Ohio State has decimated the Big Ten conference for years but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case this year. The season is still young but part of the reason the Buckeyes have been feared in the past was because of their defense and the talent they had and they just don’t have it now. Ohio State lost to Oregon today in a great game but the Buckeyes were playing from behind all day due to the defense being abysmal, especially against the run.
Oregon had 269 yards just on the ground scoring 3 TD’s from their rushing attack as well. Ohio State’s defense seemed overwhelmed from the start and it never got any better. Oregon scored a 14-yard rushing TD in the 2nd quarter and never looked back.
The Buckeyes offense answered with a nice 27 yard TD pass to tie the game but then it was more of the same from Oregon. CJ Verdell caught a 14 yard TD pass for the final score in the 2nd quarter giving the Ducks a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
Then wouldn’t you know if CJ Verdell again for the score out of halftime with a massive 77-yard run that took the wind right out of the Buckeyes and the fans in attendance.
Ohio State fought until the end which is commendable but this is nothing like what Ohio State is known to be. The Buckeyes ended up losing the game 35-28 but the game wasn’t all that close from a performance perspective. Now is this the beginning of the end for Ohio State being untouchable in the Big Ten? I believe so and it comes down to that defense. Ohio State’s main threats are Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan St, and Michigan, and depending on the game tonight for Michigan they all seem to have above-average offenses. Ohio State has given up 66 points and almost 500 yards on the ground combined in their first 2 games of the season. Michgian St and Wisconsin have always been run-heavy teams which will certainly give Ohio State problems when they play them later on this year and with Michigan losing their top WR they will most likely shift to a more run-heavy scheme to make it easier for the QB.
So what does this all mean for Ohio State? For at least this season they aren’t striking fear when they go into games now which will cause them to be in dog fights all throughout the year. They will still be the favorites to win the Big Ten however as of right now it’s not a lock anymore. This team is not a team that looks like a top team in the country and is a team that is vulnerable to opponents outside of Alabama and Clemson in years. This conference is wide open now and will make for some much-anticipated games for the Buckeyes in the dog days of the season.