The Defense – Confidence Level 8
As I mentioned earlier, I like where Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles has this defense right now. They have answered every challenge this season, which has included some interesting styles including a surprised option offense in Indiana, a slow ball-possessing style in Youngstown State, an air raid offense in Western Kentucky, and then a high-powered passing attack with a power running game in Notre Dame.
Now the Silver Bullets are staring Taulia Tagovailoa and the read option offense of Maryland right in the face. They have seen variations of the read option this year, but not quite like how Maryland runs it. This offense looks very similar to what we saw at the tail end of Josh Gattis’ time at Michigan, but with a quarterback who can actually run it correctly. The speed in space theory actually works when you have a quarterback who understands space, angles, and how to read defenses.
So far this season, Maryland is averaging just over 38 points per game while throwing for just under 300 yards per contest. Defenses can’t just worry about the pass, however, as the Terps are also averaging just over 157 yards rushing per game as well.
The Ohio State football team on the other hand has done a great job of neutralizing an offense’s main strength. Right now, Ohio State is ranked sixth in the nation in total defense and second in the nation in total touchdowns allowed.
Once again, the Ohio State defense is going to get challenged by an offense that believes they can outscore the Buckeyes. If the defense continues to hold up their end of the deal, look for Ohio State to win comfortably. My confidence level in this defense is at an eight.