Greg Schiano: ‘It all falls on me and falls on our coaching staff’

Ohio State defense Maryland

The numbers are almost unprecedented in Ohio State football history. A whopping 51 points allowed, 339 yards rushing, 7.1 yards per rush, 28 yards per pass completion.

A 5-5 Maryland team that got shut out at Iowa in mid-October, and scored exactly 3 points at home against Michigan State in early November, suddenly turned into one of college football’s great offensive juggernauts.

The end result was a 52-51 Ohio State win. But it took a dramatic last-minute comeback for the Buckeyes to get to overtime, and for Maryland’s quarterback to miss an open receiver on a potentially game-winning two-point conversion in OT.

For a defense loaded with some of the best recruits in the nation, it was just the latest in a series of staggering implosions – an act of reverse-alchemy in which the Silver Bullets have turned into lead.

Coming into the weekend, the defense ranked 115th in the nation in Isolated Points Per Play, an opponent-adjusted metric on how many big plays your defense allows. They are 74th in the country in passing defense in S&P+, and 111th in the nation defensively in passing downs.

And those numbers are from before Maryland’s three-hour conga line into the end zone. Four offensive snaps into the game, the Terps had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards.

“It still came down, a lot of them, to tackling,” said OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. “They did a very good job with their scheme and, as I said earlier in the week, they put you in a position where you’re going to have to make one-on-one tackles and sometimes in space.”

Saturday in the first half, Maryland was able to manipulate the Buckeyes’ defense to set up situations where only one defender was in position to make a tackle.

“Their whole scheme is to create confusion. But if you watch it, there’s people there,” he said.

The problem with that, of course, is that if that guy missed, it was going to be six points. And in more than one case, that’s exactly what happened.

That came as a surprise to Schiano.

“I thought we practiced very well. I thought that, coming off last week, we tackled very well. I just felt like the kids had a really good grasp on what we were doing. But it didn’t turn out that way,” he said.

Schiano and the other defensive assistants have taken a lot of heat for the performance of their unit this season, something the defensive coordinator understands.

“It all falls on me and falls on our coaching staff because we have to get them ready to execute the techniques within the scheme that we employ for that week. And we didn’t do a good enough job today, but that’s college football,” he said.

Schiano knows that it’s basically now-or-never for an OSU defense that has had issues all season long.

“We’ve had some really good defensive plays at times, but not consistently. I’ve said that after the first quarter of the season, I said that at the midway. It’s frustrating that we’re not a consistent defense right now, but rest assured every waking minute we have, we’re going to try and get that fixed,” he said.

“The thing that we still have going is we’re 10-1 and we got a chance. We have good players who really care and good coaches. We’ve just got to keep putting it together and go out next week and find a way.”

38 Responses

  1. His scheme has forced one on one’s against EVERY TEAM this year…this team was no exception. Unfortunately we have lost almost all of those match ups…His big mistake was believing HE could get these kids to conform to his poor defensive theories, even when it was obvious it wasn’t working. if by a week or 2 the players weren’t playing by muscle memory and natural instinct, he should have simplified the defense to eliminate the player “left out on an island by himself” to stop the play. Instead his huge ego has ruined the confidence of this entire defensive unit…they play tight and nervous, and are now thinking instead of reacting….unfortunately i believe he may have ruined some of these players for good……..and i agree with the comments made that this is the worst Defense Ohio State has ever had, and by a large margin. I hope like hell we play with some heart against scUM on Saturday and somehow outscore them for o victory..which would ease the pain of watching this team all year, but reality is…you can’t play winning football without a defense…and we have none…but still GO BUCKS

  2. Rod Serling was prophetising decades ago about what it would appear like for the 2018 Ohio State Buckeye defense.

    “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

    My first time in Ohio Stadium was with my dad in 1960. In my lifetime I have not witnessed a Buckeye defense this horrendous. I’m sure there are even older Buckeye fans who could honestly date it even further back in time. MAYBE there was something worse at the close of the 1800’s, but I think this 2018 performance would still claim the shittiest defense of all time for Ohio State football. ESPECIALLY considering the amount of talent of the roster.

  3. “It all falls on me.” First moment of honesty, Greg! Seriously, pack your shit and get the fuck out of Columbus! You are an utter disgrace!

    1. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. I said that very thing just a few weeks ago and the natives wanted to burn me at the stake! Davis should have been fired after the Oregon State game, and Schiano following his useless ass out immediately after the Tulane game.

      I hit the non existent upvote button on your post like a million times.

  4. This is the worst Ohio State defense that I have watched during the past 50 years. It will not suddenly change next week.

    The real question is who should be the new defensive coordinator next season —as well as the new linebackers coach.

    1. I’m going with Marcus Freeman!

        1. I mean Chris Spielman as linebackers coach…

  5. Consider the first TD from Maryland, we rotated away from the edge, CB and the defensive end and all the line backers were caught inside leaving a wide open lane for a fast guy to go untouched – this was not a missed tackle! It was guys out totally of position which is very hard to explain this late in the season. I heard over and over before the season that our D-line was likely the best in America, the loss of one guy doesn’t bring the best line to mediocrity. We were beat up front and holes were not filled, we lost too many one on one battles. Unless we show up on D this Saturday it will be a 3 TD loss!

    1. I truly do believe that LJ was forced to re-implement his positions requirements to try to cover for the dumpster fire behind them. Larry has churned out great defensive lines over the years, and plenty of individual All American’s. His technique development skills is second to absolutely none in all of College Football. Go back to even the Oregon State game. EVERY line position compared to their current deployment is completely different. Davis is incapable of teaching proper gap filling for the linebackers and rather than dump that goof, Schiano for some idiotic “excuse” has forced LJ to change the DLines alignment to move the gap assignments to babysit the undeveloped linebackers. The problem in doing that is that you have weakened 2 positions rather than just one. The linebackers read and adjust, but are their adjustments the right adjustments? Watching teams blistering this defense, I’d say the linebackers don’t have a clue where to align, or how to adjust. They can change ANY of the other units until the cows come courting and the results will be the same………….the ANCHOR of the linebacker unit is still broken.

      The answer is simple for Urban. Dump his family friends and hire a real DC and a real LB coach, whose NOT his best man. Get guys who will be loyal to the Program, not to Urban personally.

    2. This game is over before it starts. Michigan is talented and better coached. You cannot beat a good team with this defense. Im not sure about the score but it wont be that competitive. Sorry, thats how I see it.

      1. No need to be sorry. The only saving grace I can conjure up is that this is the greatest rivalry in all of sports, and, the Buckeyes should be fired up. The talent is on that defense, so they just need to ignore the asshats being paid huge bucks to ruin them, and play with abandon.

  6. Schiano made his name in a Creampuff league against bad opponents. Every time he’s gone up to the big leagues he’s gotten tarred-and-feathered. Dude cannot coach.
    When you’re The Ohio State defensive coordinator it’s unacceptable to have performances like this for an ENTIRE season! 1 game can be excuses. 2 or even 3 on a particularly bad year. More than 3 is sufficient grounds for firing. The Clock is ticking…

    1. Dang Tennessee! OSU was rid of GS and their hillbilly fans mucked it up.

  7. why can’t this arrogant guy look in the mirror and admit that it is a scheming problem. He is getting schooled every week. His arrogance and stubbornness is the problem. There are 40 some hungry kids wanting to play well and win. Technique should not even be in the dicussion this late in the year. If so, you have failed even more miserably as a coach.

  8. Defense is played most importantly with emotion and the time to start building that emotion, that hatred for your opponent, is today. You start building it today and it grows with intensity all week until Saturday at noon you’re ready to explode! By the end of the game you’re so jacked up you feel like you could play another half. You can have the greatest players, coaches, schemes, cheerleaders and fans in the world but without that emotion you may as well stay in bed. Let’s send that bugger eating hairball back to ann arbor with a lump on his head and a loss so devastating their fans will want him fired! MOGA! Make Ohio Great Again!

  9. A couple things wrong here. First, I sense that Schiano is dragging some of the players under the bus with his comments on “tacking”. The other is the false, insincere chest-tap “my bad”. You saw it by Urban after the successful fake punt and by Schiano after damn near every defensive implosion. The coaches seem to acknowledge responsibility, but corrections in terms of alignments, fundamentals (looking at you Studrawa and Davis) and general game sense.

  10. Before we tar and feather Schiano, we need to remember that we lost Combs to The TN Titans and the year before Fickell to the U of Cinncy. . While we have shunned Schiano, we need to remember that our D held MSU to one point less than MI did, and arguably played a better game against IN than MI did. Inconsistent is best and I can document it all the way back to the PUR game. OSU had multiple back to back to back to back possessions when they’ve stone colded opponent, but never flipped the game or took control of it in years gone pastor Urban’s tenure. That’s the issue. No doubt, this D gave up too many big runs, then MD shocks us with long ball passes. Let’s not forget OSU fans that we lost the best D player in then nation when Boa retired.

    1. Transitives simply do not and CANNOT be applied to the game of football.

      Pop in any game from last year. Pop in any game from THIS year and play them side by side. The difference isn’t losing Kerry Coombs or Luke Fickell, it’s a completely different defensive scheme. Everyone was so quick to give credit to Chris Ash, then Greg Schiano, and beg for Luke to be fired. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR.

      I know Taver Johnson personally. He’s a very good corners coach. Alex Grinch was the central figure in turning Wazzu into a good defense with good safety play. Larry Johnson has turned great linemen after great linemen into next level players. The bad news at Ohio State is that NONE of them have all that much say in the type of scheme the defense is going to run. That falls to the 1 year wonder from Rutgers of the Little Least Conference. Mr. Exotic himself, Greg Schiano. Schiano couldn’t scare Luke Fickell, but Meyers like of Schiano was the final straw that drove Luke away.

      Why does Schiano fail? Because he doesn’t give a drop of spits worth of care about the players. NONE. While EVERY football coach has a measure of ego, Schiano is a full blown egocentric. Get on his bad side as a player you can bet your last peso your time on the field will be little to none, regardless of the talent you have. Meyers like of Schiano is equal to his like of Bill Davis and it’s making Meyer make some terrible staff decisions. I said this earlier this year before the season started, and I think it bares repeating. Loyalty is an outstanding trait, but BLIND loyalty is foolish in any type of organization. Bill Davis never should have been hired as a position coach at Ohio State to begin with. WHAT resume’ did this guy come in with? That he coached and was run out of Philly because he sucked? Or was it that he got to watch how Luke did things for a year? Doesn’t matter, the guy never taught a linebacker a damned thing at ANY level. Plus he’s a flat out pussy, afraid to stand up for his unit. Schiano couldn’t bully Luke into implementing dumpster level exotic rubbish. Davis has ZERO idea what a linebacking unit is supposed to look like and wouldn’t have the technical skills to develop them if he did.

      The saddest part is that removing both is going to cause growing pains as new coaches try to rebuild the wreck those two asshats have caused. Blind loyalty in the case of 2018 has proven to be an achilles heal for Urban Meyer and it’s anyone’s guess if he still has the desire and stamina to return to the coach he has been over the years. If those 2 knumbskulls had a shred of integrity or return of the loyalty Urban had given to them, they’d have tendered their resignations earlier this year, and not forced Urban to have to fire them. They WILL be fired.

    2. If you want to compare scores, why dont you bring up Michigan vs Nebraska. And I notice you didnt bring up Nebraska holding MSU to 6 points.

      1. True no doubt wise words. The point is that there have been times that MI too if as looked suspectable.

        1. Michigan is susceptible IF the refs will do their real job and call them for the numerous offensive line holds, and the EVERY play holds by their secondary. That rarely happens though, and doubt it happens this weekend either.

          There’s a shortage of Ohio guys on the Buckeye defense. More than in years gone by. Will the out of staters step up with the same intensity that Ohio guys tend to bring to this game, or will they play business as usual?

  11. Schiano should have been fired after the first half of the season. He doesn’t have a clue on how to run a defense. This defense is a disgrace to OSU football and Michigan will eat it up next week.

  12. Bosa leaving hurt, and not just on the playing field. He quit on the team. They can say all they want, how they support his decision and would do the same. Really? Is that where this team’s head is at? A bunch of out of state recruits apparently didn’t get the message.

  13. As long as they win next week who cares? i don’t. I remember the drought and I went to a lot of those games in the 80’s and 90’s and it SUCKED. So we had an off year and are 10-1. BTW it was a fun as hell game to watch – better then beating a Citadel. Suck it.

  14. Schiano is correct. It is his fault and responsibility. Glad to see that someone on this staff can admit fault and accept blame. Urban can’t (Iowa 2017, Purdue 2018). Nor can he fire any of his buddies. 56-3 loss at home this week to the large weasles from up north will create enough public outcry to force some defensive coaching changes via pressure from AD.

  15. I could give a shit how our defense plays next week, as long as the offense can score one more point than Michigan.

  16. Winning and dropping in the polls is a broad consensus report card concerning the coaching but having said that I always believe tOSU will win until they don’t.

  17. Well after 11 weeks it hasn’t been fixed. How are you going to fix it against the #4 team in the country? All MI has to do is follow the game plans of all these other teams and beat us. Their defense will force three and outs and when their offense gets on the field, our defense will not be able to do anything.

  18. He’s wrong, they are consistent…consistently bad.

    1. Not true in all of OSU games there have been successive stops. Now this isn’t the D of users past.

  19. Schisms, “get them ready to execute the techniques within the scheme that we employ for that week.” WTH? That’s coach speak on steroids. You didn’t get them ready to go to the ball and hit someone? I wonder if the D has too many “techniques to execute.” Our recruits are top of the line and usually shown aggressive instincts to know where the ball carrier or receiver is and clobber hom. Are we complicating their approach too much and compromising their instincts?

  20. This is one of the worst defenses I have seen at Ohio State. I’m just wondering how the players can have the level of confidence necessary in this defensive
    coaching staff to be elite. Something just did not click this year.

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