Richetti is ready to drop knowledge. And the pic is totally stolen from Wasted Optimism
Sometimes a man must give the devil his due. Sometimes a man must walk alone. And sometimes a man must smoke two packs of camels and drink $1 PBR's in Willies after OSU waxes some A&M ass. That's right Cincy, $1 PBR's. Now, as game week is finally upon us (sorry I blew my load a bit early on the offense post) it's time to get to the defense. OSU, fresh off a demolition of Tulsa, is looking to start the year 1-0 in conference play, and 4-0 overall, and maybe, God willing, crack the top 20. Standing in their way is an A&M team, fresh off surviving The Florida International Panthers. Both teams are looking to make a statement. OSU is trying to get into the division race discussion, and A&M is trying to prove they're not whiny money grubbing dicks with a massively overinflated self esteem (but that is impossible), and probably trying to prove they're as great as they think they are. What's it going to take? Well for one, the Ag's must figure out how to move the ball and not throw int's (see. offensive post), and they must also figure out how to stop a top ten offense (see. this post). Can they do it? Eh, maybe, but probably not. Von Miller is a beast, but one man does not a team make. Of course, they have the number 10 overall defense, but two of the three teams they've played have offenses in the 100's (and on was an FCS team), and the other was FIU. It's not that I'm saying OSU is the best team in the Big 12 (but I'm not not saying it either), I'm just saying that A&M is weak this year (and really, compared to how they see themselves, most years). Now they've had a week to turn things around, and maybe they're not the worst 3-0 team in the country (MIssouri), but they have struggled against inferior opponents. So, after some hating (always a good time), lets get into some numbers and poor analysis (see A&M, I hate both ways)
I think that defensive line play determines the outcome of this game. For OSU to have the success we want, they cannot have to go 80+ yards every drive. If we can't get pressure on Jigga then we are going to have a long day (unless he tries to match his 4 picks he threw last week). This falls to El Machetti, Ugo (i can't think of a nickname that doesn't suck for Chinasa, but not for lack of trying), Chris, and Nigel (Chris and Nigel ain't easy either). Richetti has some freaking good numbers this year, recording 11 solo tackles, 4 for loss, and 2 sacks. Jone's has basically moved into the backfield this year, having awesome bar-b-ques and creating havoc and destruction while doing it. He is almost unblockable one on one, and creates tons of pressure. Ugo has racked up 6 tackles, one forced fumble, 3 qb hurries, and on pass deflection. What the stats don't show is how aggressive Ugo has been. He, along with Richetti, have pressured the opposing QB's well, and taken pressure off or secondary. I would like to see more though, especially considering Ugo wanted double digit sacks this year. Chris Donaldson has a fat 2 tackles, but has created holes for linebackers, and helped push the line backwards. I would love to see more from him in this game. Nigel Nicholas has 3 solo tackles, and one for loss, playing in place of the injured Shane Jarka, who is back, bitches. That's right, Gundy expects him at "near 100%" for the game this Thursday. This is huge. Worst case, he struggles and Nicholas is back in. Best case, he crushes souls and Nicholas is used to spell other's on the line and increase our depth.
The backups, Jamie Blatnick, Darius Hart, Anthony Rogers, and Davidell Collins, have mostly played well (and should be getting better, since they have played 4 entire quarters so far this year). The group has combined for 12 tackles, 4 for loss, and 2 sacks. What do we need from the line to win? Well, if they can pressure, or at least contain Jerrod Johnson we will be in good shape. If we can force him to take off, or throw off his timing, it will be a long day for A&M. They do not have a running game that can pound us unless Johnson can get the passing game going. If our line can keep Jigga under wraps, then Ori, Justin, and James can keep one man spying Chrissy Michael's, and the other two can drop into coverage. In our last three games, we have faced team's with one (or in WSU's case, none) big time wide out or running back. A&M does not have a single dominate standout, but they have much more overall skill. With the ability to put two LB's into coverage it severely limit's the Aggies ability to pass the ball. So this is why I consider line play to be the most important factor, because we have a decent, not great, secondary. I do not want them exposed all day. I am not very worried about the Ag's run game, as they are 30th overall in rushing, but have only played one competent defense. And, if our offense can keep the pressure on, and get up a score or two, A&M won't be able to run. My grade so far, B- (I like our guys, but we haven't really been tested by a team on our level, but I think they can hold their own.)
(A&M after the jizzy ump)
The Ag's use a 3-4 defensive scheme, with two ends and a nose tackle. Now, they say they blitz every down, but in my opinion bringing 4 is not a blitz. Our boy's have to be more careful in spotting where the 4th man will come from, but it's not like we will see em bring 8 every down. If our boy's know its coming they should be able to slow it down. The three starters on the line they have over 80 games played combined and more than 35 starts. They won't make stupid mistakes, so our boy's should not expect them to beat themselves, but with their being only three me, we should be able to get Kendall to the corner. At nose tackle for the Ag's is 295lb junior Eddie Brown. Brown started the last seven games last year, and has 4 solo tackles and 5 assist's through 3 games, with one forced fumble. Brown has played in more than 20 games, and has earned 12 starts so far. He is experienced, and will give Grant Garner trouble. At one end is 295lb senior Lucas Paterson. Paterson has played in 40 games, starting 27 of them. This year he has posted 3 solo tackles, 4 assists, and 2 assist for loss. Paterson is the most experienced player for the Ag's on the line, which says a lot. At the other end is Tony Jerod-Eddie. 300lb Jerod-Eddie has played in 25 contests, and has started 7 of those. So far this year he has 3 solo and 9 assist tackles. He also has 2 pass deflections. These guys are solid. Backing them up are juniors Ben Bass, Jonathan Mathis, and sophomore Spencer Nealy. Now, last year Ben Bass was not on the team, but the year before he was, so I'm not sure what happened there. Mathis is a Juco transfer, playing his last two years at Blinn College. Nealy is the only experienced backup, earning playing time in all 13 games last year. This year Nealy has 3 solo tackles, one for loss, and 7 assist's. Depth is an issue, since beyond Nealy the other 2 backups are fairly inexperienced at this level. Key to beating them will be our first down play. If we can consistently get positive yards (like, 4 or 5) on first down, it will force them to respect the run on second and third down. If we are constantly in 2nd and 9 or 3rd and 8 situations, the Ag's line will pin their ears back and bring some heat. On top of the line, they will be able to send sack master Von Miller with reckless abandon. My grade so far, A- (they are the number 4 rushing defense in the country, thats good for an A in my book)
Justin Gent will own you. And by you I mean Jerrod Johnson.
I am wanting to see big games from our linebackers. The Aggie O-line will be busy with our front 4, and that should clear the way for Orie, Justin, and the boys. So far on the season Orie Lemon has 19 tackles, 1 for loss, and one pass deflection. Justin Gent has 13 solo tackles, 1 for loss, 1 solo sack, and 1 forced fumble. James Thomas has 10 solo tackles, 1 QB pressure, and 1 blocked kick. Considering backup's have played 4 of 16 quarter's, those numbers are pretty impressive. Key for them will be helping contain Jerrod Johnson and Christine Michael, and also being aware of the underneath passing game. If Orie or Justin can get into the backfield the chance for big plays (fumble's, pass deflections, sacks) will be there all day. If Johnson is hurt and his timing is off, they may also have the chance to pick a ball or two off. My grade, B+ (when you look at A&M's LB's, I can't justify more than a B+)
This is where A&M is good, really good. Their line is solid, their secondary is suspect, but at LB they are stiff. Von Miller is a beast. You've heard me say this before. It's true. For his career, Miller has 21 sacks (but a fat fucking ZERO against OSU. Damn right). Miller also has 66 solo tackles and a shit ton of assist's (technical number there). Stopping him will fall to whatever back is in the backfield with The MDMBW, and they are going to be busy. It was really last year that Miller came into his own, though, starting every game at the "Joker" position (now, it doesn't matter what you call a position, but whats I think joker is dumb, just me). He saw significant action as a sophomore, yet only started 4 games. He is also great at forcing fumbles, with 7 of those for his career, so ball security is a must. Hunter doesn't fumble much, but Miller will be trying. One thing he has not done a lot of is intercept the ball, he has zero for his career. One thing about Miller, though, is he's opportunistic. What I mean by that is when he see's an opportunity he takes it, but he doesn't bring it every play. Yeah, I said it. He takes plays off. He wont give you 70+ plays at 100%. But when a mistake is made, he's there.
There is not much of a falloff at the other positions either, with senior Michael Hodges, junior Garrik Williams, and sophomore Sean Porter. Hodges and Williams play inside, while Porter plays outside. In 2008 Hodges walked onto the team, and earned playing time the next year, and played well. He had 31 solo and 35 assist tackles, one interception, and 1 pass breakup. Pretty impressive for a dude who spent 3 years away from football. Williams has started 19 games in his career, tallying 67 solo tackles, numerous assist's, and one interception. Porter saw action in all 13 games as a freshman, and earned 2 starts. For his career he has 30 solo tackles, 28 assist's, and 1 sack. Key to beating these guys is the running game. If we can get Hunter going strong, they will have to cheat up, and that will allow our receivers to get between them and the secondary. My grade, A+ (A&M is good up front and in the middle, no denying it.)
(Normally corner's and safety's get their own section, but I'm low on time, and who really cares?)
Will Jeff Fuller get past Andrew McGee? No, he wont.
At corner we have Andrew McGee and Brodrick Brown, and backing them up are Devin Hedgepeth and Justin Gilbert. So far this year McGee and Brown have 17 tackles and 2 interceptions (1 a piece). The backups Hedgepeth and Gilbert have 10 tackles. Gilbert also has 6 punt returns for 55 yards, and 4 kick returns for 75 yards. Really, all I need these guys to do is to cover Bubbles and Fuller. I'm not worried about the other receivers, I think our linebackers can handle them. My grade, B (have been out of position a few times and let a few big plays past them, but overall have played decent this year)
At safety there is Markell Martin and Johnny Thomas, backing them up is Deion Imade and Victory Johnson. For the year Martin and Thomas have 20 tackles and 2 pass deflections (1 a piece). They have saved us several times this year, especially in the Troy game, when someone would get behind the linebackers. Thomas is a speedy bastard, running a 4.46 forty, but Martin is an even speedier bastard, running a 4.43. I think they will give A&M trouble, especially if Johnson tries to throw a deep ball. I also expect to see them on a blitz or two, hopefully. Imade and Johnson have 9 combine tackles on the year, and have received more playing time than I would have imagined before the season started. My grade, A- (they are, as advertised, a safety valve when someone else screws up, and they have done a good job so far. They are also fast enough to keep up with the "best receiving corp in the big 12", if they need to).
Oh noooo, he scored on me again. Coach is gonna be angry at me.
This is the only defensive position where A&M is weak, and I hope we exploit that. Their corners are decent, but their safety's are pretty bad. If we can get the long ball going, it will be difficult for these boys to cover Blackmon, or really any of our receivers. We must have receivers other than Blackmon show up, as I suspect he will get double coverage all day. Starting at corner is juniors Terrence Frederick and Coryell Judie. Frederick has started 22 games in his career, notching 53 solo tackles and 2 interceptions. at 5'10" he's about the same size as our starting receiver's (5'9", 6'1", 6'1", and 5'11"). I do believe he will have trouble with Blackmon and Anyium though. Judie is a Juco transfer from Fort Scott CC, and redshirted last year after injuring himself in fall practice. He has 3 games worth of experience at this level, and hasn't played a team anywhere near our level so far. I expect him to be picked on all game. Sophomore backup Dustin Harris also has some talent. He started the first 10 games of his freshman year, and had 35 tackles and 1 interception a year ago. Even though he is not listed as a started, I would expect to see a lot of Harris Thursday. My grade, B (I don't have to justify every grade, just go with it.)
At free safety is sophomore Steven Terrell. Across from his at strong safety junior Trent Hunter. This is where we can exploit the Ag's for big gains. If we hit a long pass or Hunter get's past the linebackers these two will have hell stopping our guys. Terrell was mainly a backup last year, but did see time in all 13 games. He recorded 6 solo tackles but 4 of those were on special teams. He has some experience, but is young and makes mistakes. For the year he only has 4 solo tackles. Hunter was a second team all Big 12 selection last year, starting all 13 games, and recording 56 solo tackles and 1 pass breakup. For his career he has 102 solo tackles and 2 interceptions, and should be able to hold his own. Hunter is solid, but not exceptional. His biggest game last year was against Colorado, and it's not usually a good sign when your safety's are getting tons of tackles. My grade, C- (have played decent, but against horrible opponents, and not many big plays to show for it.)
What does she have to do with anything? Nothing, but when I searched for "OSU scores over A&M" she was on page 3. You can thank me later.
This is a "something has to give" type of game. We have the number one overall offense in the country (and that's with a week off), and A&M has the number 10 overall defense. I think our defense will be good enough to stop A&M most of the time, or at least hold them to a field goal. What will be important is getting Hunter rolling, and spreading the field with the short passing game (a Dana Holgerson specialty, so I hear). Can our offensive line slow down the Ag's pass rush? We will see. Can A&M slow down our run game? Probably. Can A&M stop both our running game and our passing game? Nope. I expect our numbers to be down, but I still think we can put up over 300 yards of offense. A&M is also known to shit their pants on TV the past few years, but we will see. I think we have the definite edge at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver (though some say A&M has the best receiving corp in the Big 12, I don't believe so, and I believe the numbers back me up. We have 11 passing TD's to 2 int's, A&M has 7 TD's to 4 int's. You can't have the best receiving corp if you can't get them the ball.) Now, we all know Texas A&M is worried about their $20 milly, and they probably should be. But $20 million can't save your ass when The MDMBW is throwing for 400 yards, and Kendall "The Freak" Hunter is rushing for 150 yards on them. I stand by my score, Pokes win big, 35-21. (And sorry about the short section on our CB's and LB's, I got 2 tests this week)
CRUSH SOME AG'S (then ask for a loan, cause them bitch's got money, at least if the Big 12 ever pays them)
Oh, and one more, for the road.
Touchdown. Nuff said.
Maybe 2, OSUsenior (hat tip samuelbryant) mentioned the Aggie yell leaders. I had never paid them any attention, til now. And, well I'll let you judge for yourself, but I thank God we don't have these douchebags here)
Aggie Yell leader (via rubengonzales90022)