Ohio State Football: It’s time to have a defensive overhaul

Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith fails to tackle Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown on Saturday.Osu21ore Kwr 22
Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith fails to tackle Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown on Saturday.Osu21ore Kwr 22 /

The Ohio State football team’s defense was absolutely shredded in their 35-28 loss to Oregon. The Ducks had 505 total yards, with 269 rushing yards coming on the ground.

Oregon averaged 7.1 yards per rush against the Buckeye defense, since when has that become the standard for Ohio State? Even when Ohio State had rough defensive games against Alabama in the National Championship last season or when they gave up 49 points to Purdue in the 2018 season, the Buckeyes’ rushing defense was not gashed like this.

The defense looked undisciplined throughout the Oregon game. There were far too many times when the edge was not set on the defense. Too often, there were Oregon Ducks wide open in the passing game. For Ohio State’s standards, this was one of the worst defensive performances in the last 20 years.

Any recent defensive struggles for Ohio State have been primarily due to a porous passing defense. The passing defense still remains a concern after the loss to Oregon, the linebacker unit looked consistently lost throughout the game.

Also, Josh Proctor likely has a long-term injury after getting carted off the field. Proctor’s replacement at safety, Bryson Shaw, struggled against the Duck offense. One memorable play for Shaw was when he took a very bad angle on the Oregon running back C.J. Verdell, which led to a 77-yard rushing touchdown.

With that said, the passing defense remains a concern with the linebackers looking lost in coverage and now a backup safety is likely replacing Proctor. In addition, the secondary is going to have some issues if Ohio State’s pass rush remains almost nonexistent.

If that wasn’t enough the rushing defense is clearly not what we’re used to.

The tackling for Ohio State has already been bad for the Buckeyes through two games. The defensive line had one of their worst performances in recent memory after being man-handled by Oregon’s offensive line for the majority of the game. It is not normal to see a defensive line coached by Larry Johnson to struggle that much and to be outright dominated.

Overall, the Ohio State defense has already been extremely disappointing. There is not much reason to believe this defense will get much better this season, thanks to some questionable coaching.

Defensive coaching must be better for the Ohio State football team

Kerry Coombs, the Defensive Coordinator, was questioned quite a bit after last season’s defense struggled. However, people remained patient since there was no real offseason. There were some new, young inexperienced guys stepping in last season.

Through two weeks, there is simply no reason the defense should be this bad. The roster is littered with talent, in every unit, there is tons of potential. Yet, the defense continues to struggle.

Coombs has not shown the ability to adapt during in-game situations. It feels like no matter what Ohio State always sticks to their defensive game plan even when it’s not working. For example, how did Oregon consistently burn Ohio State on off-tackle runs for such a long period of time? Why were there no adjustments made to combat this until basically the fourth quarter?

The 35-28 loss to Oregon stings. It hurts Ohio State’s playoff chances substantially, and can they even win out if this defense continues to perform this way?

Something has to change for the defense. Will there be any kind of defensive overhaul mid-season? That’s highly unlikely. Hopefully, Coombs can finally show he can adapt. Coombs must make changes on defense more effectively this year or more losses will come.

So far, the 2021 version of Ohio State looks similar to past Oklahoma teams. A high-powered offense with a below-average defense. That does not win championships, and titles are the ultimate goal at Ohio State.

Ohio State loses thanks to poor defense. dark. Next

There is going to be a huge defensive turnover after the season if this keeps up. The Ohio State football team’s defense must improve.