Check out Jamie’s Q&A with the SB Nation Ohio State blog.
Defending guys in space will be key for the Buckeyes. Ohio State’s defense has great speed, but so do TCU’s skill players. Realistically, too, TCU’s offensive line is still gelling a bit. Disrupting the line and stopping the run could be the key to slowing TCU’s offense overall, as Robinson has only been marginal with his accuracy in the first two games of the season. If he’s forced to throw 50 times in this game and is bottled up on the ground, that will be problematic for the Frogs.
“There were a couple of committee members -- I won’t identify them -- who had that same knot in their stomach,” Weiberg said. “Do we have this right? Is there a different way? How many other ways should we be looking at this?”
What they looked at closely, former committee member and chairman Jeff Long said, was the protocol for determining the top four teams. The committee members are guided by conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, common opponents and other relevant factors like injuries -- none of which are weighted, or have changed since Year 1.
”That’s what really resulted in the committee voting that dramatic change in the last weekend because we fully vetted the criteria and protocols we were given by the management committee,” said Long, now the athletic director at Kansas. “I think there was also a feeling that we didn’t have to act like a poll. We were a group of 12 individuals voting. That gave some latitude to when we looked at all of those criteria, we had the full body of work, we could make a decision that moved someone on the last week.”
The only thing I disagree with is that the Frogs have been waiting for this chance. In my book, they’ve already had it, and they own rings... just not THE ring.
Meanwhile, TCU is big time. You probably just don’t know it. The best FBS program in Texas -- sorry Texas and Texas A&M -- has the most victories in the state since 2001, Patterson’s first year. Patterson has been around so long that he is the only active head coach at his current school to have coached a Pro Football Hall of Famer (LaDainian Tomlinson).
The coach’s newly remodeled office includes bowl trophies, a shower and a photo gallery that would impress any prospect. There’s G.P. in a pic with Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. There’s G.P. will both Bush presidents. There’s G.P. telling a guest to sit down in one of the plush chairs.
”We decided to make this for recruiting,” Patterson said. “I designed these chairs so a 6-foot-8, 350-pound dude would feel small in them. So then a normal person would think that’s a love seat.”
The facilities might actually be better than those at Texas, which is a reason Del Conte is no longer here. He accomplished everything he could at TCU. Texas has its problems.
Coach Patterson has been trying to keep perspective for his team.
“It’s win or lose and then your season is going forward or getting over with. … If you can win it, you’re going to be part of that [playoff] conversation. If you don’t win it, you don’t. But we’ve got Texas next week, start of Big 12 conference play, then Iowa State before we get a break.
“This has just got to be Game 3. It’s a big game. Everybody is excited about it, but for us as a program what you have to do is keep everything in perspective and understand that you still have a long season. You can’t ruin your season because you make it an ‘all-or-nothing’ situation.”
Haskins hasn’t seen anything close to what the Frogs will put out their defensively this weekend to this point in his career.
In the press conference on Monday, acting head coach and offensive coordinator Ryan Day said he has seen promising decision-making in Haskins’ first two starts under center.
“Whether it’s before or after the snap, he has to make decisions,” Day said. “He has the ability to make a check or in the pass game, he can change the protection and slide it one way or the other. He has a good handle on that.”
Day said that despite the early season success Haskins has found, there are still plenty of mistakes to be corrected, especially with TCU coming up on the schedule.
“I think that, you know, when the games get tighter, every play matters even more. And so the mistakes are still there,” Day said. “The interception in the red zone two games ago, or, you know, a play with false starting or sack on third down; those plays in a big game are going to show up even more.”
The Frogs have to hold up on the lines.
The O-line protecting sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson will be critical. He’s agile enough to be creative and scramble away from danger, but his ability to diagnose where pressure is coming from just isn’t up to speed yet. Even with good protection, Robinson needs to get the ball out quickly.
The Frogs can give themselves a good chance of winning by chipping away at the Buckeyes on the ground and connecting on big plays through the air. Outside of garbage time, TCU has been notably pass-first through two games. Darius Anderson, if healthy, needs to see his touches increase. A bigger role for Sewo Olonilua, who profiles more like a power back, should be explored.
Wow, we found the one person outside of FW that believes in TCU!
Just a reminder — no Urban Meyer. This is the third and final game of his suspension, which means Ryan Day remains the head coach. The lack of continuity hasn’t hurt the Buckeyes to this point. But let’s be real — their first two opponents are each 1-1 now, but OSU punked each of them by a combined score of 129-34. TCU will be the best opponent the Buckeyes have faced to this point. Ohio State must be mindful of the Horned Frogs’ overall team defense, a persistent pass rush and an underrated secondary. Haskins has the makings of a quality passer, and Weber can present real problems to the TCU defense. On defense, Ohio State must get to Robinson early and often and turn the offense one-dimensional. The Buckeyes have the talent to do both.
Prediction: TCU 37, Ohio State 33. Yep, taking the Horned Frogs in this one. Why? Well, I feel both teams stack up pretty evenly on the field. The difference, if there is one, is the coaching. Patterson has the experience to make the adjustments in-game that Day doesn’t. That will make the difference in a close game.