Through nine games, Ohio State has shown it is capable of playing very well. And very poorly.
Just seven days after a thrilling come-back win over second-ranked Penn State, the Buckeyes imploded in a 55-24 loss at Iowa.
It looked like the early-season issues that proved costly in the loss to Oklahoma were long gone, but the ugly performance against Iowa showed they still persist.
The linebackers and secondary struggled in pass defense, like they did against Indiana and Oklahoma in the first two games, and J.T. Barrett and the passing attack took a big step backward with four interceptions.
The question facing Ohio State is what team is going to show up each week? The one that seemed to be humming after the Penn State game or the one that was unfocused and unprepared against Iowa?
For a team that elected nine captains, there appears to be a lack of leadership and discipline.
The Buckeyes were called for nine penalties for 95 yards in the Iowa loss. Star sophomore defensive end was ejected for targeting in the first half, and the OSU defense was unable to recover from his loss.
“There were a couple of devastating penalties that kept drives alive,” said head coach Urban Meyer. “And there is no excuse for them. We addressed them, and I can think of two or three right off the top of my head that were drive savers, targeting and just a couple of silly penalties.”
BUCKEYE INSIDER, exclusively in Friday's Examiner.
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