"I like it. Let the athletes eat. Let the athletes be athletes."
-Doran Grant to Sports Illustrated
During the last half of the 2013 season, the Ohio State pass defense devolved into what can best be described as a complete debacle. Clemson, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all had huge days through the air against one of the worst Ohio State pass defenses in recent memory. Anyone who has followed the Buckeyes this offseason knows that fixing this glaring hole in the defense has been Urban Meyer’s top priority. That’s why he’s brought in Chris Ash from the Arkansas (by way of Wisconsin) to help overhaul the whole thing.
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated spoke to Ash who described what Meyer was looking for: "[Meyer] said he wanted a defense that challenges the offense, that’s aggressive, that will attack, not worry about the ‘what ifs,’ create confusion."
Mandel goes on to explain the sort of defense we should expect from Ash
Ash, who spent last season at Arkansas, believes specifically in an aggressive 4-3 defense – as indicated by the title of his 2011 instructional DVD. His simplified playbook involves a base Cover 4 scheme and requires his cornerbacks to play in-your-face press coverage of receivers. If executed properly, it may closely resemble that of Ohio State’s new Big Ten nemesis, Michigan State, which led the nation in total defense last season under respected coordinator Pat Narduzzi.
The article as a whole is very well done and features quite a bit of insight from Ash. It’s a must read for Buckeye fans as we inch ever closer to the opening kick.
"The Chase" is still on for the Buckeyes"
-Austin Ward, ESPN
ESPN’s initial college football power rankings are out and the Ohio State Buckeyes occupy the sixth spot behind Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Auburn. Big Ten champions Michigan State are one slot below the Buckeyes at seventh. Wisconsin (17) and Nebraska (22) are the only other Big Ten squads to make the list.
Included with the rankings is a short breakdown of each team including insights from Phil Steele and other ESPN analysts. Honestly, not a lot of new ground is covered here. In case you didn’t know, Ohio State is going to have a really good defensive line, but questions on the offensive line. It’s toughest game will be against Michigan State and the team will have to be extremely careful when Michigan comes to town.
Despite the rudimentary analysis, sixth feels about right for a preseason ranking, though there may be some in East Lansing who feel it should be one slot lower.
"Kyle Snyder and Aaron Pico, and both acquitted themselves well even while falling short of winning individual world titles for the second straight year."
-Mike Riordan, Bloody Elbow
Kyle Snyder, Ohio State’s much-hyped freshman recruit was in Croatia for the FILA Junior World Freestyle Championships, and while he fell short of earning his second consecutive world championship, Snyder still performed well, bringing home the Bronze medal.
Snyder’s lone loss at the tournament was to Russia’s Georgi Gogaev, a monster of a wrestler who recently dropped down to from 120kg to Snyder’s 96kg.
Snyder’s results for the tournament were as follows:
1st round — W by TF over Alexios Kaousilidis (Cyprus), 12-1, 4:42
2nd round — W by Dec Said Gamidov (Azerbaijan), 9-2
Quarterfinal — L by Dec to Gergii Gogaev (Russia), 8-1
Consolation — W by TF over Angel Gochev (Bulgaria), 10-0
Bronze Medal —W by Dec Pedram Jamshidi (Iran), 7-1
"As controversial and debated as it has been, I just hope we can keep talking until we can land on something that everyone will support."
-Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director
The controversial NWCA National wrestling Duals are coming back in 2014/2015 and Ohio State will once again be participating.
The revamped event will stretch over two Sundays (Feb. 15 and Feb. 22). Week one will feature 16 teams competing at eight unique sites with the winners traveling to Iowa City the next weekend to participate in a single-day, single-elimination tournament at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Ohio State’s opening week opponent will be Edinboro. It’s a dual that will feature a highly anticipated matchup between 3x national champion Logan Stieber and former NCAA runner up and 2014 All-American Mitchell Port. Port defeated Stieber’s brother Hunter in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Opening round matchups include:
• Drexel at Cornell
• Georgia Mason at Lehigh
• Virginia at Iowa
• Oklahoma at UT Chattanooga
• American University at Missouri
• Minnesota at North Dakota State
• Kent State at Illinois
• Ohio State at Edinboro