Ross Fulton
Buckeye Scoop Contributor
Ross joins the staff as BuckeyeScoop.com's football analyst, breaking down the Buckeyes each and every week during the season with his weekly column. Fulton is simply the most trusted source of X's and O's analysis in the Ohio State market.
Articles by Ross Fulton
If Ohio State returns to play Michigan State this Saturday, the primary on-field concern remains the Buckeye pass defense. Under Bill Connelly’s SP+ adjusted advanced statistics, Ohio State ranks second offensively and fourteenth defensively. While this defensive rank is tolerable, SP+’s unadjusted stats demonstrate that the defense is largely being held back overall by surrendering big plays in the passing game. The Buckeyes rank 36th in unadjusted run defense success rate (success rate me...
For the third straight game it was a tale of two halves for the Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes played well in the first half—even in the face of two short fields off turnovers. Ohio State rendered Indiana one-dimensional, eliminating the Hoosiers’ running game. And they kept Michael Penix off balance early. Ohio State mixed cover 3 with cover 1 over—meaning that, if Indiana put trips (three wide receivers) to one side, the opposite side corner would flip over to that side, with the Sam line...
Ohio State pulled out to a 35-7 lead before barely holding on to win 42-35 over a quality Indiana Hoosiers team. The Buckeye offense came out hot against Indiana’s two deep safety scheme, with Justin Fields hitting Garrett Wilson on a three verticals route that split the deep safeties (3 verticals is a cover 2 ‘beater’ by placing three deep routes against two safeties]. But the Hoosiers subsequently kept Fields and the Buckeye offense off-balance by mixing single high cover 3 ...
Last week, I examined how Ohio State’s run game efficiency is being harmed by runs for little to no gain on the Buckeyes’ tight zone play—where Ohio State is being outnumbered at the point of attack absent the threat of quarterback Justin Fields keeping on a read. This week I examine this issue in more detail; as well as explaining why the Buckeyes’ more effective run plays like wide zone will be critical against the Indiana Hoosiers’ aggressive run blitz schemes. As previously des...
Justin Fields and the Ohio State’s passing attack again led the Buckeyes in its 49-27 win against Rutgers in a game marred by the Buckeyes’ second half let down. Ohio State jumped to a 35-3 halftime lead by targeting Rutgers’ cover 2 scheme . Cover 2—which is generally no longer relied upon as a primary coverage—is a two deep, five under zone, with the safeties splitting the field in half and the corners playing the flats. In response, Ryan Day’s staff used a variety of cover 2 ‘bea...
Ohio State controlled both sides of the football against Penn State in a game where the final score was closer than the contest itself. The Buckeye offense came out with a straightforward game plan for Penn State’s 4-3 over, cover 3-buzz framework. Ohio State used relatively large amounts of 12 personnel (two tight ends) from both under center and pistol—featuring frequent tight end shifts and fly motion to confuse Penn State’s cover 3 rotation—to run duo (offensive line blocks down as ...
Ohio State opened with a successful—if uneven—opening game win against an improved Nebraska team. Schematically, the Ohio State offense was a continuation of last season. But it was powered by the passing game in the opening contest of this season, led by Justin Fields, Chris Olave, and now-slot wide receiver Garrett Wilson.  The Buckeye run game, by contrast, experienced some early hiccups—particularly in short-yardage. Ohio State repeatedly ran tight zone in those situations....
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