3. The Ohio State football team must limit mental mistakes
False starts, illegal formation, offsides. Those are all penalties that are caused by mental lapses. The Buckeyes have had too many of those this year and far too many of them on special teams. Speaking of special teams, the biggest mental mistake of all happened last week.
Jesse Mirco decided to keep the ball on a punt play while the Buckeyes had the ball inside their own 30-yard line. Why would they make a call like that? Turns out, they didn’t. Ryan Day said that there was no such fake punt call and that there’s no reason the ball shouldn’t have been punted.
Day blamed it on poor communication. That’s been happening a lot on special teams this year. Day was peppered with questions about special teams coordinator Parker Fleming’s job security. It’s extremely rare for a college team to have a special teams coordinator and it takes away a full-time position from the defensive side of the ball.
Day said he isn’t going to make any moves now during the season. He should get rid of him next year. A fake punt like that could cost you the game against a better team. The special teams have also been rife with holding penalties and a couple of muffed punts. Fleming is doing a bad job.
Ohio State has to limit the mental mistakes against Michigan State. Making them won’t kill them in this game, but it will against a better opponent. They better practice getting better with those as soon as possible to make sure they don’t happen when the moment matters the most.
If Ohio State can do these three things, they should easily walk out of the Shoe with another victory.