On senior day it seems fitting the Buckeyes’ leaders did not show up. Mike Brewster made multiple bad snaps, Tyler Moeller missed tackles and once again, the lack of leadership from this squad led to another slow start. Penn State took advantage of the slow start and leaves Columbus with the 20-14 win.
The Nittany Lions played a great game. They came out with an excellent game plan and executed well. The Wildcat formation befuddled Ohio State’s defense and broke open the game for Penn State. In the second half, they ironically used Tresselball to pin Ohio State deep multiple times. This change in the field position battle prevented Ohio State from getting back in the red zone and was a big reason why the Nittany Lions won.
For Ohio State, it means just one more loss in an already bad November.
At this point of the season, they should be playing their best football. Instead, the team seems like they are regressing. Bad snaps on offense, a crucial false start penalty on fourth down, missed tackles and turnovers killed what little momentum the Buckeyes had.
For their part, the defense did play much better in the second half. After a first half filled with attempted arm tackles, poor pursuit angles and breakdowns in the secondary, Ohio State’s defense changed the momentum of the game for a moment with an excellent goal line stand. Still, it seems puzzling why this unit has struggled so much at making tackles and why the linebacker play aside from Ryan Shazier has been bad.
On offense, the Buckeyes have one bright spot; his name is Braxton Miller.
If more players had the heart of Braxton, they would be a completely different team. All Miller does is find ways to make plays. His improvisation ability creates huge plays for the offense and his ability to find the open running lanes makes him a dangerous player.
Too bad for him, he’s surrounded by an offensive line that seems hell bent on making his life miserable.
Let’s start with Mike Brewster, who has regressed big time this season. There’s no excuse for someone with as much experience as him to have such inconsistent play. Mike Adams didn’t help matters as he missed multiple blocks including one that led to Miller’s intentional grounding call on the final drive. Then there’s J.B. Shugarts who’s legacy at Ohio State will be his ability to false start every game. His mental blunder made a fourth and five a fourth and ten.
Overall, it’s baffling the mentality this team continues to have.
The legacy this year will be underachievers. Most people don’t have a problem when a team faces a superior opponent and loses. More often times than not, this haven’t been the case with this squad. It isn’t a lack of talent that’s holding them back; it’s the coaching staff’s inability to utilize their talent, the seniors for their lack of leadership and the players for not executing.
Now here’s the topper; the Buckeyes have a week before they go to Ann Arbor and face the team up north. Michigan is playing great football and they smell blood in the water. They want to embarrass Ohio State. The Buckeyes must find motivation and fast or this will be a bitter end to a disappointing season.
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