Ohio State Buckeyes making corrections after rare home loss to Oregon
Perennial powerhouse Ohio State is not accustomed to losing games during the regular season. The Buckeyes especially aren’t used to losing in September to two-touchdown underdogs, which happened last week.
So how will the Buckeyes, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 9 in the AP Top 25, respond?
“I know no one is used to losing or anything like that but, you know, we’ve just got to move on, make corrections,” coach Ryan Day said Tuesday. “The sun came up, and we’re going to go from there. It’s nothing that different guys haven’t felt before.”
But not too often around here. Before major defensive lapses led to Saturday’s strange 35-28 loss to Oregon, Ohio State hadn’t let a regular-season game slip away since 2018, and not one at home since 2017.
Day says much can be learned from the setback about players, as well as about the team’s supporters, some of whom are quick to get surly when the Buckeyes fail.
“You find out a lot about a lot of people when adversity hits,” he said. “You find out about their true character.”
As Day noted after the game, one loss isn’t fatal to Ohio State’s bid to make the College Football Playoff — anything less would be considered a failure in Columbus — but it makes it a little harder and more complicated.
Take 2018, when the No. 2 Buckeyes lost to unranked Purdue in October. They won the rest and the Big Ten title but were outside looking in when playoff selections were announced.
Any loss these days by the storied program causes turmoil inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Issues with the Buckeyes defense must be cleaned up fast. The offense has to get more balanced. Schemes will be dissected, personnel evaluated and assistant coaches upbraided.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the next two weeks bring Tulsa and Akron to Columbus for tune-up games of the kind that typically are scheduled to open the season. Blowout wins — Tulsa is a 27-point underdog Saturday — aren’t going to impress poll voters but more game reps should help work out some of the problems.