Quote Of The Day: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein" - Joe Theismann
Silver Bullets Back?
Speaking of Football Geniuses like Joe Theismann eloquently stated in our Quote Of The Day, there is no question that the biggest storyline of this offseason was the addition of Jim Knowles as the defensive coordinator here in Columbus. Three out of the last four seasons have left Ohio State fans wondering "What could have been?" if the Buckeyes could have put together some sort of cohesive group on that side of the ball. Kerry Coombs may not have a lot of success, but there is one thing that is very different between he and Jim Knowles: Experience.
With the offense that Ohio State will have this fall, the defeoing to cut it for Jim Knowles, and it isn't going to cut it for the players in the WHAC. The Buckeyes were flawed last season, but what was so uncharacteristic was how inconsistent they were at getting to the QB. At times it felt like the secondary had to cover for way to long on every single critical down, and seeing a stop in the backfield or a sack felt like watching that 2016 team try to throw the ball down field. It was few and far between.
Getting to the QB is priority #1, and it always should be. You get the signal caller on the ground, and you make everyone's job a million times easier. How does Ohio State get back to this level though? Part of the answer is the guy in the thumbnail. J.T. Tuimoloau showed up to the Spring Game on Saturday looking like a player who had finally been in Mickey Marotti's dojo. After showing up to campus last July, and quickly making a splash with meaningful snaps in the fall, Tuimoloau looks to make the next step. Unique bend for his size mixed with a fantastic get-off of the line, strong hands, and speed to get around the edge are all reasons why Tuimoloau should be a household name for anyone that calls themself a college football fan. He will show up ready in the fall, and he isn't the only guy from the class of 2021 looking to make a splash.
Jack Sawyer, Tyleik Williams, and Mike Hall are all waiting in line along with Tuimoloau to get going for the Buckeyes, and the wait may be about over. They may not have the seniority of Harrison, Cage, Jean-Baptiste, or Vincent, but these guys are talented, and need to be on the field if they can truly make an impact. I thought it was evident on Saturday that the two most impressive DEs on the field were #44 and #33. Tyleik Williams, is consistently heralded as a freakish athlete, with one of the fastest 10-Yard splits on the team regardless of position (he weighs 315 lbs!), and Mike Hall is the definition of a savage game breaker on the line of scrimmage. Are there other guys in the room with talent? Absolutely, but it is time to let the Class of 2021 cook on the defensive line.
Guys like this make Jim Knowles job as defensive coordinator so much easier. If the Buckeyes get back to their old ways of getting to the Quarterback this fall, then send your prayers to the rest of the B1G, because Ohio State will be back in Death Star mode. Get the defense clicking along with the offense, and you get one word: Trouble.
Happy Thursday and thanks for stopping in. Have a great day and Go Bucks!