Buckeyes have lots of questions to answer

Published 12:57 pm Monday, September 15, 2008

Now that the dust has settled, the film has been watched, and the questions of “How?” have been answered, it’s time for Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and his staff to answer “What?”

Critical penalties, lack of execution, breakdowns in coverage, and the absence of running back Chris “Beanie” Wells led to the Buckeyes poor performance that led to a 35-3 loss to No. 1-ranked Southern Cal Saturday night.

As Tressel said, it’s time to refocus and prepare for the next game and the rest of the season.

Email newsletter signup

And the Buckeyes must refocus fast. They can’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves. Even though the opponent was Alcorn State, it’s notable that this week’s opponent Troy scored 65 points last week.

Ohio State is finishing up its sandwich of Ohio and Troy as the easy break with Southern Cal as the meaty middle. The Buckeyes struggled against Ohio as they looked forward to USC, so they can’t get caught looking back, either.

Wells is doubtful for this week and that leads to the question of “What do the Buckeyes do with their offense?”

Tressel tried to compensate for the loss of Wells by shuttling quarterbacks Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor against the Trojans. He may continue that philosophy, or he may abandon the plan and go strictly with Pryor.

With Pryor, the complexion of the Buckeyes’ offense would resemble the Troy Smith era.

Boeckman was the starter last season, but his quarterback rating against top 25 teams is 125 compared to 156 against other teams. He has thrown 20 touchdown passes and just six interceptions against weaker foes but has seven TDs and nine picks against quality teams.

Pryor is the quarterback of the future, but the question here has to be, “Is the future now?”

If you’re looking for answers to these questions and more, you’ll get them about noon on Saturday.

–– Sinatra ––