As dawn begins on a new day following the impressive Ohio State Buckeye win over the ducks, there are a few takeaways from that game that Oregon State Fans should be aware of.
1. Get used to what Ohio State did because that will be a lot of what our new offense will be like. Here is a video of Colorado State’s win over Colorado this year. What you will see should look a lot like last night. Spread formation, pistol formation, pro style formation, zone read, play action, huge cutback lanes. This is what Baldwin does and it is the offense that Andersen saw in his time at Utah with Urban Meyer.
Now while OSU may not have a 6’6″, 250 pound QB handing off to a monster running back behind an all 5 star offensive line, you can see that there is a lot for the defense to take in and there is a huge degree of managing tempo with that offense.
2. Defensively, the Beavers are going to be similar. Ohio State ran a four man rush all game long, but they did a lot of moving around, a lot of off balance alignments trying to mess up the double team in the middle and a lot of spying. While players still ran right by the ball a few times, the rest of the team was very disciplined.
There was one play that was a perfect example of this. In their typical spread formation, Mariotta kept the ball on the read option fake and then passed to the receiver in a kind of option play with the receiver. Ohio State’s defensive end missed Mariotta on the edge, but everyone else was where they were supposed to be so he had no where to go. He passed it out and the receiver was covered immediately for just a short gain.
That is the kind of discipline you need when you play the ducks. Again, the Beavers are going to have a hard time replicating the physical abilities of Ohio State, but even when you watch Utah playing the ducks over the last two years, it has been the lack of effectiveness on offense that has killed them, causing their defense to have to do more, stay on the field longer and never get a break. If the Beavers can produce a better offensive product than Utah did, there is a lot they can do with athletes that are more middle of the pack in rankings.
3. Ultimately, Urban Meyer is not just a great coach, but also a great recruiter. Those same schemes could have been ran by us this year and not yielded the same results in the Civil War. The game would have been closer I think, but I just don’t know if the Beavers have the horses yet. Fortunately, like Urban Meyer, Andersen has proven to be a more than capable recruiter and has built a staff that is all A+ recruiters. While I don’t think the Beavers will have a top ten nationally ranked recruiting class in the next three years, I bet they can get in the low 20’s or higher with Andersen. He has increased the national ranking of his teams by around 20 spots at every stop he has made. That would put OSU in the 25 – 35 range over a four year span. I think this particular staff he has is a better recruiting one than he had at Wisconsin.
That is going to be the biggest challenge they have. Scheme wise, they will be able to do a lot with what they have now. Fit wise, they are better than Mike Riley was at the end of his tenure here because they are new, exciting and different (which can translate well for a fan base and team that had lost the shine for their coach and staff).
I am not saying that OSU will win the north next year. I am not even saying they will go to a bowl (though I expect they do). What I am saying is that if you want to know what Oregon State will look like, in a lot of ways you saw it at hyper speed last night. If you want to know what it can do, that is it. It can be a machine that just rolls over teams. If you want to know where OSU’s coaches want the program to be, then look no further than the team with the pot leaves on their helmets.
That is the blueprint, and we will see if we can get there, but I for one am more excited about the prospect than I have been in a long, long time!