Ohio State football: Defense never got on track

The Ohio State football team fell in the National Championship game last night. The biggest reason why is the failed effort by the defense, which plagued the Buckeyes all season long.

Monday night was rough. The Ohio State football team got destroyed by Alabama 52-24 in a game that wasn’t close from the second quarter on. They got outplayed and out-coached every step of the way. The defense was the most problematic part of that.

The Buckeyes allowed a CFP record 464 passing yards. Devonta Smith had 215 yards receiving on 12 catches to go along with 3 touchdowns. He did all of that in the first half too. He had more yards by himself than Ohio State did as a team in that first half.

Smith’s performance underscored how poorly the coaching staff did at preparing this team for this game, as well as how they refused to make the necessary adjustments. Not once did Kerry Coombs think about double-teaming Smith or at least using bracket coverage.

Ryan Day should have seen this coming. His defense ended up finishing 122nd out of 127 teams in passing yards allowed. The secondary was a disaster all season long. He refused to change personnel or talk to his defensive coaches about a scheme change.

This pass defense rivals how bad the secondary was back in 2013. That defense couldn’t stop anyone through the air. Clearly, this defense couldn’t either. The concerning thing is that it probably won’t get much better next season.

Shaun Wade leaves after being an All-American. That leaves Sevyn Banks, Josh Proctor, and Marcus Williamson, who were all weak-links, as the returning members next year. None of them showed that they can be counted on to be good.

The Buckeyes do have some top recruits they can consider playing. Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock come in as four-star cornerbacks next year. Along with Lathom Ranson, Lejond Cavazos, and Cam Martinez, the Buckeyes have talented but unproven guys.

Ohio State will have a long and painful offseason to lick their wounds and make adjustments. It’s just a shame adjustments couldn’t have been made this season.