‘No-Talent’ Buckeyes Could Be Unstoppable This Year

This year’s Ohio State football team is talented enough to win all of their games, but it’s going to be the things that don’t require any talent whatsoever that determines if that actually happens or not.

Penalties, missed tackles, incorrect eye placement, one false step — anything can derail a close game for the Buckeyes. And for as many games as a team is going to have to play now in order to win it all, there are going to be more opportunities than ever before to make a play or miss a play down the stretch in a close game.

The Buckeyes opened spring practice on Tuesday and have now been through two practices. This is one of the most-anticipated spring camps in OSU history because of the amount of veteran talent on hand.

Ohio State will be able to “out-talent” most teams that they play this year, but how well they “out-no-talent” the opposition will also matter as well.

“As a team, we’re really working hard on all the no-talent issues and building that discipline and skill, but it’s good first day. Good energy,” head coach Ryan Day said on Tuesday.

Effort, discipline, focus, energy, understanding. There’s no need to run a 4.3 in any of that. Anybody can do those kinds of things. There is no talent required, only desire.

Even when asked to talk about the amount of talent the Buckeyes have on the practice field, Day’s not getting lost in the possibilities. He’s too busy working on the realities.

“I think during our workouts and mat drills or seeing some of the team runs was kind of when you think about those types of things,” he said. “You look at the guys and you see the potential and it gets you really excited. But then as much talent as we have, it’s going to be the no-talent issues that actually help us reach our goals. So, that’s been the focus now.”

Obviously having more talent than less is preferable, and Day did say that while it is nice to see somebody like freshman wide receiver Jeremiah Smith running a deep route, there is so much more that goes into this process.

“It’s the discipline of knowing what to do, it’s the focus, it’s running to the ball, its effort, its energy, it’s all the things that, again, take no talent,” he said. “That’s going to be the focus. It’s not about the talent anymore. That was the last couple months. Now we need to acquire the skill and discipline it’s going to take to go reach our goals, and that’s what spring is all about.”

The players have bought in as well because they’ve been the ones on the field when they have come up just short in their biggest games the last two seasons. With the amount of talented juniors who have returned for one final chance at beating Michigan, winning the Big Ten, and whatever happens after that, the “little things” are more magnified than ever.

That may be one of the reasons Day said this week that this Buckeyes team is “as close to NFL players and pro players as I’ve been around.” They take things seriously, which then requires the coaches to “bring it every day” according to Day.

The accountability is going both ways right now because the focus is on this team getting better, rather than how good this team already is.

Everyone knows the talent on this team, but it’s the no-talent things that will separate them even more.

“There are no talent issues here on this team,” said senior defensive end Jack Sawyer. “I think if you look at our team across the board, we’re probably one of the most talented teams in the country, if not the most-talented team in the country. That’s God-given though, and what we can work on is our discipline, our skill, our technique.

“I think if we become the most-disciplined and sound team technique-wise, there’s not gonna be a team in the country to stop us.”

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