It’s a question as old as time — why don’t the Buckeye cornerbacks look back for the football!?
When you’re watching Ohio State and you see a pass headed for an opposing receiver and the OSU cornerback never turns his head to look for the ball, you get understandably upset.
They’re right there with great coverage, yet a completion happens right in front of them because they never bothered to look back for the ball.
The only thing more frustrating in sports is a quarterback who can’t throw the ball downfield.
But there is method that breeds your madness.
Ignoring the fact that just because you know the ball is coming doesn’t mean the cornerback knows it, there is also coaching and technique that goes into when a corner should be looking back.
How does Ohio State coach the situation? When are they supposed to be looking back for the ball?
“If you are in position where – we call it an ‘advantaged position’, so you’re even with the receiver or you’re over the top of the receiver, then you ‘lean and locate.’ That’s the verbiage,” defensive coordinator Greg Schiano explained.
It is the instances when a corner is not in an advantaged position, however, where they are not supposed to be looking back.
“If you’re behind him, you don’t, because all you’re going to get to see is somebody celebrating over your shoulder because the guy is going to catch the ball,” he said. “Now, part of it is ‘why are you behind?’ ‘Why are you trailing?’ Some coverages are designed that way and others aren’t. So the ones that aren’t, you have to be on top, and that helps a little bit.
“So there’s not a single issue, but I’ve watched every play that our corners have played this year very closely – in addition to what we’ve already watched, and I sat down with Coach Coombs because if there’s an issue, we’re going to fix it. But I don’t think we’re far off.”