Ohio State still struggling on defense as College Football Playoff race heats up
The strangeness of Ohio State’s football season is evident in the reality that the Buckeyes are a Power Five conference one-loss team still trying to bring its game together in the 11th week of the season.
After spending a bye week drilling down on the problems in the running game and defensive play, the Buckeyes appear to have straightened the first issue. J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined for 254 yards on the ground last Saturday against Nebraska. But No. 7 Ohio State’s defensive consistency is still an issue heading into Saturday’s home game against Michigan State.
“It’s getting closer,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “But it’s still not the standard that we want.”
The Buckeyes have given up 80 points in their last two games and have surrendered an average of 24.8 points per game in six Big Ten games.
Giving up an average of 243.9 yards per game passing, the Buckeyes rank 84th in pass defense. The Buckeyes rank 55th with an average yield of 154.4 yards per game on the ground. That’s not what you expect for a team still holding College Football Playoff aspirations.
“The good news is that we are going to be relatively healthy back there,” Meyer said. “We will have all three corners, and some good depth at safety, but we are facing a team that does a lot of stuff on offense.”
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