Observations from the Ohio State – USC game

That was a tough loss for the Buckeyes on Saturday night. They had the game, but basically handed it to USC at the end. The defense played great all night, so you can’t blame them for the game, though the last drive was very disappointing.

-Tressel needs to give up the play calling. We’ve said this over and over again. Tressel can’t seem to manage the game properly. He’s been out-coached in big games that have turned into blowouts, and he’s also watched as his team’s have blown leads on the final drive. He needs to make a change.

-Terrelle Pryor has a long way to go. He’s a physical specimen, but his decision-making sucks. While we can criticize Tressel for his calls, Pryor had real trouble executing the game plan. He took way to many losses in the backfield. He never seems to know when he should throw the ball away. His accuracy also sucks. Based on what we saw on Saturday, this kid will never be an NFL QB. He needs to focus on being a good college QB first, and that means using his head AND his legs to move the ball.

-The D-line is awesome. We heard plenty of talk about the USC o-line, and how they had a bunch of NFL forst-rounders. Well, either their stock fell or the stock of the Buckeye d-linemen shot up as they made big plays all night.

-The o-line is pretty bad. This is a huge disappointment for the Buckeyes. They need to take a long look at their recruiting. They seem to find plenty of big white guys from Ohio, but few of them have real athleticism. Size isn’t everything, so they need to figure out how to narrow their focus on guys that can play the game.

This game was a tough one to take. Jim Tressel has been a great head coach, and it’s great to see the Buckeyes competing every year, but he needs to step up his game and adopt to the new reality. Find the best young coach out there and make him your offensive coordinator.

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ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has the Buckeyes ranked #7

Football season won’t be here for a while, but Mark Schlabach has updated his pre-season Top 25 now that national signing day has passed. He has the Buckeyes at #7, which seems about right.

7. Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes suffered heavy personnel losses from the team that lost to Texas 24-21 in the Fiesta Bowl. Linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman, receiver Brian Robiskie and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins were seniors last season. Then tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells and receiver Brian Hartline decided to skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. Terrelle Pryor should improve in his second season as a starting quarterback, and the Ohio State coaches feel confident about tailback Dan Herron, who filled in well when Wells was hurt in 2008. Pryor must become a better passer during the offseason, and the receiver corps will have to be rebuilt. There won’t be much time for the Buckeyes to jell, however, as USC will play in the Horseshoe on Sept. 12.

The Buckeyes are fortunate tha Mark Sanchez decided to leave USC for the NFL draft. It gives them a much better chance in the early-season showdown.

As a side note, what the heck is Brian Hartline thinking?

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