On a Columbus sports talk show a couple of weeks ago, a discussion of the Ohio State defense developed. One of the hosts asked “is this defense good enough to beat an Alabama?” The conclusion reached was that it probably wasn’t.
For a good chunk of three quarters last Saturday, the OSU defense was barely good enough to beat Indiana. Yes, Indiana. A basketball school that historically has finished near the bottom of the Big 10 standings.
Watching Peyton Ramsey, a Cincinnati native that Ohio State showed no recruiting interest in, dice up the OSU defense in the first half was alarm- ing for a team that has Big 10 and national championship aspirations.
“That first half was awful,” said Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
Ramsey exposed Ohio State’s sloppy secondary play for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The 239 passing yards were more than Ramsey threw for in full games against Florida International, Virginia and Ball State.
Ohio State cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield both struggled staying with receivers and breaking up passes.
The defense did improve in the second half, holding the Hoosiers to less than 100 yards.
But the fear of the defense ruining Ohio State’s championship hopes persists.
A reporter asked Meyer on Monday if the Buckeyes can go as far as they want with a defense that keeps giving up big plays.
“No, you can’t,” said Meyer. “At the end of the day you have to play great defense to get where you gotta get.”
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