COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Something about the home stretch of the college football season seems to be confusing the Ohio State football team.
Last year it was bullied by Michigan in poor weather conditions, and this season the urgency that was evident for much of the season seems to have gone. It’s almost as if they decided to take a long nap after the week off.
Ohio State looked average for three quarters before dodging Penn State, looked soft in the elements on a much narrower-than-expected win at Northwestern and had bouts of inconsistency against Indiana last weekend before going on pace in the second half was asked .
Whether it’s a sense of lack of opposition, injuries or talent that doesn’t live up to the bill, something is definitely wrong.
And Maryland has benefited from it.
After 30 minutes, the Terrapins are averaging 5.86 yards per play compared to just 5.60 for the Buckeyes. That’s well below her nation’s best 7.60, and the playcalling could have a lot to do with it.
Last week, when things got tough against Indiana, Ohio State played face-off ball and ran to the center and racked up a lot of yards. Today it’s back to the finesse game, runs to the outside, deep, difficult throws to the sidelines instead of fast diagonals and underpasses.
Ohio State has played this laissez-faire game before, and up to this point it hasn’t come back to bite. All you have to do is take a look at today’s scoreboard to see that ranking high doesn’t protect you from defeat.
Both Michigan No. 3 and TCU No. 4 needed field goals in the final game of the game to get away with their playoff lives, and right now it seems the Buckeyes need to do the same.
“But we talked about that a lot preseason because we knew we were going to get into situations where you have to bring it every week,” Day said earlier this season. “And now we will resort to it. And I don’t think there will be any of the surprises that we haven’t addressed. It does not matter. You have to bring it with you every week. Otherwise you have no chance of becoming a champion.”
Now it’s time for the Buckeyes to show that these are more than just words.