Ohio State simply doesn’t lose a night game at home, or at least opponents aren’t suppose to make it look easy. However, that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night as the No. 2 Buckeyes were beaten by No. 5 Oklahoma 31-16.
In some quarters it was Ohio State’s decision to abandon the run game (what were they supposed to do when trailing?).
In other quarters, a lack of a cohesive passing attack was to blame (and there’s plenty of truth in that).
Some are pointing the fingers at the pass defense (and who can blame them after that performance on Saturday?).
Still others are looking at a program with issues developing depth at key skill positions as a problem.
What went right in Week 1, went horribly wrong in Week 2 — mainly the dynamic playmakers couldn’t make plays.
J.T. Barrett was just 19 of 35 for 183 yards and no touchdowns through the air.
Dynamic H-back Parris Campbell was held in check, putting up just three receptions for 27 yards.
Meanwhile, freshman running back sensation J.K.Dobbins was held to only 72 yards and a touchdown.
Simply put, that formula isn’t going to win you games against quality opponents, and head coach Urban Meyer made his displeasure in the performance of his supposed leaders known post-game.
“I’m never going to point the finger at the quarterbacks,” said Meyer. “I’m going to say he’s the head dog and he’s accountable. … But I’m going to make it perfectly clear: There’s not a bull’s-eye on J.T. Barrett.”
Who should the bullseye be on then?
Perhaps the bullseye should be on Meyer and the coaching staff? After all, they are the ones who call plays and put this team in the positions they were in on Saturday night.
It may seem strange to suggest, but there is even inexperience on the coaching staff. Sure, Kevin Wilson and Greg Schiano are veteran minds, but both are in their first seasons as coordinators for the Buckeyes. Wilson isn’t even the one calling the shots with the quarterbacks, which was a puzzling move considering his long history of getting the most out of that position.
Wilson was brought in in the hopes of upping the ante in the passing game. That hasn’t happened through two games at all. Instead, a youthful set of receivers and a veteran quarterback have struggled to find a rhythm in large part.
Barrett has completed just 55.7 percent of his passes for 487 yards and three touchdowns to an interception already this season.
Sophomore wide receiver K.J. Hill leads all receivers with seven receptions, but that’s only produced 50 yards. Meanwhile, Johnnie Dixon leads all wide receivers with just 77 yards through two games.
Take away Parris Campbell’s big day against Indiana to open the season and the numbers are anemic for the Buckeyes young wide receiver group.
It isn’t just youth and inexperience on offense that has reared its ugly head early on this season. Ohio State’s pass defense has shown to be just as bad as the offensive output.
Oklahoma just simply picked Ohio State apart with quick passes around the line of scrimmage. Normally that would mean short gains, but the Buckeyes decided covering players at the line of scrimmage wasn’t a priority.
Too often a five-yard pass over the middle turned in to 10, 15 or even 20 yards.
It all added up to a Sooners passing game that amassed 386 yards and three touchdowns.
Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield was a wholly efficient 25 of 37 passing for those 386 yards and three touchdowns as well.
Even youthful running back Trey Sermon did his best to show the Buckeyes offense what they should’ve looked like. He had just 62 yards on the ground, but also put up three receptions for 27 yards and a key score to power his team past Ohio State.
It was the type of efficient effort that Dobbins and Co. couldn’t put up and the Buckeyes defense couldn’t stop.
Through two games it is clear OSU’s passing offense is stagnant at best and it’s pass defense is porous as hell.
Ohio State’s pass defense is the worst in the Big Ten, giving up an average of 403 yards per game through the air. No seriously, think about that for a second. Ohio State is the worst in the conference in a stat category.
When was the last time that happened?
One could argue OSU has also played two of the most difficult passing offenses anyone in the Big Ten would see all season long. That is a good point, but so is the fact that Ohio State has failed against said passing games and teams are only going to continue to draw up game plans to exploit that weakness.
Indiana’s wide receiver group is considered one of the deepest in the Big Ten, so giving up big numbers to them on the road wasn’t exactly a head-turner.
Seeing the film, doing nothing to correct it and arguably regressing at home against a big time opponent? That’s worrisome.
While all of that doesn’t add up to a lot of confidence going forward, the good news is that there is a wealth of experience and knowledge on the coaching staff to draw from. This also happens to be just Week 2 of the season.
Problems exist to be sure, but this isn’t the time to hit the panic button just yet.
Now, if the same problems are here in Week 6 or 7? By all means, hit that panic button because all the hype meant nothing to the reality of this team.
Right now, it is time for the Buckeyes to do some soul-searching and make some serious changes from within. If they can do that, this season is far from lost, if not, it will be a season of what-if for plenty of reasons.
Greg Schiano out at Ohio State, Michigan’s Mattison reportedly in
In terms of rivalries, there is no more intense in the Big Ten than Michigan an Ohio State. It’s one that lives on in the fans, players and coaches for 365 days a year.
On Jan. 7, 2019 things got a whole lot more interesting for the next 365 days that’s for sure.
First, news broke that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will not be back with the Buckeyes under new head coach Ryan Day. Many believed this past season wasn’t up to par for the Buckeyes and Schiano seemed likely to take the fall for that.
OSU finished this season ranked 72nd in total defense after back-to-back seasons in the top 10 of that category nationwide. The Buckeyes gave up over 400 yards of total offense this year as well.
So, who will replace Schiano? In a really interesting twist, multiple reports have come out stating that Day has his replacement ready — in the form of Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
According to Mike Sullivan of 97.1 The Ticket, Mattison’s contact with Michigan was about to be up and that Harbaugh chose not to renew his deal.
Thus, he is a free agent and Day has chosen to scoop him up.
Mattison is very familiar with this rivalry, having served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator under Brady Hoke (2011-2014) and then accepting just the defensive line coaching position on Jim Harbaugh’s staff.
His defenses were very consistent in his four seasons as defensive coordinator. Michigan was never worse than 31st in the country in total defense and peaked at No. 6 in his final season at the helm of the Wolverines defense.
Coaches plying their trade on both sides of the rivalry is nothing new, but it is a rarity overall.
BREAKING: Urban Meyer announces retirement
Last week, FootballScoop.com reported that Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer would be stepping down by the end of the 2019 season and likely by the end of this season.
They also reported that Ryan Day would take over as the new head coach once that happened.
After a weekend in which the rest of the media attempted to discredit the report, it is now exactly what is happening.
Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com broke the news early this morning. In the report, Lesmerises notes that Meyer is being forced to step down due to complications from a cyst on his brain.
The Rose Bowl game against Pac-12 champion Washington will be the final game he will coach at Ohio State.
Additionally, Ryan Day, who replaced Meyer as interim head coach while he was serving a three-game suspension to start the year will take over as the full-time head coach starting next season.
More information will be made available at a news conference scheduled for 2pm ET.
Meyer has had one of the most successful tenures as a head coach in Buckeyes history. He’ll retire having never lost to Michigan (7-0), won three Big Ten championships and with an 82-9 overall record at the helm of the Scarlet and Gray.
OSU athletic director Gene Smith is the one who decided Day would get the job on a permanent basis, seeing what the Buckeyes did under his leadership in that three-game stint earlier this year and hoping to ride the wave of young coaches making big splashes.
His rise up the coaching ranks comes just as the Buckeyes are putting up some of the most dynamic numbers in the pass game that college football has ever seen.
Star quarterback Dwayne Haskins could potentially top the 5,000-yard and 50 touchdown marks in the upcoming Rose Bowl game.
Talking10 Podcast Episode 100: Something, something Urban Meyer
Ohio State made its decision on Urban Meyer. Andy and Phil are here to break it all down for you and give you the truth in a hazy situation. What better way to celebrate episode 100 of the podcast than to spend 50 minutes breaking down a mess of a situation in Columbus, right?
We’ll talk our reactions to the press conference, break down the actual findings of OSU’s investigative report and we’ll even talk how the media-at-large and the OSU media handled the fallout from Wednesday night’s press conference.
Don’t forget you can listen to the podcast each week via Radio Public and other podcasting apps.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @talkingB1G
Urban Meyer and OSU AD put on suspension following investigation
The media stakeout of the Ohio State Board of Trustee’s meeting can now end. It only took 12 hours or so, but answers finally came.
According to multiple reports, including from the AP, OSU head coach Urban Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the season. In addition, athletic director Gene Smith will serve the same suspension from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16 — both will not receive pay during that time frame as well.
Both came under fire as this story unfolded. It began just prior to the Big Ten media days in late July, the story that Zach Smith had been arrested for criminal trespassing in April of this year broke and Meyer fired Smith on Monday morning of the start of Big Ten media days.
Brett McMurphy then detailed in an exclusive report that Smith had previously been “arrested” back in 2015 for a second allegation of domestic abuse against his then-wife Courtney Smith.
Meyer was questioned about that arrest and allegation from 2015 at media days and struck out against reporters repeated questioning. He would deny knowing of the arrest report back in 2015.
However, further reporting by McMurphy put that denial in to further question and Ohio State decided to get to the bottom of it.
Once Meyer was put on paid administrative leave, he would put a statement out admitting to knowing about the 2015 incident and alerting athletic administrators of the domestic abuse allegations.
Meyer has stayed silent since that statement and awaited the outcome of the 14-day inquiry in to whom knew what and when and what action was taken.
That investigation ended this past Sunday, with the committee verbally advising the Board of Trustees on Monday morning of its findings. Two days later, the Board of Trustees would come to meet publicly and then behind closed doors to discuss what would happen to Meyer and others involved in this situation.
Meyer’s suspension is for the first three games, and on the field that is a big hit with three FBS games coming at the start of the season. OSU kicks off the year against Oregon State, plays a Big Ten contest against Rutgers and a massive game against TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
We will have more on this situation and the reaction to what Meyer and Smith had to say on the talking10 Podcast tomorrow.