03 October 2011
I would like to start by distracting myself from the generally disgusting display that we saw from the Buckeye offense on Saturday and rather focus on the good. Jack Mewhort is really good. Jerel Worthy abused Marcus Hall so badly that I'm not sure that's not the real reason Hall is suspended for next week. Hall is a powerful dude that would be one heck of a lineman in a phone booth, unfortunately Worthy was allowed more wiggle room than said phone booth. Wiggle he did, right into the faces of anyone who looked like they might have the ball. Corey Linsley did better, but not very much. When Worthy lined up over number 74, however, his success rate drastically decreased. I saw Jerel get one of the best jumps on one particular passing snap and was shocked that Jack was able to even slow him down let alone stop him in his tracks like he did. Mewhort continues to prove worthy of the NFL chatter we've heard with him. That was an NFL defensive tackle the Spartans threw at us and Jack was the best counter punch we had for him.
The rest of the line did their best to hide Jack's performance with their best collective impression of a revolving door. Duane's game review singled out JB Shugarts, and I truly do hate to say it, but I'm not sure that he's one of our best five when Big Mike Adams comes back this week. Norwell wasn't stellar at left tackle but he outplayed Shugarts and you would assume he would only look better at his more natural position on the right side. I would vote for Shugarts to rotate with Corey Linsley at guard this week and see how it goes. I think we'll see some combination of 78, 76 and 71 on the right side, just a matter of which tackle, if either, helps Linsley at guard. Brewster is still Brewster. It's nice to have a borderline first rounder anchoring it all.
Moving on to the defense. At least they're good. Duane mentioned his frustrations with the soft coverage and lack of a pass rush, but they still only gave up 10. They're doing things they shouldn't be capable of. John Simon continues to be a freak. There isn't a game, a series and rarely a down that he doesn't make an impact in. I believe it was the play directly before Barnett's INT that Simon completely blew up the left side of MSU's offense and left an easy clean up for the guys behind him. It looked like someone squeezed a wrecking ball into a cannon and fired it. Simon is also clearly our best pass rusher including Williams and Thomas. Dude's incredible.
The linebackers did not play well by their standards. I was really surprised that we didn't see more of Ryan Shazier. But Andrew Sweat is still a leader and Sabino is still playing with a lot of energy. Sabino is one of those guys that brings some swagger with him. Storm Klein is close to being good. He needs to step up his recognition game. He's a step late way too often right now.
Lastly, I come to the quarterbacks. I was the guy screaming at the TV the loudest against Miami. I couldn't see Bauserman benched quickly enough. He might not turn the ball over, but he simply wasn't giving us a chance to score. You can't win if you don't score. I believe I tweeted the term "stupid mustache". We had to go with the kid. He would at least try to make something happen. Saturday we saw the flip side of that coin. We saw Braxton as a deer in the headlights who just couldn't process what was happening around him nearly quick enough. He couldn't even decide when to be an athlete fast enough to get back to the line of scrimmage. So I've developed a new theory. We beg Joe B to make plays. The kid that was supposed to be our playmaker just isn't seeing it fast enough. If we're going to develop any kind of offense with this team, Joe has to embrace this role. Make throws, Joe! This doesn't mean going all Scott McMullen gunslinger on us. Just throw it towards someone that's actually between the white lines. Guys aren't going to be wide open on every play. He's got to give the guy with one step a chance. Take Braxton's pick on Saturday for example. That ball gave Devin Smith a chance to make a play and gave us a chance to win. The defender made a great play, it happens. I don't regret the throw. Joe needs to step up in that role.
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