Friday, September 14, 2007

UW / Ohio State Matchups

We take a brief look to compare the components of the two football teams who will square off in Seattle on Saturday before a national television audience on ESPN.

(Just a quick note, I will be watching the game in Michigan this weekend, and there is a good chance I won't have internet access during the game. I will get the post game report up some time after the game on Saturday night.)

This looks to be a close game with the winner being the team that makes the least mistakes, controls the line of scrimmage, and is able to score in the red zone. Field position will be key in this game for both schools since both teams come in with good defenses. The Ohio State defense is one of the best in the country while Washington's may be one of the best on the West Coast. Washington's front seven can play with anyone.

Offensively Washington has a decided edge with Jake Locker at the helm. The key to the game is whether Ohio State can control Jake Locker. The key for Washington is preventing that, and getting him more help from the other skill positions. Washington doesn't need to change dramatically what they have been doing, but showing the Buckeyes some stuff they haven't seen on film yet is always a good idea.

Quarterback - Washington - Jake Locker is a true difference maker, and with him at the helm the Huskies have a very good chance of beating a team with more talent, and depth on the roster. Boeckman has been mistake prone to start the year, and the Buckeye offense has been disappointing. The Buckeyes could pull Boeckman early if he struggles. Locker gives the Huskies a huge advantage offensively. Once again, think about what Dennis Dixon did to Michigan, and what Florida's Tebow did to tOSU last season in the championship game. The Big Ten hasn't shown it can handle mobile QB's.

Running Backs - Even - Ohio State is famous for the power running game, and they always have some good athletes in their stable. Beanie Wells is a huge power running back that will batter the middle of the line all day. That being said, like the rest of the Buckeye offense this year, the running game has had problems getting going. Louis Rankin regressed last week, and he needs to hit the hole and stop dancing against one of the best defenses in the country. I call this one even because both teams have been inconsistent. We might see a little more Brandon Johnson this week. Do you guys ever isolate on Paul Homer, and watch him block? The kid does a great job, and really hasn't been stopped in short yardage situations this year. Kravitz is back this week, albeit with a cast to protect his knuckle.

Wide Receivers - Washington - The Huskies have a lot more experience, and they need to eliminate the dropsies that killed them in the second half against Boise State. Boeckman has been really inconsistent hitting his receivers. He actually has been more consistent hitting opposing defensive backs. You know OSU has the talent, but they haven't put it all together yet. This is pretty close, but I think the huskies have the slight edge due to experience, and Marcel Reese.

Tight End - Ohio State - I have no idea who Ohio State's tight end is, and I am not going to bother looking it up because Washington TE's have been absent from the offense this year catching only one ball so far. UW needs to get come production out of these guys starting this week. Could be Lappano has been keeping this part of the game under wraps.

Offensive Line - Washington - You would think that Ohio State would be better than UW in this area, but they haven't shown it since the Buckeyes have had trouble running, and passing against two pretty undistinguished opponents. Both teams have huge lines, and the Buckeyes are actually bigger, but the poor running numbers against sub par opponents gives UW the edge in this one. Casey Bulyca is questionable after hurting his ribs, chances are he will play, and Habben will spell him.

Defensive Line - Washington - Both teams have very good, defensive lines, but the Huskies will have an easier go of it facing the Buckeye offense. Ohio State is very vulnerable to mobile QB's, and Locker is going to drive them crazy. Mr Rankin on the other hand is going to have a pretty tough task running against these guys. I give Washington the edge because they have done a great job of rushing only 3-4 this year and still coming up with sacks. Boeckman isn't mobile at all so look for him to go down a few times.

Linebacker - Ohio State - Once again both teams are pretty even, but I give a slight edge to Ohio State. Those Ohio State LB's are going to be the key if they are going to stop Jake Locker. The Buckeyes have two of the best LB's in the country, while UW's crew is proving to be one of the fastest. I think both units are going to have good days, and UW's have the easier job going up against the tOSU offense. Speed kills, and UW's linebackers have an advantage against Ohio State's offense. Brute strength, and running ability also can kill, and Jake Locker is going to have his hands full against these animals.

Defensive Back - Ohio State - Washington has done a good job so far this year, but tOSU is deep, and talented in the defensive backfield. UW will probably be ranked below most this season until they get more depth, and that only comes with recruiting. Vonzell McDowell is still learning, and look for the Buckeyes to try to give him another lesson.

Special Teams - Even - Pretty much a toss up going into this one. UW needs to improve kickoff coverage, but the punting, and place kicking have been pretty good so far. Ryan Perkins needs to get the ball up quicker, and higher. Ohio State always has a few fast guys that can burn you on returns, so UW really needs to improve in this area. It is concern over return coverage that could give Ohio State the slight edge. Ohio State has had kickoff coverage problems too which is typical of a young team. This might just be the week that Brandon Johnson takes one to the house. Based on the way the two teams have played so far I am calling it even.

Summary

I predicted a 27-13 win for Washington in my preview yesterday based on the fact that the Husky offense seems way ahead of the Buckeye offense at this point in time. For Ohio State to win they need to shut down Locker completely, and I don't think anyone can do that. Locker isn't just a runner, he is also an excellent passer. UW would have scored another three touchdowns last weekend if the receivers has held onto the ball. The teams that beat Washington this year are going to have good Qb's that can lead an offense to score more points than UW. Ohio State doesn't have a good quarterback. Ohio State's offensive line isn't cohesive at this point, and Beanie Wells doesn't come close to playing to his potential every down.

Experts who have seen both teams play are predicting a Washington upset. sure their are exceptions here, and there, but the Midwest experts are saying Washington in this one. Most feel the Ohio State offense has too much ground to make up no matter what they have been holding back to score enough points to beat Washington.

3 comments:

dcdawg said...

What's exciting to me about this game is that we really don't know how good either team is yet -- we think they're both pretty good, but HOW good? Two great programs, historically, always fun to watch them play. I'm anticipating a close one. Have you seen photos of Gholston? Dude is built like a superhero. I am loving this season, with such anticipation for every game so far, in fact with more anticipation for each successive game.

Even better, ND keeps losing. If only the Ducks would go into freefall, it would be a perfect start to the football season...

Health Insurance Expert said...

We dont know do we? It is just an educated guess, and if UW wins it is because Locker gets it done.

OSU has some hombres don't they, but they just haven't played up to par as a team, we shall see.

I am rooting for Michigan, and if Fresno beats the Ducks I have no problem with that either.

hairofthedawg said...

I'm looking forward to finding out! Michigan for me too and as nice as Mike and his family are, go Fresno!

Have fun in Michigan. After our conversation in chat the other night, I almost wish I was there as well. I usually have good luck with women from there.

Win or lose though, this week has been fun