Ohio State football had a slow start in Week 1 against Minnesota, but rebounded for a solid win. Many expected to see a sharper Buckeyes team come out of the tunnel for today’s home opener—the first home game with fans since 2019—against Oregon.
Instead, OSU is getting everything it can handle from the Ducks. The offense has been inconsistent, led by C.J. Stroud, who is averaging just over seven yards per attempt, at 12-for-18 for 128 yards and a touchdown. The defense has been the bigger issue, though.
Oregon has outgained the Buckeyes 245-to-209, with 102 rushing yards already. The trio of CJ Verdell, Travis Dye, and quarterback Anthony Brown have gashed the Buckeyes for 5.7 yards per carry.
Ohio State has more talent than just about every team it faces, but against a squad with the firepower of Oregon, they can’t afford to come out this sluggish. They have a full half to overcome this touchdown deficit, but so far fans aren’t thrilled with what they’ve seen from Ryan Day and his coaching staff, especially with Oregon picking up chunks of yardage on the ground against Kerry Coombs‘ defense. Throw in some bad mental errors, and plenty watching the game are starting to call out the coaching on the Buckeyes’ side.
the thing about ohio state's coaching today is that it has been bad
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) September 11, 2021
Ohio State defense under this defensive coaching staff. Hmm. Doesn't look the same as it did under Hafley either in style or effectiveness.
— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) September 11, 2021
Imagine if Ohio State didn’t burn a timeout earlier because it came out of a break with too many players on the field. Coaching.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 11, 2021
Embarrassing effort from Ohio State today. Especially the coaching.
— Nick Fink (@finkn23) September 11, 2021
It is very early, both in this game and the season as a whole, but some are already calling Coombs leading the defense into question. He assumed the role after a long stint as Buckeyes’ defensive backs coach, and a few years with the Tennessee Titans, after former Buckeyes’ DC Jeff Hafley took the head coaching job at Boston College.
— Pep (@RobPep12) September 11, 2021
Put Kerry Coombs in jail
— lukezim (@lukezim) September 11, 2021
I get what Coombs is trying to do: Keep the defense simple and let the athletes play. Problem is Oregon's got athletes too.
— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) September 11, 2021
I’ve defended Coombs for a year, but yeah I’m done. This is bad.
— Flo-Co (@ScarletGreatCT) September 11, 2021
Ohio State’s defense ranked 43rd in scoring last season. Efficiency metrics were more kind to the Buckeyes defense, which finished 10th nationally in ESPN’s SP+, and The Justin Fields-led offense really set the team, which reached the national championship, apart.
We’ll see if Day, Coombs, and the Buckeyes staff can make some big adjustments at halftime. Otherwise, we could see a major College Football Playoff favorite try to claw its way back from an early-season hole.