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BuckIQ: Rise of Pete Werner helps fuel Ohio State defensive turnaround

Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner has been a big part of Ohio State's defensive turnaround. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

BuckIQ: Rise of Pete Werner helps fuel Ohio State defensive turnaround

COLUMBUS — Even three days later, the play Pete Werner made was still being recounted in the Ohio State meeting room.

Linebackers coach Al Washington went through every detail, first giving Indiana credit for a creative play call and scheme that may have caught the Buckeyes by surprise. And once that was out of the way, he dove into the details of exactly how Werner blew it up in the backfield for one of the most impressive run-stuffing, momentum-building tackles of the game.

It’s becoming a trend with Werner now through three games, with the junior contributing something in each of them that is catching the eye of the Buckeyes and offering a reminder of why he’s become so important in the turnaround of the Silver Bullets.

“The best play was the short-yardage play,” Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington said. “[Indiana] hadn’t run that play in two years. It was a really good play — under center, quarterback reverse-pivoted, they ran an outside zone scheme and they had a numerical advantage. That play, not only did Pete support the run and [took] on the block, he made the tackle and knocked the guy back.

Pete Werner-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner has 14 tackles for the Buckeyes through three games. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“You would think on that play you could fall and get a yard. … [Werner] is very athletic, very smart and highly accountable. Guys like that, you know they’re going to do their job.”

Werner has one that comes with some diverse responsibilities so far this season, and he’s handling everything from chasing down running backs to dropping into coverage occasionally as a deep safety. The strong-side linebacker is second on the team with 14 tackles, with three of them going for losses — including that key third-down stop agains the Hoosiers.

That big-time play was just one of the highlights from Pete Werner that former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren broke down on the latest episode of BuckIQ, which looks at the impact the second-year starter is having for the program. What is fueling the improvement for Werner? Where can he still enhance his impact for the Buckeyes? Can Ohio State get even stingier on defense this season? Boren popped in the film to break it all down for Lettermen Row.

Roll the tape!

Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.

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Jan Williams
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Jan Williams

Love the play breakdown. I’ve been watching football for 40 years and these breakdowns teach me so much. Thanks

Lawclub
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Lawclub

Good for Pete. Especially after all the “fans” and “experts” criticized him so much.

Brian
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Brian

Shocker the guy isnt amazing day 1. People improve? Weird concept

B jones
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B jones

Love Boren doing the breakdowns..pretty clear why he made such a difference on out D. I said last week that I’m not so sure Werner isn’t our best LB. I know some complain about Tuf but hard to complain about our rush D and that’s what his job is

Bryan Betts
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Bryan Betts

Werner is much improved from last year…Still would like to see more of Teradja Mitchell at Mike though.Borland still looks as lethargic and slow as ever.

Def
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Def

Looks good so far in blowouts. We will see what happens when the competition ratchets up and the offenses start being dangerous.

Kathy
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Kathy

They really haven’t played a competitive team! Proven with high one sided scores and if they sliw down at all the other team scores easily.

allinosu
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allinosu

Did you not see the game last week? The Podcast on here went on about him right there on most every play.

Kathy
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Kathy

HOW does the DEFENSIVE MVP OF THE ROSE BOWL,AND INSTRUMENTAL IN CLINCHING THE WIN GAME GET A NEW POSITION THAT THEY NEVER PLANNED TO USE HIM IN?
HE IS THE PLAYER THAT TURNED THE DEFENCE AROUND LAST SEASON! THIS DOESN’T PLAY OUT RIGHT. I BELIEVE I KNOW, BUT WOULD LIKE YOUR TAKE ON THIS!

Tired of t
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Tired of t

Brendon white should leave ohio state and go play where can showcase his skills they are waisting his talent.shame on mattison

Zach Boren

Zach Boren was a 2012 captain and member of the 12-0 team. Winner of the Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award and an ESPN/Kirk Herbstreit "Herbie". Zach remains in the Columbus area and heads the development of Boren Brothers.

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