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Through two games, Ohio State’s defense has had more holes than O.J. Simpson’s alibi. Nearly a week after Oregon traveled cross country and carved up the Buckeyes’ D, head coach Ryan Day recognizes that changes need to be made, including a possible shift in play calling duties.
"I'm not happy about that, at all."
Ryan Day discussed Ohio State's defense during today's weekly press conference. pic.twitter.com/77Lji07S5O
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 14, 2021
In Ohio State’s last three games — a loss in to Alabama in last season’s national championship game, a season-opening win versus Minnesota and the loss to Oregon — the Buckeyes have given up an average of just under 40 points per game. The leaky defense is cause for concern.
“Now it’s not just a single game, it’s a little bit of a pattern,” Day told the media. “We took a long, hard look the last 48 hours at everything that’s going on, and certainly going to make some adjustments here, not only of how we’re attacking other offenses, but also just structurally, how we’re doing our day-to-day operations.”
Over the last two seasons, defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs has been the man calling plays for Ohio State’s disappointing defense. Coombs’ job appears safe for now, but Day stopped short of committing to the defensive coordinator as the play caller moving forward: “I don’t want to get into specifics… I don’t think it’s something that we’re gonna decide right now either. …No hard decisions have been made that way.”
Though they began the season as the country’s fifth-ranked squad, the Buckeyes (1-1) have dipped to ninth in the most recent AP Top 25, largely because of the defense’s uneven play. “When you look at the results over the last couple games and then coming off last year, it’s not what we expect here, it’s not our expectation. That’s all part of how we even move forward with this,” said Day.
The Ohio State defensive staff has a chance to get right with back-to-back games against Tulsa and Akron on the horizon. “We have good coaches, we have good players. So we can figure this out, said Day. “But we have to again ask hard questions and make things uncomfortable and that’s part of my job.”
Even a less-than-perfect group of Buckeye defenders should be able to stave off embarrassment this weekend. FanDuel Sportsbook has Ohio State entering Saturday as a 24.5 home favorites over Tulsa.