CANTON,Ohio- The Ohio State Buckeyes offense seemed to be rolling right through opponents for the first five weeks of the season. They had a bit of a challenge down in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners but the deep passing game was still there.
But every game including that one, Ohio State has had that deep ball threat. J.T. Barrett has been hitting deep passes to Noah Brown and Parris Campbell. Ever since the game against the Indiana Hoosiers, the Buckeyes have lost their passing game, at least the deep pass.
Is it the coaching? Has J.T. Barrett just hit a rough spot? Or have defenses adjusted to Ohio State and now their pretty much saying, you’ll have to beat us by running the ball with Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and Mike Weber. You can add Barrett to the mix as well.
I think it’s more so the defenses that have adjusted. So, if they want to double Parris Campbell and Noah Brown, not allow them to get behind them for the deep ball. OK, just keep taking the shorter 10-15 yard passes. Line up Brown and Campbell outside and run deep routes clearing out defenders from the shorter routes.
The problem in Penn St was not only the fact that Ohio State wasn’t hitting on their passing plays but not hitting on their passing plays in the second half. It allowed the Lions to stack the box. That, in return hurt the Buckeyes rushing attack.
How about the our offensive and defensive line? Both were having a problem doing their job. J.T. Barrett was under pressure more so in the second half then he normally has been. Defensively, the Buckeyes were having a hard time containing Penn St quarterback Trace McSorley.
Everything changed in the fourth quarter. The score was 21-7 Ohio State. Then Penn St went on a 5 play 90 yard drive. Ohio State never recovered from that.
Now, not all hope is lost. Despite losing to the unranked Lions, Ohio State dropped to 6th in the country. That leaves #1 Alabama, #2 Michigan, #3 Clemson, #4 Washington and #5 Louisville ahead of Ohio State.
If your’re an Ohio State fan, you need Michigan to win every game on their schedule and hope their undefeated when they roll into Ohio Stadium. But that’s not it. Clemson will have an interesting road game in prime time when they visit Tallahassee to play the Florida State Seminoles. The Noles are ranked #12 and the atmosphere will be crazy in this ACC battle.
Louisville, for the most part, has an easy road. But they still have to travel to Houston. The Cougars can score. But this game should be interesting.
Keep the Washington Huskies in mind to. The Huskies have a huge match-up at Utah. The Utes should give Washington a good game.
But, the most important thing? Ohio State needs to get their offense to get back on track. They need to get it figured out now. I’d definitely suggest trying to get it back this week when they host Northwestern. After that, they host Nebraska, travel to Maryland, travel to Michigan State then host Michigan.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis