I have a simple question for you all. Why was Minnesota the breaking point for you?
As those who listen to the Sons of Schmidt know, I spent the past week in Branson, Missouri where I got a week away from work with my family and was transplanted into some washed up country singer paradise. It was fun but it meant I spent Saturday sitting in the passenger seat of my wife’s car watching the Buckeyes on my phone as we drove through western Kansas on our way back to Colorado. Due to this, I turned off all of my notifications, didn’t check Twitter, and watched the game in streaming buffering bliss completely oblivious to the outside world.
I’ll admit, on Saturday I was frustrated at times. Ohio State SHOULD have had a dominant defensive performance but they didn’t. To be honest though, I didn’t care. That performance meant nothing to me in the grand scheme of things. Just like if they had a dominant performance…it would have meant nothing to me because I’d watched the previous six games.
When I rejoined the social media world, I was blown away at the reaction. I was reading live coverage of a funeral for the Ohio State Buckeye football team. The whole season was over. Ohio State was losing to Purdue the next week and probably a few more games. I forgot to send flowers…I’m a jerk.
I get it, Ohio State has defensive issues and they have had them all season. Nothing that happened on Saturday was new or extra alarming.
Against Oregon State they gave up almost 200 yards passing in the first half to a back-up QB. In the second half they gave up 200 yards rushing to something named Artavis Pierce. That QB (who now starts) has not had a passer rating as high as his game against the Buckeyes in his other five games. That running back who ran wild on Ohio State has not broken 100 yards since and has never come close to that 15 yards per carry average he had. This performance should have concerned you.
In Dallas, Ohio State gave up over 500 yards of offense to TCU. Shawn Robinson threw for 308 yards against the Buckeye defense. He failed to reach 200 yards passing against Southern, Southern Methodist, Texas, and Iowa State. Darius Anderson ran for 154 yards on almost 13 yards per attempt. In his other five games, he has rushed for a combined 201 yards on 3.8 yards per carry. This performance should have concerned you.
Ohio State went to Penn State and gave up 286 yards passing to Trace McSorley. He failed to break 165 yards passing against Illinois and Pittsburgh. He was held way below that number by Appalachian State and Kent State. If letting him throw the ball all over the field wasn’t bad enough, they let him rush for 175 yards on 7 yards per carry. He didn’t come close to reaching 100 yards against four of the other five opponents…let alone 200 yards. = This performance should have concerned you.
Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes welcomed Indiana to town. The Buckeye defense let Peyton Ramsey throw for 322 yards. Florida International, Virginia, and Ball State all held him under 175 yards passing. Hell, Rutgers held him to 288 yards passing and I’m pretty sure they have seven walk-on kickers lining up on defense. This performance should have concerned you.
There is a long line of suck by the Ohio State defense this year. Outside of Rutgers and Tulane, you can say the defense was way below standard each game. This leads me back to my question…why was Minnesota your breaking point?
I know we have a large portion of the fan base that just wants to be miserable (I’m looking at you Cleveland delegate). Every little screw up and every little mistake equals disaster of monumental proportions. In this case, there is disaster everywhere on defense and it has been there all year. It didn’t just pop up on Saturday.
Think a little about the situation. Ohio State had a noon game against freaking Minnesota. A team that was 3-2 and a team they hadn’t played in years. It was hard for the fan base to get up for the game. Just imagine being a player and playing in your seventh straight game. Literally no one cared about this game. There was no one alive who didn’t want Ohio State to just be up 30-0 after the first quarter so they could DVR the rest of the game and watch it later.
To top that off, Ohio State was already without two defensive linemen (Bosa and Cooper) and their only productive linebacker (Harrison). Early on they lost a starting corner (Arnette) and a starting defensive tackle (Landers). That is five starters down on an already struggling defense.
Between the noon start time against a crap team and a banged up defense, it shouldn’t shock you that the defense struggled a lot early on. It shouldn’t have happened but it did.
Look at it this way though, over the final three quarters the defense only gave up 266 yards of offense and seven points.
Saturday’s game wasn’t pretty but the defense did its job for the most part. Everyone expected them to give up 10-20 points and they did. They gave up some big plays. The defense continues to be baffled by a slant pass. There is still a glaring weakness at safety.
These are all known problems. They aren’t new.
More importantly, they don’t give up more points than the offense can score. This game should not have been the game that set you over the edge, but apparently it did and I’m not sure why.