally, you would expect a good defense to be about 20% Better than opponent averages just because those teams are playing really bad opponents, sometimes you’re playing you’re gonna play a New Mexico State here or UMass there or whatever. And so you should be substantially better even if you’re just kind of a good defense. When the opponents are so bad, it’s almost impossible to hold them to zero or negative yards for an entire game. They tried against Iowa, they almost did it against Iowa. But you know, and that is very hard to do. But you know, there’s nothing there that suggests incredible, incredible lock down defense. This is just going to come down to how well Ohio State’s protects calm record and whether they can just stay on schedule on the ground can you just get four and a half five yards of carry on the ground consistently. And then maybe treyvion Henderson pops water down on Hayden pops one or something like that. But you know this, this feels like a game where it’s going to come down to one or two big plays. And you know, that might be the big mistake or the big you know, the big play that hits for hits for a long gainer. Yeah.
Tony Gerdeman 38:01
Big plays that randomly come out of nowhere executing in the redzone all the hidden stuff that we always talk about. I think that’s what ultimately decides this game, somebody will fail somebody will succeed and boom, you’ve got your winner. So that will do it. For this episode. Want to thank you all for tuning in. As always, please find us at Buck huddle.com If you’ve not yet become a member, join in say hello to us. There’s plenty of stuff going on in message board behind the scenes behind the paywall. As always, if you’re watching on YouTube, go ahead and hit the like button on this course. Go ahead and subscribe if you have not hit the bell to be notified when we drop videos, go live out at interviews, all sorts of things after games, things like that. And of course, if you’re listening on a podcast platform of your choice, please go ahead. Like know go ahead and rate and review. Five Star Review. Ignore the part I just said there about not knowing how to rate review, and rate and review based on everything else other than that, so what uh, thank you all for tuning in as always, and we’ll talk to you guys later
Transcribed by https://otter.ai