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BuckIQ: Ohio State defensive breakdowns were costly, can be corrected

Ohio State Football

BuckIQ: Ohio State defensive breakdowns were costly, can be corrected

COLUMBUS — Greg Schiano wasn’t expecting a finished product at Ohio State in the season opener.

The defensive coordinator might not have been anticipating nearly as many teachable moments heading into Week Two, though.

The Buckeyes had plenty of positives on film from the blowout victory over Oregon State on Saturday at the Horseshoe. The pass rush was ferocious and Nick Bosa looks better than ever at defensive end. A handful of newcomers got key game reps. The Silver Bullets even scored a touchdown, which is a goal every week.

But there were a few too many points allowed for Schiano’s liking in the 77-31 victory. And whether it was from missed tackles, poor angles of pursuit, blown assignments or a combination of all those factors, Ohio State left itself plenty of room for improvement heading into the Big Ten opener against Rutgers on Saturday.

“Good lessons to be learned,” Schiano said. “It’s not acceptable performance, but there were a lot of good things, too. We have a young group, for four or five of those guys, that was their first significant action. I think we learned a lot. Now, you’ll always here people say that between Week One and Week Two is when you make the largest improvement. I think when you have a young unit, that even multiplies. We need to improve, that’s for sure. That’s not what we want to be out there, but the opportunity is there.

“Not as many as we had. To me, that’s not acceptable. It all comes back to coaching, and we have to limit those. We had too many.”

There is also still a bit of time to develop for the Buckeyes, and the Scarlet Knights are likely going to serve as another serviceable tuneup opponent this week before a marquee matchup down in Texas against TCU.

It probably wouldn’t have been reasonable to expect Ohio State to deliver a flawless performance right off the bat since guys like linebacker Pete Werner or safeties Isaiah Pryor and Jahsen Wint had never been under the kind of pressure they were in the starting lineup for the first time. But there were also some issues that popped up which might have looked all-too-familiar for the Buckeyes dating back to losses last season against Iowa and Oklahoma.

Are the problems correctable? That was the question for former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren as the Lettermen Row contributor stepped back into the film lab to break down the video from the opener for the first BuckIQ of the 2018 season.

Roll the tape!

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Major H
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Major H

Agree with Zach. The sky is not falling. Some young guys made some mistakes that I’m sure will be pointed out in the film room. They will learn because they won’t want to be pointed out again as how not to perform. Let them get the mistakes out of the way now and move forward.
BO BUCKEYES!

Jim Hinkle
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Jim Hinkle

I enjoyed hearing Zach break down the defensive execution issues. Great piece, I’m looking forward to these weekly reviews. Nice job!

Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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