Football

10 Observations: Win over Tulsa doesn’t answer many questions for Ohio State

Ohio State made its way back into the win column with a 41-20 home victory over Tulsa in front of a 75% capacity crowd on Saturday evening. While a win is never a bad thing, the Buckeyes didn’t answer many questions on Saturday and the frustration seems to be growing for Buckeye Nation.

Time for my instant reaction in this not-so-optimistic edition of 10 Observations

  1. I really can’t wrap my brain around this team. There is just no rhythm to this group. It is a team that has struggled to put consecutive strong quarters together let alone a complete game. The defense has been mostly bad and the offense has been really streaky. I didn’t come away from this game feeling any better about the defense and there was exactly one bright spot on an offense that I thought turned in its worst performance of the season so far.

2. That one bright spot, was of course freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson who smashed the freshman single-game freshman rushing record. Everyone around the program has been buzzing about this kid since the moment he arrived on campus and today he solidified the starting job moving forward. There’s simply no chance they’ll be able to relegate him to backup duty after this performance.

3. Speaking of running backs, the Miyan Williams situation was strange. I’m starting to wonder what the point of the availability report even is at this stage as Williams took home this week’s honorary Sevyn Banks, is he injured? being disciplined? hello? anyone? Award.

4. What if I would have told you before the season that Ohio State would get mostly solid cornerback play? You might not have believed me, but even if you had just humored me and went along with it, you certainly would have thought that would have meant real progress on defense, right? I would have bet a fortune that improved corner play would have meant fielding a good defense this year. That couldn’t be further from the truth at this point. The Buckeyes aren’t getting enough of a pass rush, the linebackers look mostly lost, and the free safety situation continues to be a big problem.

5. Speaking of the free safety position, I posted earlier this week that I was hearing Ryan Watts was at free safety and was hoping folks wouldn’t shoot the messenger that he wasn’t expected to play a big role on Saturday unless the game got out of hand. Well, he didn’t play any role and it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t get him a few series’ out there as he tries to get his feet underneath him at a new position. As I said earlier, this will be at least a multi-week process even if it is a successful one, but I have to feel like not making this game more lopsided cost him some valuable reps if he is to help them back there during Big Ten play.

6. Overall, I’m just not seeing a ton of energy and confidence from this team and it is concerning and it is starting to bleed over to the offense. Maybe I’m overreacting, maybe some of these guys just don’t show their emotions the way we want them to (and how selfish of a comment was that? HA!). But I just don’t see the same type of juice the last couple of times have had from the time the ball is teed up. There are spurts of energy and excitement but this is another week where I felt the team came out of the gates a little lethargic and I was surprised by that coming off last week’s loss.

7. Not even 80,000 in the stands? Yikes. I know Ohio State is making the vast majority of its money elsewhere, but this is a disturbing trend. Did last season show people the light on the wonders of putting your feet up on the couch with a cold beverage and an 80-inch flat screen and not having to pay $20 to park two miles from the stadium? COVID concerns still keeping people away? Perhaps a lack of optimism around the team after the loss to Oregon? Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things, but I thought the announced attendance today of 76,540 was staggering. It will be interesting to see what the school does for next season in terms of its pricing and finding some creative ways to entice people to head back to the stadium and away from the living rooms and man caves.

8. I think it would be fair to say the performance of the entire defensive line has been a disappointment this season, even the defensive tackle position which looked to have a bonafide stud returning in Haskell Garrett. But the Buckeyes haven’t been able to get much disruption from the interior of their D-Line so far, so it was nice to see true freshman Tyliek Williams come through with a big fourth quarter sack. There has been a lot of positive buzz about Williams this off-season but it was generally prefaced with the idea that he would be a Year Two guy and maybe not so much a Year One guy. Well that was one heck of an explosive move late in the game and maybe this type of game can springboard him into a bigger role moving forward.

9. It was nice to see Cameron Martinez come up with that interception at the end of the game. Martinez was one of a few bright spots during the game as he saw a ton of action and was one of the more noticeable guys defensively on Saturday. Martinez has the skill set to be a really good defensive back, between his athleticism and natural football instincts and if he could emerge as a guy they can count on *this* season, that would be welcomed news for a secondary that is still trying to find answers beyond Cam Brown.

10. Next up is Akron and this is the worst team on Ohio State’s schedule so I don’t know what we’re going to be able to really say about next week’s performance. I’d love to sit here and say this team is right on the cusp of clicking, but it just doesn’t feel that way right now. Who would have thought before the season that we’d be looking to the Rutgers game for some signs of improvement? Whew.

D

Donald George

Guest
Rutgers is scoring a lot of points....if #17 is the starting safety,they will score a lot more... One d line,the freshman are playing decent
 

Ziggybuckeye_614

Scoop Family
Aug 25, 2021
2
2
By far and away the worst Buckeye team since the dark year of Luke being our head coach.

Stroud sucks. He has no business playing QB at a school like OSU.
We have zero energy or attitude on this team. We get pushed around on both sides of the ball.
Shaw is a piece of garbage. He makes Donnie Nicky look like Ronnie Lott
The defense is just awful. Not a single guy on that side of the ball wins a one on one match up (save Burke)
The offense has zero rhythm. If it weren't for Henderson we would have lost by 10 points.
We rotate way too many guys on defense

I still love Day but he needs to do some soul searching. Stop throwing the ball so ****ing much and ride Willians and Henderson. Make things easier for your QB that is clearly in over his head. Fire the entire D staff in the offseason (even LJ)
 
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Konrad

Scoop Family
Apr 18, 2021
100
119
By far and away the worst Buckeye team since the dark year of Luke being our head coach.

Stroud sucks. He has no business playing QB at a school like OSU.
We have zero energy or attitude on this team. We get pushed around on both sides of the ball.
Shaw is a piece of garbage. He makes Donnie Nicky look like Ronnie Lott
The defense is just awful. Not a single guy on that side of the ball wins a one on one match up (save Burke)
The offense has zero rhythm. If it weren't for Henderson we would have lost by 10 points.
We rotate way too many guys on defense

I still love Day but he needs to do some soul searching. Stop throwing the ball so ****ing much and ride Willians and Henderson. Make things easier for your QB that is clearly in over his head. Fire the entire D staff in the offseason (even LJ)
Donnie Nickey was a very good player and co captain on a national championship team. I would jump for joy if he was leading this secondary.
 
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tjvm85

Scoop Family
President’s Club
Founder's Club
Jun 5, 2020
98
164
Honestly....I wasn't that disappointed .... the coaches on D need to start playing the right players ie. Martinez, Pope, not Shaw and not Eichenburg...Loved seeing Wiliams, Cowell, etc get time.

OSU needs and identity on O which I thought they started to establish which is the RUN... despite having great receivers they need to pound the ball and run play action as Stroud needs time to develop and the O-line is solid.

Long season...OSU will get better. very very young.....I do worry about our D and the coaching there.
 

marv39

Scoop Family
President’s Club
Founder's Club
Jun 4, 2020
81
107
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If you think fans are staying away this year, wait till next year when they invoke the seat license fee you need to pay
just for the privilege of buying your tickets. I think there will e significant numbers not renewing their seats.
 

ElMatador21

Scoop Family
Sep 17, 2021
1
0
Columbus, Ohio
Hey, Coach! Don’t look now, but the rest of the conference is improving (UM, MSU, PSU, Iowa, Rutgers, Maryland). As good as that is for the B1G, you don’t want to be the coach at the helm when our grip on the conference slips. You have more talent than any college program North of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it will all be for naught if your staff isn’t able to put them in position to succeed. Like Keith Sweat said, “Something just ain’t right.”
I saw nothing today to lead me to believe we are taking positive steps to fix the defense. Personnel is baffling, the constant rotations are an enigma (as no one can get a feel or rhythm for the game), and the fact that Eichenberg and Shaw started has me pulling my hair out.
 
R

Rj

Guest
Lack of passionate play. These coaches make too much to send guys out with this posture. Players play but this is college, near all are playing for love of the game/competing. I see little love.
 

Beenthere77

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  • Jun 4, 2020
    299
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    If the team had had the usual season starting 3 cupcake game schedule, thinking our conversation would be completely different right now.

    Akron will show us the potential of this team and give the team a chance to feel what it’s like to be clicking on all cylinders. Then several games to build on that before Penn State.
     
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    BuckeyeBeast32

    Scoop Family
    President’s Club
    Sep 20, 2021
    1
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    O-H
    Our CBs have been lights out this season. The Minnesota game they had some production with the outside wrs but it was 2 Freshman making their first career starts and the CBs were on top of the WRs but they literally just lost at the catch point. Watts had a P. I. Call bcus he panicked and didn't trust his skills and leaped early.

    LBs need to be in zone coverages even when u man up with the corners. Our LBs are struggling diagnosing and reacting. So start by limiting what nds diagnosed. We could also help them by keeping a unit together for more than a few snaps too. LBs have to learn how to play with each other... Who's gonna come downhill and fill the hole... Who's gonna kinda sit back and allow the play to develop a lil more. Our coaches have not promoted continuity throughout the front 7 due to the insane amount of subs. We have talent there especially in Simon, Young, and Mitchell flashes.

    The Line has shockingly and sadly been the weakest point of the D. They aren't doing anything to set the tone. They have "get a sack" on their mind every snap and they haven't been able to beat the blocks to get home. They are really hindering our LBs chances to be productive against the run. In years past with the likes of Hankins, Hamilton, Jones and so forth they aren't beating interior lineman one in on one but they won't occupy and eat up the dble team blocks which allows the lineman to constantly get to our LBs quickly. We never have a "free" backer to plug or shoot the hole and make a clean stop. Ntm our D has been predicated for our front 4 to really dominate the l.o.s so we don't blitz LBs for passing plays or for run blitzes. Therefore you have a lot of LBs who have been coached to kinda sit and wait, let the front dictate the flow of the run play and come up and fill. We don't teach our LBs to come downhill hard like other teams.

    Then you have the offense. They have yes gained a lot of yardage but Strouds early struggles are really another issue for our D. When we had Fields we scored early and often. Well that makes the opposing offense press early and in turn has made them more one dimensional. Had we scored on our first 2 drives (we moved the ball) last week you vs Tulsa you're up 14 - 3. All of the sudden their QB is thinking he has to score every trip bcus O.S.U lks like they might. Now you have a QB maybe forcing passes he normally wouldn't. The playbook has been cut down and now our D has a lead and might play a little more loose. Maybe our D will play with more instinct instead of the slow methodical "Is this what I'm supposed to do." Football is Instincts and assignment and if you are just focusing on one then there's no fluidity, speed, or passion. It looks like a bunch of robots who can't think for themselves and adjust the assignment based on what they see. 5ake those 3 exact TD runs by Oregon for example. The corner was sooo worried about his assignment of being in m 2 m coverage that he completely ignored his instincts. Instinct would've told him that his man just ran into my LB who's supposed to set the edge...I better help my teammate and "see ball, get ball" instinct no longer exists.