Football

Ten Things We Learned from Ohio State’s 31-16 Loss to Oklahoma

Ohio State Oklahoma Baker Mayfield

It may be a new season for the Ohio State Buckeyes, but it sure has a familiar feel to it. The passing game was once again an issue, which was thought to be back on better footing.

The pass defense, meanwhile, had a 2013 feel to it, which should be a terrifying thought combined with the OSU passing game right now.

Ohio State now sits at 1-1 on the season and has horribly failed their only non-conference test. Every answer given now will be received with an eye roll and a dismissive nod from those outside of the football program.

The Buckeyes were outplayed, outcoached, and outdone in every facet on Saturday night.

Ohio State’s talent will allow them to respond well over the next four games, but they will eventually hit the meat of their conference schedule, and if these same issues haven’t been improved, then the Buckeyes could be looking at multiple losses in B1G play for the first time in Urban Meyer’s OSU tenure.

But that’s still a ways down the road, and there’s plenty to worry about in the meantime.

So what did we learn from Saturday night’s loss? Almost nothing good for the Buckeyes.

1. Now we know why the Ohio State passing game looked so good in practice.

The Buckeyes are dead last in the nation in pass defense after two weeks. That’s 130th place, if you’re keeping count. They are allowing 403 yards passing per game, and now we know why there was so much talk from players and coaches about the passing game looking good and making plays during spring and fall camp.

2. Kevin Wilson is not a magical elixir.

Over the first two games, Oklahoma and Indiana have shown how easy it can be to throw the ball, but the Buckeyes have shown us how difficult their reality is. I still believe Kevin Wilson is a good fit for the Ohio State offense, but it’s clear that the passing game is going to require more than simply a healthy sprinkling of his offensive pixie dust.

3. J.T. Barrett has trust issues.

After the game, J.T. Barrett said the issue with the passing game was that Oklahoma was dropping back into a zone and he needs to do a better job of trusting his throws and trusting that his receivers will be where they need to be. He said he could improve on not second guessing himself against the zone defense. My question to this is if the quarterback doesn’t trust himself, how much longer can the coach trust the quarterback, and should he even trust him at all?

4. Urban Meyer has trust issues.

Urban Meyer said after the game that he is not considering a quarterback change, which means that he doesn’t have the trust in anybody else to be a better option. Or maybe he has too much trust in J.T. Barrett? Regardless, the Buckeye offense will ride and die with Barrett at quarterback, and the fan base will be justifiably angry with any continued struggles on offense this season. There are also trust issues with the running backs. Meyer lamented the lack of carries for the running backs, but this issue has now spanned three offensive coordinators, four different starting running backs, and three starting quarterbacks. The common denominator is the head coach.

5. Everyone else has trust issues when it comes to Ohio State.

It is important to remember that this was just game two and the season is far from over. It was not that long ago when the Buckeyes lost the second game of the season in 2014 and went on to win a national title. The difference here, however, is that almost nobody outside the program expects a similar turnaround. The offensive coaching staff has changed, but we’ve seen this story before. Putting up another 600 yards against Army and UNLV and Maryland won’t mean anything. A win over Penn State would help, but the only thing that will fix the trust issues is a win over a national power outside of the Big Ten, and I’m not sure anybody sees that happening at this rate.

6. The Buckeyes have a punter.

When the one bright spot of a game is your punter, you have already lost. Still, redshirt freshman Drue Chrisman had four punts, averaging 45.8 yards with each kick, and putting all four punts inside the 20-yard line. He hasn’t been a surprise, but more of a pleasant confirmation of what was expected. He’s just way too busy right now, though.

7. The linebackers were exposed.

Man, that was a mess of a defensive effort in the passing game. Do people have more respect for Luke Fickell now? Lincoln Riley’s offense had the Ohio State linebackers looking like they were playing on ice. They were spun every which way. Passes were completed in front of them, but especially behind them. There were several plays where it looked like this was the first time they had ever experienced a play-action pass. Maybe this is why there is still a competition between Dante Booker and Malik Harrison. For being arguably the most athletic group of Ohio State linebackers ever, they defended the pass like a group of stiff run stoppers. We’ll find out down the road how much of the problem is scheme and coaching, and how much of the problem is the players. From the looks of last night, there is plenty of blame to go around.

8. This was a much bigger game for Oklahoma than Ohio State.

Lincoln Riley said as much after the game. They were focused on this game and they wanted payback for the way they lost last year. This was a challenge to their manhood and they responded. For Ohio State it was a big game as well, but they didn’t have the same reasons for wanting this game. I don’t know how much that impacted the game, because Ohio State could have wanted it more, but if they can’t defend the middle of the field, then nothing would have been any different. Credit the Sooners for putting the kind of weight that they did on this game. They prepared well and executed well. Just be happy they made as many mistakes as they did, or else this one could have been a four or five-touchdown difference.

9. There is no respect for J.T. Barrett’s passing from the opposition.

Indiana coach Tom Allen said their plan of attack was to take advantage of OSU’s inaccurate quarterback. Oklahoma, meanwhile, dropped in a zone and forced Barrett to fit the ball into windows. Allen ended up being surprised by Barrett’s accuracy in the second half. There was no such surprise for the Oklahoma defense. Then there were also the comments from Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and their defense leading up to, and following, the playoff game last year. Urban Meyer is confident in Barrett, while the opposition is confident that he can’t beat them. This is a disappointing situation to be in for a program that recruits as well as Ohio State and has as many proven coaches on offense as they do.

10. Greg Schiano is very concerned.

Ohio State gave up 420 yards passing to Indiana in the season opener. Many of those yards came from quick hitters on the outside that saw perfect placement and tremendous hands. The yards came in one-on-one coverage situations on the outside, which is very different than where the 386 yards came from against the Sooners. The middle of the field was a playground for the Oklahoma offense, and they did it without their best pass catcher, as tight end Mark Andrews missed much of the game with an injury. Schiano said the issue last night was mistakes and poor coaching. Problems like that can be corrected, which is good news. The pass defense will look much better in the immediate future against Army, UNLV, and Maryland, but it won’t make a difference until we see what they do against Nebraska and Penn State. There is plenty of time to fix the issues, but having this many issues is absolutely a concern.

28 Responses

  1. Meyer is a politician and sides with the left progressives and socialists.

  2. Dwayne Haskins isn’t ready and is a boy. Joe Burrow is the answer to spark the offense. If he doesn’t play he will transfer and will have major success elsewhere. If he does I hope he plays the buckeyes and kick their behinds

  3. Y’all need to research Meyer’s coaching resume. Why did he fail at Florida. Now y’all in buckeye land in inherited him. He’s a blow hard and plays favorites. this years OSU team??? will fail.

        1. An 8-5 season followed. Oh no! The rest was Muschamp.

  4. The good thing is that they once lost to Virginia Tech and look what happened. Some players said that was the turning point of the season. I’m not sure why it takes an un-expected loss to do that, but maybe it’s a thing.

  5. Flat and simple coaching is a lot of the problem. I wanted, and agreed of the decision last season to get rid of quarterback coach Beck, but didn’t think o-line coach Warriner should have been replaced, as the o-line had really been some of the best under him. The one coach that should have been gotten rid of along with Beck, was Zach Smith the receivers coach. Just because of Myer being loyal to him, because he is Earl Bruce’s grandson is why you are seeing the regression of the receivers. How much development have we seen in any receiver since D. Smith , and E. Spencer left ? And not using the running game with the talent that is at the running back position, is just plain stupid, plain and simple. And questioned about it, Myer can only say, “i saw what you saw, and i didn’t like it or how plays were being called”. Hell your the head coach, do something about it. Remember after the Clemson blow out loss, Myer promised buckeye nation, that would never happen again. Guess again!

  6. To me it’s simple take jtb out, put the best qb in your roster in, or take your f***** five stars that leave early and leave you with true freshmen five stars playing like one stars and go back to espn. This is ohio state. We don’t like getting our butts kicked on our field while we have better options. jt is a good kid but he truly undoubtedly stinks and will continue to stink. you will actually buckeye household today has had enough of watching him struggle with no end in sight and there is no way in he’ll be will be drafter . You will harm the team and then skip town and then we have a mess just because you like to be loyal. F that!

    1. But, but, but… J.T. Barrett is a Heisman contender! He’s on the Heisman Watch list.

  7. Some of us need to remember Urban is 62-7, NC, 5-0 vs. TTUN. He understands this team better than the rest of us. The backup qb is always the most popular guy in town after a loss. Yes we need to improve but are the receivers going to magically create separation with Haskins in? Yes, JT shoulders some of the blame but there is plenty to go around. I’m sticking with JT. I am as disappointed as everyone else, but we are a spoiled fan base. I remember when for years OSU was not even a player on the national stage. We have great coaches and players and it’s a long season. The future is bright so let’s all cheer up.

    1. JT is bad. I’m from South Carolina and SEC country and Meyer is not the answer to yall buckeyes. Study his down fall at Florida. It’s following him to buckeye LaLaLand

  8. A great coach can bring in the best talent, but what good is it if he can’t or doesn’t know how to develop that talent? Teams with half the talent look better than this OSU team. Can’t believe I’m saying this as I dreamed of Urban coaching OSU, but if he continues to stubbornly stick to whats not working over and over again maybe it’s time for him to leave the program. He seems too comfortable that his job is secure and appears content with average. I’m not content with beating mediocre B1G teams. I don’t expect perfection, but being competitive would be nice. There is no excuse for this level of talent not being competitive.

  9. Tate Martell and his unblemished 3 year history as the QB of ostensibly the best HS program in the nation is the future of Buckeye nation. Are the Buckeye coaches prepared to leverage that future to simply pad the stats of our current 5th year senior QB?

    No way Martell could give worse results than what we are getting. He is a gamer in the same mold as 2014 Barrett.

  10. It’s hard to argue with most of what James Mills had to say.

    The bottom line is the matriculation of quality assistants has hurt Ohio State. Tom Herman left and then it appeared Ed Warriner was going to leave for Army, so OSU promoted him to co-Offensive Coordinator, replaced him with Studrawa, and also lost Fickell to UC.

    The offensive line has not been as devastatingly efficient since Warriner’s departure as OL coach, which he was great at. I watched Minnesota last night and their OL looked great. He is the Gophers’ OL coach and running game coordinator.

    The linebackers look lost without Fickell. The wide receivers? Don’t get me started. Devin Smith located and caught more deep balls in ONE game than this entire receiving core combined. When JT Barrett does throw accurately deep, are any of us confident that McLaurin or Campbell can locate and high point the ball and come down with a tough reception over the DB? Not me. Do our receivers ever scramble and try to get open when JT is running for his life? Do our wide receivers ever work back to the ball when it is thrown? We have talented young WRs. But I have no confidence they will be developed with the current WR coach.

    Bottom line, when I found out, through many reports on this site, that Campbell was OSU’s top receiver and Damon Arnette was our second-best cornerback during summer ball, I knew both those units were in Big Trouble.

    It might be time to look at some of the young, highly touted recruits and give them a chance during the season and then really evaluate the assistant staff at the conclusion of the season. OSU has the resources. It needs to hire top end assistants to develop its highly ranked recruits.

  11. Do you have more respect for fickell now, NO, not at all!

  12. Urban has a bromance with JT that needs to end. OSU has three other QBs that are all more accurate passers than Barrett. Barrett needs to be benched, period. The defense was supposed to be great, but they suck. What happened to Sciano’s comments about this being the best defense he’s ever coached, including the ones he had at Tampa Bay? And what is wrong with a coaching staff that has three (former & current) head coaches? They got out coached by a newbie for crying out loud. Urban needs to look hard at his own biases and wake up. Big changes need to be made and fast!

  13. 1) Yup.
    2) Yup. And nice dig at Coach Meyer while you were about it.
    3) I’ve been among the biggest supporters of J.T. Barrett since the boo birds started his RS sophomore year. Time to man up. Ohio State has never been the Cradle of Quarterbacks and even in his stellar RS soph year he was missing Devin Smith in stride and that’s never gotten better with any receiver(s). That was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen and more than his passing it was his game management (lack thereof) and where Mayfield had the fire in his belly, Barrett looked indifferent when his team needed him and when he finally threw a pass that everyone in the stadium should have known would get picked it seemed like a “see, I told you I needed to be more careful!” rather than any attempt at completing it. Enough.
    4) I get where Meyer is being loyal, like he has to all his QBs wherever he’s gone, but at some point he needs to man up too.
    5) The difference between VaTech and this year’s massacre is that the only parts of the team that look contender-ready are Drue Chrisman and the DL. No one wins a title with only that.
    6) Yup.
    7) LBs, DBs gave the worst performance for a Silver Bullet team since Clemson and worst in the regular season since…I don’t want to think about it! It looked as if Oklahoma were going against Kerry Coombs’ old Colerain teams.
    8) Only part I didn’t get about this was that is Baker Mayfield really that stupid or was he that desperate for motivation? It wasn’t the “fight song” but the alma mater that the Buckeyes sang, and any research shows they sing after ALL games, wins or losses, home or away. Planting a flag is a whole different animal but it will be decades before we get a home-and-home again. Stay classy, brah.
    9) Yeah. His line and receivers don’t help him at all (more drops this week and when even your wannabe all-B1G LT gets flagged for holding you know any QB is gonna be in trouble but it’s time for Barrett to man up as well – he’s stinkin’ up the joint.
    10) Whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes…Greg, that was a turd. Coaches, players, girlfriends, they ALL looked bad.

    1. I have been saying for 2 yrs that OSU will never beat a good team with Barrett. Everybody argued. Look he has the record for TD passes. How many did he have against Clemson? How many did he have against Oklahoma? In those 2 games he led them to an average of 8 ppg. But when he throws all these TDs against these next 3 cupcakes you will be saying, he has fixed his problems. If you guys would watch a game and look at the talent instead of reading stats, you would learn more.

  14. JT Barrett and the staff want it both ways. The NONSENSE about Indiana and Oklahoma dropping 8 into coverage is BS. At least Buckeye Nation and the Program better hope that it’s just a pathetic attempt to hide the truth. If it’s true than the Buckeye offensive line is even more pathetic than anyone could have possibly imagined. If they really are dropping 8 into coverage (completely not true) that means 3 defensive linemen are laying waste to 5 300 pound offensive linemen, and making it look like a walk in the park on Sunday afternoon. The fact after watching both games a couple of times now is that all 5 offensive linemen are just very bad players, and JT Barrett belongs on the bench. My sisters can throw a football with better accuracy and velocity. Now we can add running the RO like a guy frightened of contact we see a guy who doesn’t belong on the field anymore.

    Both Coach Meyer and Wilson refuse to take responsibility for gameplans. Taking the ball out of the runningbacks hands is as stupid as stupid gets. Especially so when your quarterback has developed a stage fright.

    Seems to me that I recall both Coach Meyer and Wilson stating that they have spent the entire offseason scouting and developing idea’s for Oklahoma. Apparently neither have a clue what they were looking at either from Oklahoma OR their own roster.

    The other side of the ball is no different, except, Coach Meyer has hung Coach Johnson out to dry.

    What should happen? Crap can that lousy QB coach, Studrawa and Zach Smith. All 3 are incompetent and cannot develop talent, a blocking scheme, a route tree OR a quarterback. Let some other unsuspecting bottom feeder school foolishly hire them. They don’t belong at Ohio State.

    Greg Schiano and Davis also need to go. In one season the best form tacklers in the Country have become incapable of tackling. The back 7 scheme has changed with the exodus of Luke Fickell as defensive coordinator and all the player talent in the world can’t disguise that fact.

    Getting humiliated in every facet of the game last night by a team that wouldn’t sniff 5th place in the Big 10 HAS in fact ended this season. They can go through the motions all they want but the coaches have proven they don’t know what they have and that they can’t teach. With the mantra of owning everything you do, the staff refuses to take ownership of their garbage gameplanning and develop of talent. That’s on Coach Meyer for not holding his assistants accountable.

  15. 9 team captains but no leaders? A leader would have been
    running up and down the sideline like encouraging the team?

    1. Thank you, Jack Rosenfield. Too many cooks and all that. I don’t believe in participation trophies – 1 offensive captain, 1 defensive, 1 special teams. If you’re not “the man” there’s a reason for it.

    2. Its because Meyer kisses the asses of all these players. He gets no respect. I think I have heard him say so and so is one of the most improved players on the team. Problem is he said it about 30 different players. Be a coach Urban, not a fan.

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