In a clip that echoes many of the same points Brent Rollins made (which makes sense, since he asks pretty much the same question as in the header) Graham and Josh look at what Notre Dame and Ohio State did last season to exploit the Clemson defense. It’s worth watching, because they post successful plays from both losses.
I do want to temper any sense of unbridled enthusiasm you may get watching that with a couple of considerations. One, we’re all drooling over what Monken is going to be able to do with his tight end room, but it’s worth remembering that his top three players at the position (I’m not including Gilbert, since he’ll be used as more of a flex option) have a whopping total of seventeen catches between them. We’re counting on potential a lot more than production at the moment. That may work out, but who knows for now?
Two, I don’t think Ohio State’s offensive line has gotten the credit it deserves from that game. They didn’t just hold their own against Clemson’s defensive line; they pretty much won in the trenches all night. I know I’m repeating myself here, but if we get the same production in the opener that the Buckeyes did, I think you can pretty much ignore the rest of the fine points, because, barring some unfortunate, diarrhetic attack of turnovers, the Dawgs are winning that game.
What gives me the most grounds for optimism, though, is Todd Monken, who’s been through the wars on both the collegiate and professional levels. I don’t see him being spooked by Venables. He’ll have his charges ready. It’ll be up to them to execute the game plan.