Ohio State Football: Stopping the run against Tulsa

The Ohio State Football team has a lot of linebackers to choose from in 2022.Osu21ore Kwr 33
The Ohio State Football team has a lot of linebackers to choose from in 2022.Osu21ore Kwr 33 /

The Ohio State football team’s defense is giving up 33 points and over 455 yards per game only two weeks into the season.

There are major concerns on the defensive end right now, but especially with the run defense. Past defensive struggles for the Buckeyes have been primarily in passing defense. However, this year it’s pretty much everything that’s the problem.

Even when the Buckeyes ranked 122nd in passing yards allowed per game last season, they were still ranked fifth in rushing defense. Bad defenses for Ohio State standards are usually good at something, that just doesn’t seem like the case right now.

The Ohio State defense hasn’t allowed as much passing yards this season, allowing nearly 221 passing yards per game. That’s about 80 yards better than last season, but this is just due to the fact teams are just running all over the Buckeyes right now.

Opponents are averaging 5.4 yards per carry and 236 rushing yards against Ohio State’s struggling defense through two weeks. The passing defense has shown some promise with solid cornerback play, the dire concern is definitely the rushing defense as of now.

The Ohio State football team must stop Tulsa’s run this weekend

The Bucks’ rushing defense will be challenged against Tulsa’s rush attack. The Golden Hurricanes averaged only 3.2 yards per run and had 125 rushing yards against Oklahoma State. In their season-opener, Tulsa had a big day running the ball against the FCS opponent UC Davis rushing for 247 yards while averaging over seven yards per rush.

Tulsa’s game against Oklahoma state probably holds more weight out of the two. Oklahoma State is not that good, yet they stuffed Tulsa. Most stats are going to be inflated against FCS opponents, which should explain Tulsa’s 247 rushing yards against UC Davis.

The Golden Hurricane’s lead-back Deneric Prince does present a challenge for OSU though. Prince has the ability to make people miss with his large 6-foot-1 frame, he also has some good speed for his size. He showed off his burst against UC Davis on a 59-yard run.

Prince had 151 yards on 14 runs against UC Davis but struggled against Oklahoma State. Due to Prince’s physical run style, we will see if the Buckeyes got any better at tackling since Oregon.

Tulsa is running it on 58.46% of their snaps, which is 34th in college football. The Buckeyes are going against a team that runs in volume, giving them many opportunities to stop the run.

There is no excuse why Ohio State cannot stuff the Golden Hurricane run on Saturday. Ryan Day was visibly upset with the defense in Tuesday’s presser. Day assured there will be change on the defensive end, that should begin versus Tulsa.

While Tulsa is a weak opponent, it would still be nice to see the Buckeyes looking like “silver bullets” once again. At this point, any improvement is progress in fixing the running defense. The Tulsa matchup is a great opportunity for the running defense to get up to snuff.

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The Ohio State football team’s rushing defense should be able to take the next step forward against Tulsa, the Bucks are in trouble if they cannot.