We are still two months away from the most wonderful holiday of the year, but Festivus is really something that should be in our hearts and on our minds 24/7, 365. An alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the more-traditional Christmas season, it is a secular celebration which gained popularity in the late 1900’s, and is now observed by many — including visionary entrepreneur and the world’s most interesting human, Cosmo Kramer.
This holiday is short on gifts and pleasantries, instead choosing to focus on feats of strength and the airing of grievances. The latter is something I fully embrace, and I just sort of felt like getting into the holiday spirit a little early this year. By sharing my faux disappointment(s) with a perfect, No. 2-ranked football team. And if you don’t think I can find fake outrage at every position group, then you might want to pack a lunch. It’s going to be a long day in the pit of misery.
Now, please understand that my grievances with this Ohio State football team are completely and utterly tongue-in-cheek. However, my hope is that by airing silly complaints early, it will give the Buckeyes an opportunity practice some self-reflection and address each and every one during their down time. A guy can dream, right? And I will be nit-picking here, as OSU has given us little-to-no reason to be upset through six games.
But I can always find something to be upset about, much like the accomplished military chef and pioneering Bro-ssiere salesman, Frank Costanza. RIP... So go ahead and set up your finest aluminum pole, and gather round, because as Costanza once said: “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about it!” Lovingly, of course.
C.J. Stroud has an interception issue, with a pick in three straight games. Sure, the five and six touchdown games are great, but at some point, his risk-taking might cause Ohio State to not cover an egregious spread. THAT is the real problem.
And when it comes to Kyle McCord: Either drive the Lambo fast, or keep it in the garage. If he is the QB of the future, Ryan Day and his staff need to let McCord run the normal offense, even in garbage time. Mel Tucker had his backup running no-huddle with empty sets, while down a billion to OSU, so feelings be damned. Let the KM6 howitzer loose.
Let’s stay healthy. Let’s just try it, see what happens. I don’t need heart palpitations five minutes before kickoff, wondering if this might be the week Chip Trayanum is needed to tote the rock. No offense to Chip, but he is in Columbus to play linebacker.
Also, did TreVeyon Henderson lose a digit? Did he turn into Featherstone from Necessary Roughness? Throw this man a pass, for crying out loud. He had 312 yards receiving last season, but -2 so far in 2022! Negative. Two.
Tough to complain about the performance of these wideouts, but you can be damned sure I am going to make an effort. Show me the freshmen. If the Buckeyes are going to win via blowout each week, I want to see Kaleb Brown (if healthy), Kyion Grayes, Caleb Burton, and Kojo Antwi. I need to know who is exploding onto the scene next year.
And in the name of Woody Hayes, please let me see a healthy Jaxon Smith-Njigba. If he is merely 99 percent healthy, and Ohio State is choosing to hold him out, they are robbing us all of pure joy. We desperately need JSN in our lives.
Gee Scott Jr. needs to be more involved. But not at the expense of Cade Stover. So give me more two-tight end sets, or give me death.
And speaking of Stover: Put him in a No. 87 jersey. Let’s end the charade. We now know he is the next Gronk, so just embrace it.
Too boring... These monsters up front have been too dominant, in both run and pass blocking. I don’t want to see the opposite, where Stroud is running for his life and the backs are unable to find holes, but maybe Paris Johnson Jr. cuts his illustrious head of hair into a mohawk. Perhaps Dawand Jones changes his number to a single digit, or the three players along the interior try playing with their legs joined together, three-legged race-style.
I think all Buckeye fans would like to see The Rushmen get home more often. This defensive front has been fantastic against the run and a deterrent to downfield passing, but they are a big reason the team is only T-46 nationally in sacks, and I would love to see that change. The pressure is consistent, now let’s start taking some heads off, shall we?
Similar to the wide receiver group, I would just like to see some of the young guys. While I realize it is not likely that the coaches are going to throw a first-year LB into the fray against one of the conference’s more potent offensive units – nor is there a need to, thanks to the fantastic play of Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers – it sure would be fun to see C.J. Hicks running around out there, causing chaos and inducing panic. But his time will come...
Here is where I think OSU fans have a legitimate gripe. A revamped safety room has been as-advertised, thanks for the addition of veteran Tanner McCalister, the return of Josh Proctor, the improvement of Lathan Ransom, and the general steadiness of Ronnie Hickman — those guys have all been been great. Cornerbacks, on the other hand, have struggled. And that might be putting it mildly.
Cam Brown has been inconsistent, Denzel Burke is having trouble locating the ball and avoiding penalties, and there are very few options to fall back on. Jakailin Johnson and Jyaire Brown have both performed admirably, but I am also not sure they have been adequately tested. Hopefully the eventual return of Jordan Hancock will be a shot in the arm for this CB group, but they need to improve. Period, no joke.
It feels like 84 years have passed since Ohio State last returned a kick (of any variety) for a TD, and I have a problem with that. I miss the Ted Ginn era. OSU’s drought appeared to end against Arkansas State in Week 2... Until it didn’t. A holding call negated an Emeka Egbuka house-call, delaying the inevitable celebration of Ginn, Ken-Yon Rambo, Dontre Wilson, and their return specialist brethren.
I believe Egbuka can and will make magic happen in the return game, but in my humble opinion, the coaches should consider giving him additional kickoff opportunities. Because he is electric in open space.
By now I hope you understand the depth of my insincerity. This 2022 Ohio State team is playing lights out, and has been an absolute pleasure to watch/root for. But that does not make them bulletproof, nor does it prohibit them from looking to make improvements or changes. So perhaps we see new faces at corner. Or an uptick in blitz calls. Let’s not save all the bells and whistles for TTUN.
Here’s to a successful and dominant second half of the season, with no irrational grievances. Go Bucks!