Football Hayes & Cannon

Why Minnesota?

Ohio State Football Buckeyes Team

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.

18 Responses

  1. So many things wrong with your article it’s not even worth rebutting. But in brief:
    People expect the team to get better. That’s the mantra is to get better each week. Both by the numbers AND the ‘eye-test’ they’re clearly not only not getting better but because other teams ARE they LOOK even worse.
    Second, the offense has steadily declined on rushing offense. You may have noticed. That has a tendency to exacerbate problems on defense as 3-and-outs are more common than the 1st couple games. You may have noticed that as well?
    Finally, it’s laughable that you think you can be the arbiter of what is reasonable and what isn’t. Or that you can diss Cleveland because of one guy you may know. There are many posters that are better analysts of Buckeye football than you are.

    1. “So many thing wrong with your article it’s not even worth rebutting”. The article is full of stats and my personal opinion. If there is something factually wrong, please let me know and I will fix it.

      In the meantime, thanks for being a fan! I really appreciate your feedback. Remember to listen to my analysis on The Sons of Schmidt!

      1. The stats are from games and as such are correct. The ‘so much wrong’ are your conclusions about the fans which is what I did rebut with the ‘why’ you were so bewildered about that the fans have had enough. Every game they were promised “we’re working on it” and every game the same problems seeming to get worse. That’s what made MN the “last straw” because the season is half over and not only is no progress evident, but because opponents are getting better it now appears that the Buckeyes are getting worse.
        As for your turning the other cheek reply to me, why would I waste my time with your podcast if I don’t think you can write an article? Do try at least in your smugness to comprehend what I wrote and rebut (if you can) what I did write was wrong with your ‘article’.

  2. Why Minnesota? We are past the halfway point of the season now and there has been really no improvement but rather a regression in our play. Now is when we should be ramping up and getting ready for the rigors of the end of season games and we are going the other way. Contrast this with, I hate to write it – TTUN. They have been steadily improving as teams should throughout the season.

    As Tony G. wrote, we look like we are playing down a couple guys on defense. Yes, injuries play into that, and yes, it has been a problem all year, but we played one of the most inexperienced and least skilled offenses of the year in Minnesota last week, and they were able to do pretty much what they wanted. Add to that our offensive line, that looked at least serviceable most of the season, seemed unable to block the sun well enough to cast a shadow, let alone open up space for the running game.

    It is a shame that we get finally get a quality passing game and our other shortcomings are in danger of squandering that.

  3. The ESPN prognosticators (with two Buckeyes in the group) have given percentage scores to the top teams on their likelihood to win the national championship. Ohio State was number three with a probability in the 70% range. Notre Dame was next in the 60% range. No lower rated team was over 30%. During the discussion they had Bama way head of everyone else. They expressed some concerns about Clemson. They noted that ND is highly related because of their weak schedule. Maybe some of you should reevaluate your standards of a “championship” caliber team to fit the real world. But what does ESPN know about football?

  4. “Nothing that happened on Saturday was new or extra alarming.”

    Excuse me while I clear my throat.

    The work put into the ‘game of gopher’ was supposed to remedy most of what we had seen wrong with both our defense and our running game. I’m not about to pretend I saw a fix in the 2nd half. We have 1/4 of a team on the field (a passing offense) and that’s it.

    What was new and alarming is nothing was fixed to come close to fielding 50% of a team.

    1. My point is this, Minnesota’s offense is horrible. Would a dominant performance really have made you think everything was fixed and give the Buckeyes 50% or 75% of a team? The defense has been pretty bad well before this game. It’s been on a steady decline all season. You’re opinion of the defense shouldn’;t have magically changed because they struggled with 5 starters out.

  5. Good analysis right on the money. Our D has been sub par the entire season and no reason to think after 7 games they will be able to flip a switch and suddenly become a championship caliber D. We’ve been able to escape so far but the issue becomes when we get a game where the offense struggles (almost the psu game) and we need the D to hold serve and win the game which somehow they pulled off on the last play at psu. Despite all of this we’re only giving up 19 points per game on average but we’ve been lucky. At some point a major ass kicking is probably in our future if the D continues to be this porous.

  6. Point well made, however the D gets credit for 3 missed field goals and a gifted fumble by MN that could of changed the trajectory of that game. Our O only scored 9 pts the first 27 minutes of the 2nd half. OSU began this game with a dropped td pass and allowed MN to hang out and seemed to set the tone of a nail biter. One of these weeks all those weaknesses you spoke may bite us bad.

  7. Seems strange to me that you are basically making an argument that OSU plays down to their opponents… Then you go on to discuss the lack of success of other teams that play sub par opponents too… But no mention of those teams playing down to their competition.

    Everyone at OSU knows we are going to get everyone best shot. The bullseye is on our back… So lets just say that every team plays their very best against us, and normally have been preparing to play against OSU for a long time. Then they lose that game, what do you think that does to their season? Ask TCU right now.

    On to why OSU plays down to their opponents? Got to think youth and coaching have something to do with it. But most of all, I personally think teams and coaching staffs have started to figure out our schemes. Once one team figures something out, all the rest are going to copy it. This is why I think every game against our defense looks the same.

    You can ask why we all care… since we are still winning games. I can only speak for myself, but I’m not looking forward to another Clemson type playoff game where we get embarrassed. So I think we (the fans) hope that our reaction to the current situation will help in some way get our team back on track. Wishful thinking if you ask me.

    As for Urban’s press conferences… People should remember the Senator and his press conferences filled with lots of words that didn’t mean much. I’ll take an Urban press conference and his openness even if that means sometimes he protects his players and coaches with half truths.

    Go Bucks!

  8. Teams are supposed to get better during the season, not worse. When a flipping Junior College level talent program can shove your teams top National talent around like they’re a sub standard LSOTP prayer meeting, it’s a problem. To add insult to the equation, Minnesota is starting a true freshman walk-on QB, in front of a freshman tailback, behind a dumpster fire offensive line. Minnesota’s best offensive statistic was that they were in the 90’s in efficiency. We’re in the back half of the schedule and those very same defensive crap storm performances have consistently gotten worse, not better. The reactions on social media are the pent up frustrations boiling over after laying an egg against what amounts to a pathetic offense at best, and the real deal dumpster fire at worst. Even many sunshine pumpers are getting more than a little frustrated.

    We KNEW that linebackers and offensive line were a concern entering this season, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for just how pathetically bottom of the barrel level those units would sink to. Who could have foreseen an Ohio State Buckeyes defense so devoid of fire and passion that it makes its fans want to vomit watching it? The Buckeyes may have won on the scoreboard with precious little help from half the team, but against a virtual JUCO program, they won the game, but, it looked like and felt like a loss.

    Some of us have been screaming about poor coaching from certain position coaches for a couple of years now. Nope we were fortunate enough to have gotten rid of one of those useless coaches on offense in Zach Smith. But the elephant in the room remains in the person of Greg Studrawa. Bill Davis NEVER should have been elevated to a position coach level. He doesn’t possess the requisite skills OR credentials to teach young raw talent how to brush their teeth much less how to play the linebacker position.

    Compounded with Davis, the Buckeyes are young and lack all the base elements of fundamental skills, YET, the Ohio State DC goes on record saying that “Maybe we tried to be too exotic.” Say WHAT???????????? They not only had player turnover coming into this season, but also a new Corners coach and a new Safeties Coach………….and he wants to be an exotic defense. What kind of melon head would have ever entertained such stupidity?

    No, that dumpster fire defensive non showing against Minnesota was merely a breaking point for a growing number, and the chorus is growing louder, more frustrated, and in complete disbelief at just how awful these 4 and 5 star players are developing and playing. For 2 years we’ve seen Bill Davis destroy one of the proudest traditions in Ohio State history and lore. Greg Studrawa has rendered what should be the second most under stated strengths of ANY Ohio State team along that offensive line historically. They have gotten progressively worse since Urban made Ed Warinner OC rather than OLine coach.

    The FINAL, FINAL straw are Urbans worthless pressers where he actually says the defense has played “pretty well.” He must have been talking about the defensive line coached by Larry Johnson. They HAVE played pretty well. Not great since Nick Bosa went down, but pretty well over-all. The rest of that defense flat out STINKS up College football. Anyone with eyes to see the games, or, can read stats in braille knows Urban is full of crap and is merely protecting his family friends and neighbors he brought onto this staff. The entire Zach Smith episode should have been an eye opener wake up call for Urban. Unfortunately he’s apparently learned NOTHING from that fiasco, and the results of that failure has become a cancer. Applying a topical ointment on an obvious serious health risk isn’t a solution, it’s a glossing over as dangerous as the cancer itself.

    1. Brandon, you asked, you got your answer….see James A Mills….any questions?

    2. I agree with James’ points…I’ll make it shorter, after the PSU win, we expected the play to get better. A let down the next week was also expected…although I have no idea why players and coaches aren’t fired up for each and every opportunity they get to compete since they have limited opportunities to do so over a career. The Minnehaha game should have shown us the improvements you expect from 4-5 star players and a millionaire coaching staff and they laid a freakin’ egg. I hope the Bucks can score 50 points against PU because they will need every one of them.

  9. The 4th and 1 was unbelievable. Two timeouts were called and we weren’t even close. Haskins was not even lined up under the center.

    1. Might have helped on the 4th and 1 if 3 O-linemen hadn’t been triple-teaming the same guy, allowing the linebacker to shoot in right past them and forcing Knox to move over a spot and try to block the tackle while moving sideways.

      Either the line don’t know their assignments or the blocking scheme is geared for failure.

  10. It was the offense that was the tipping point. 2.7 yrds per carry. FG’s and not TD’s. QB pressure with 4-man rush. Oh, and failed 4th and 1. Defensive failures are expected at this point, but the expectation was the offense would be so dominant it wouldn’t matter. The spread was 29 points!

    1. I can understand this thought process. The offense made me incredibly more angry on Saturday than the defense.

Comments are closed.