rockportTXbuckeye: Talk about not calling timeouts at the end of the game...Has Fick addressed this? What are your thoughts?
13:01:14 Rob_(moderator): Hi, Tim. Let's get started.
13:01:16 rockportTXbuckeye: Talk about not calling timeouts at the end of the game...Has Fick addressed this? What are your thoughts?
13:01:46 Rob_(moderator): Need some questions, folks.
13:02:35 Tim May: As I reported earlier this morning, and as was confirmed by Luke Fickell at noon, the Braxton Miller era will begin Saturday. Well, what Fickell really said was the talented freshman will gain his first start at quarterback ahead of senior Joe Bauserman. Who knows about the era just yet. With that written, I am ready for the Qs.
13:02:53 Rob_(moderator): Well, there's onee on the board already.
13:04:57 Tim May: Sorry, I needed to make an opening statement, which I believe to the protocol. As for the timeouts, Fickell and the Buckeyes goofed on that one, though Fickell did say his rationale was he wanted to bank them for the offense to use if it ever got the ball back, needing two scores. Of course, there are ways for the offense to stop the clock. That said, the defense never stopped the Hurricanes on the drive, which now makes the argument sort of moot.
13:05:04 gabuckeye: It was clear Miami was not going to let Jake beat them.How can they get him the ball more and stop the double teams.
13:07:07 Tim May: Maybe that was the plan, but on the tipped interception thrown by Miller late in the first quarter, Stoneburner was running free -- if only the pass had been six inches higher. And on the slant in the end zone, Stoneburner was open again but the pass from Joe Bauserman was low and behind. The way you get the TE the ball more is to throw it to him more. Not everyone has athletes like Miami trying to cover TEs.
13:07:16 DenisonBuckeye: After last weeks amount of damage by Lamar Miller and after reading The Dispatch article on Rodney Stewart, does Stewart pose the kind of threat that Miller does, or was it just our defense faltering against the run last week?
13:09:48 Tim May: I will tell you at about 6 p.m. Saturday. But a defense who's No.1 commandment is stop the run, the opening gash and dash by Miller was a wound that never totally healed that night. Stewart is capable, obviously, and Colorado does operate out of the I at times. But the Buffs like to throw the ball; Stewart has as much success catching and running as he does just running. That's what the Buckeyes need to contain this week.
13:09:53 bullets: Bauserman started due to his experience (mop-up duty and a int against IL in his only contested game), was he really better than Graham and Guiton if they didn't want to throw a true freshman as full-time starter?
13:10:39 Tim May: All I can go by is what you and I have seen the first three weeks, as in, that is what the coaches think. Graham wasn't even on the trp.
13:10:49 Ed: Even though Braxton Miller seemed to add a little spark to the Buckeye's offense down in Miami, he had that "deer in the headlights" look in his eyes...do you think he is ready to start and lead the team?
13:13:19 Tim May: I think he is ready to play, which I guess means yes. Does he have a full grasp of the playbook and changing plays at the line and reading the myriad defensive shenanigans he is going to see from the pocket? Probably not yet. But he has a live arm, and he has wheels. He just needs to make sure he takes care of the ball -- those two turnovers last week were costly, because the Buckeyes were still in the game. Rack it up to freshman jitters, but a turnover is a turnover.
13:13:25 gabuckeye: I was very IMPRESSED with the O-Line play Who do the coaches feel has been a sleeper in that group.
13:15:11 Tim May: Jack Mewhort gets better every game at left guard. I thought the fellow who opened some holes -- and some eyes -- last week was Corey Linsley, sharing time with Marcus Hall at right guard. Suspended the first two games for a breach of athletic department policy, Linsley seemed up to the challenge as he, Brewster and Mewhort tore holes in the Miami front.
13:15:16 OSUFRED: Was Jordan hall's cramps the reason he never carried the ball again after he seeemed to be running for 10-12 yds per carry on the drive when he came in ?
13:16:44 Tim May: Yes. Obviously that had an adverse effect on the revised game plan, but he should be 100 percent this week. He and Carlos Hyde make for a good change of pace. Maybe Hall should change his name to Jekyll, just to scare the opponents a little.
13:16:51 robbie: Do you have an update any injuries?
13:17:51 Tim May: Corey "Philly" Brown will not play for the second straight week due to the high ankle sprain. You already know Nathan Williams (knee scope last week) and backup fullback Adam Homan (knee scope this week) are out.
13:18:13 DenisonBuckeye: Do you think that Colorado is any true "gauge" of our progress if the Buckeyes win big (4+ touchdowns), or does that gauge not come until the Big Ten schedule?
13:20:22 Tim May: Colorado is a legitimate big-time test offensively. In fact, the Buffaloes could be lethal if veteran quarterback Tyler Hansen is allowed to throw without duress. WR Paul Richardson is a big play just waiting to happen, and we already talked about Stewart. As for the Colorado defense, it appears to be just the prescription for what last week was a sickly OSU offense.
13:21:00 leaderlegend: Concerned about the QB coaching. Does any major program have someone with as little experience as Nick Sicilicano? Seemed to be no QB development with Pryor, and now this bunch. Longing for the days of Walt Harris, and missing Joe Daniels. Hoping Fickell can clean house re: assistants.
13:24:28 Tim May: Don't have other college's coaching rosters handy. As for your assertion, I totally disagree that Pryor made no progress in his three years. You are very wrong about that. And last week, Bauserman made some lousy throws and so did Miller. But more often than not, receivers weren't open. Whose fault is that? At least Bauserman showed the discipline to throw it away when things didn't look right. Remember that both of these QBs are inexperienced. As for Pryor, he was 31-4 as a starter (before the vacated wins) and MVP of two straight BCS games.
13:24:36 jim: Are there going to be any adjustments in play calling to make the game a little more exciting?
13:26:28 Tim May: Jim, I hate to break this to you, but the coaches don't call us in every week and go over their plan. That said, I know they are tailoring some things to take advantage of the dual threat Miller brings to the QB position. They might spread the field a little more, but they definitely are not going to abandon to running game, not after the way it gave them their only hope last week.
13:26:33 OSUFRED: If QB play does not show huge improvement, will this team reach the 6 wins to bowl eligible ?
13:28:39 Tim May: They need better play throughout the passing game, including especially from the receivers. I cannot emphasize that enough. And don't forget, in game six at Nebraska they are scheduled to get back their No.1 running back Dan Herron, No.1 receiver DeVier Posey and No.1 left tackle Mike Adams. The team you see Saturday won't be the team you see in late October-November.
13:28:46 millcatt: Do you think the fans had anything to do with Fickell playing Miller this week?
13:31:19 Tim May: That's an open-ended question. That's like asking me whether people hoping for a tomorrow are responsible for the sun coming up again. It was obvious to all -- the coaches included, evidently -- that Miller brought a spark. But again, they need more than a spark. They need touchdowns. He ultimately will be judged on how many of those he can produce.
13:31:26 jim: I disagree-both are these QB's are not "inexperienced". Bauserman has been on the practice field for 5 years now, and we were told all spring and summer about the strength of Miller. Any comments?
13:34:27 Tim May: Yeah, I disagree with your disagreement. As receivers coach Stan Drayton said yesterday, game experience is what really counts, when you're trying to do something against somebody you don't know who not only is trying to thwart that, but maybe hit you real hard in the process. Nothing --- NOTHING -- subs for true game experience. It's why when freshmen start at quarterback, the playbook usually is cut by two-thirds, so they can do more playing than thinking. There is always a price to pay for playing freshmen. The trick is not to let it become debit situation.
13:34:31 email@example.com: What's up with the pass routes the receivers are running? They don't seem to get separation from the DBs. I know Miami Has superior athletes, but the receiver has an advantage in knowing where he is going. Dropped passes aside, the routes don't seem crisp and elusive. What's your thought?
13:37:23 Tim May: I agree. But that gets back to the experience thing. An experienced receivers learns how to beat the coverage, whether it's tight man or zone. He doesn't let the DB take away his inside move if he is supposed to run a slant. He keeps the defender on his back left hip if he is running an outcut to the right. He doesn't tip off his move to the post, to the fade or to the corner. He plays the game within the game instead of just making sure he is carrying out his assignment. That comes with the confidence gained from experience.
13:37:31 leaderlegend: Fair enough on TP, cannot argue with his record. Still on QBs, the obvious for the week. Bauserman's pass to Stoneburner in endzone appeared really hard, as well as low etc. Wondering if he is too schooled in the make-no-turn over camp? Know this is tough-- playmaking v. turn-overs.
13:40:43 Tim May: A first-time starter is almost always concerend with making mistakes, no matter his age. But in Bauserman's case, it reminded of something a journeyman race car driver Drake Olson said to me one time. "I've never had the luxury of crashing cars." Meaning, he never felt secure enough in a ride to be able to walk back from a crash knowing the owner knew he was just trying to find the edge. Big time players have to feel confident they can go over the edge from time to time and still keep their job. A freshman first-year starter is going to feel that much more than a fifth-year fsenior first-time starter.
13:41:24 DenisonBuckeye: Do you have any insight as to how long Braxton Miller might play on Saturday (even in a possible blowout) considering he needs the reps?
13:43:05 Tim May: My only hunch is he should take this as a sign it is his job, meaning the team is leaning on him from here on out, much as the Buckeyes did with Terrelle Pryor in 2008 when he was named the starter in game four over returning fifth-year senior starter Todd Boeckman.
13:43:19 BuckNuts9: When is the NCAA ruling expected (regarding Tressel/Five players etc)?
13:44:21 Tim May: Some time in the next several weeks. The projection was eight to 12 weeks after the hearing in Indianapolis on Aug.12. You do the math.
13:44:48 jim: Does the dispatch have any plans to interview Tressel on what he has seen in the last few games?
13:46:12 Tim May: From what I can tell he is trying pretty hard to keep a low profile on that and let Fickell and the coaches do their thing. He hired everyone of them, you know, except Mike Vrabel.
13:46:20 Buckeye in Dayton: Do you think Fickel's play calling would be different if he had a longer term contract?
13:48:25 Tim May: He's not calling the plays. But I don't think there is any doubt a man feels a bit more freedom to let it all hang out if he knows there is going to be a tomorrow, regardless of the outcome. I think as the year goes on you are going to see more of his influence on the offense, though. He is aggressive by nature, and I would expect the offense to reflect that.
13:48:30 leaderlegend: On the surface Vrabel appeared to be a really sound hire for a staff short on NFL credentials (which may not be critical, but has its place). Any sense for how he is transitioning back to the college experience, and his role in coaching?
13:51:14 Tim May: No doubt he is going through an adjustment period. But I haven't seen any glaring problems with the way the linebackers have played, except for some individual miscues from time to time (like on that 54-yard gash by Lamar Miller to start the game last week). That said, I expect to see more and more of the aggressive freshman Ryan Shazier as the season progresses. Vrabel wants his fellows getting to the ball and with an attitude -- but hey, don't all LB coaches seek that?
13:51:17 BuckNuts9: What's your take on ESPN still 'digging' into OSU making docs available (latest Supreme court ruling)
13:53:14 Tim May: They are challenging the use of the FERPA excuse for not releasing documents, much as we have done in the past. Our investigative folks did a good story on that very thing a while back. No matter what, there needs to be more clarity when it comes to colleges' use of that regulation.
13:53:18 firstname.lastname@example.org: I've got to ask this question on the lighter side.....Is it just me or does Luke Fickell have a striking resemblance to Adam Sandler on the sideline?
13:54:59 Tim May: I've told him that a couple of times over the years. Last week, in fact, he appeared to be acting out a scene from Anger Management. "Coos-Frah-Bah. Coose-Frah-bah."
13:55:06 Ed: Am I correct in assuming that Colorado will not be shipping their live buffalo to Columbus for the game?
13:56:31 Tim May: You know, I don't know if Ralphie is making the trip. I'll find out, and see if the grounds crew at Ohio Stadium has added some shovels and big buckets to their equipment just in case.
13:56:36 gabuckeye: Any updates about recruiting?
13:58:36 Tim May: Not really, except that out-of-staters are just playing the waiting game to see what, if any, sanctions the NCAA might add to OSU's self-imposed penalties. I have a piece coming in our GameDay Plus section Saturday talking about the two big running back recruits that have been in the fold for a while, Warren Ball and Bri'onte Dunn -- two blue chippers.
13:58:42 BuckNuts9: your prediction for the game this Sat?
13:59:25 Tim May: Check the GameDay Plus section in Saturday's paper. But I dropped some hints earlier when typing about the challenge Colorado poses.
13:59:32 Rob_(moderator): Thanks, everyone. We'll do it again next week, with Bill Rabinowitz answering your questions, as is our protocol. That's a wrap.