Buckeyes Excited to Face a More Traditional Offense

By Tim Shoemaker on September 3, 2014 at 10:10a

When Chris Ash was brought in to be Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, there was a lot of talk about a completely different defense, one that was supposed to be more aggressive.

But with the Buckeyes opening their season against Navy, which runs a triple-option offense and only attempted four passes in last Saturday's game, there weren't many chances for fans to see that new style as Ohio State had to be sound in its assignments.

In their Week 2 matchup Saturday against Virginia Tech, however, the eighth-ranked Buckeyes will finally be able to show what they've been working on all of camp.

"I just think of our D‑linemen. Joey Bosa didn't come to Ohio State to squeeze down blocks and keep people off his ankles. That's what he had to do last week," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Monday. "He came to rush a quarterback and penetrate, so there's big smiles across our defensive line right now to let them go play."

Against Navy, Ohio State surrendered 370 rushing yards, but gave up just 17 points. It's hard to get a gauge on exactly how the Buckeyes played defensively because the Midshipmen play such a unique style of football. Meyer said the defense didn't even do film study of the game.

So as a defense, if you can't take any schematic things from the win over Navy going forward, what exactly can you take from that game?

“I think the biggest thing that we can take away from playing an offense like Navy’s is the discipline that it takes to play them," linebacker Joshua Perry said.

There were also some surprises in personnel as Perry rotated with Curtis Grant at the middle linebacker position as Chris Worley started on the outside. Armani Reeves also played in a linebacking position as the Buckeyes tried to get some of their speed on the outside to deal with Navy's offense.

All of that was Navy-specific, the coaching staff said, and fans can expect to see a more traditional defense against the Hokies.

“Our coaches are kind of forcing us back into our basic defense," linebacker Darron Lee said. "We’ll be fine, it’s just switching modes."

The Buckeyes will still have to be sound in their tackling of ball carriers as Virginia Tech has a pair of talented freshman running backs in Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams.

"They’re a solid team, they’ve got a solid offense and they’ve got some weapons, some of the bigger running backs and those guys enjoy contact and don’t go down easily," Perry said. "They run a lot of stuff that you see from spread offenses but they've built it different ways with their formations and the motioning."

With the Navy game in the rearview mirror, the Ohio State defense just seems ready to get back to a bit of normalcy against the Hokies.

“We spent all spring going against our offense and most of camp until a couple weeks out when we started preparing for the triple-option," Perry said. "It’ll be nice to get back to it, be able to play some of our base stuff and do what we do best.”



steveoz49's picture

~~"I just think of our D‑linemen. Joey Bosa didn't come to Ohio State to squeeze down blocks and keep people off his ankles. That's what he had to do last week," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Monday. "He came to rush a quarterback and penetrate, so there's big smiles across our defensive line right now to let them go play."

I've got a smile on my face so big that it's starting to hurt

+3 HS
BrutusB's picture

So relieved we can get back into our normal routine of complaining about the secondary and asking why we can't blitz more.  Though hopefully Bell and Bosa make those complaints outdated this year.

+3 HS
chirobuck's picture

why are you assuming the secondary will be bad enough to complain about, 3/4 new starters and a different coord. it should look nothing like last year


^ best post ever ^

+3 HS
Dmac3212's picture

I'm going into this game not assuming anything. The secondary/linebacker play might be just as atrocious as last year, or maybe the DB's will be harassing Va techs weapons all over the field. Chris Ash wasn't my first choice but he also isn't no slouch. 

+1 HS
Spider1944's picture

Interesting. I remember thinking I would like ex Buckeye great Dick LeBeau. I was thinking what a great way to end an illustrious career. Then again probably not. Just curious who was your first choice?

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

Patriot4098's picture

Narduzzi, Chavis or Smart.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

apack614's picture

We will see this weekend how our defense has reacted to Ash. I don't know whether to be terrified or excited

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

+2 HS

I'm not terrified because if they're worse that means that Meyer wasted the entire offseason. I just cannot believe Urban Meyer would waste anything. I've said before, the pass defense improves just 20 spots in the yardage allowed rankings and our D is going to be awfully tough to beat.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

+1 HS
apack614's picture

I agree and in all honesty we really can't get that much worse...

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

+1 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

From seeing how Bennett and Washington were able to penetrate through the cut blocks and disrupt Navys option, I think everyone should be very excited to see this defense.  It all starts up front, and Urban has built all of his defenses that way.  If the line performs as everyone is expecting it should, this team could be in for a special season.

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Also, they both fought through double-teams to make plays.  VT cannot double-team three of our defensive linemen, there should ALWAYS be two drawing a man-on-man matchups.   We have SO MUCH TALENT on the D-line - this is going to be FUN!!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Tater_Schroeder's picture

We better do well. We have the third best passing defense in the nation.


+21 HS
QBYBuckeye's picture


New York Buckeye

+1 HS
brbrbuckeye's picture

How could anyone possibly give up less passing yards than we did when Navy only passed 4 times...lol.


+1 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Check out the list here: 2014 CFB Passing Defense

The top three:

Team G Att/G Comp/G Pct Passing Yards
New Mexico State 1 7 2 28.6 6
Texas 1 17 3 17.6 15
Ohio State 1 4 2 50 20


Nutbuck1959's picture

what about McMillan? gonna see time?

_muckfichigan_'s picture

Meyer said he'll definitely get playing time this week

+1 HS
Chaseko24's picture

I think he will. The reason he didn't play last week was because Navy's offense wasn't a good way for him to get acclimated to college football. That or he couldn't do well against that kind of offense. 

+1 HS
d5k's picture

To be fair, Darron Lee's first game was against Navy and he did alright.  He likely didn't play because of the unique gameplan that had Perry/Grant rotating at Mike.

+1 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

He will, Urban made a point of it on monday in his press conference

Montana silver bullet's picture

i'm hoping Frazier get's the nod opposite Bosa. He played pretty well and seems a bit more athletic.  I know the Hokies O-line better eat their Wheaties Saturday or Brewer will have two shortened seasons in a row-

Montana Silver Bullet

+1 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

Steve Miller is listed #1 on depth chart but I'm sure we'll get a good dose of Rashad on saturday.

_muckfichigan_'s picture

Let the silver bullets fly

+2 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

And take off the silencer!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+2 HS
saluki2007's picture

It seems like the D is very hungry.  It's almost like they had to take it "easy on little brother" and now they are playing someone they can go all out on.

+2 HS
BoFuquel's picture

I can't wait for Sunday. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

funtubs's picture

Celebration after beating Virginia Tech of course!

+4 HS
Barnsey69's picture

I didn't see any highlights of the Va Tech game, let alone watch it, so not sure what they bring to the table on either side of the ball. Heard somebody "important" nationally ranked their secondary as best in the nation, but that's about it. William & Mary's lead back had 10 carries for 85 yards, including a 40-yard romp, so take that away and he was averaging 5 yards a touch. I would certainly hope we can achieve the same rushing average as William & Mary. That said, Hokies held them to under 200 total, so that is pretty good no matter who you play...I guess?

Bottom-line, our D-line should be able to have an impact on a guy who was 2nd team at Texas Tech. And I like our chances to expose that vaunted secondary as well.


Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

I hope Ohio Stadium is loud, wild, and raucous on Saturday! The timid need to check their cellphones in at the gate.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+4 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Release the Hounds! 

+4 HS
nikolajz1's picture

I really hope this years defense is good. Last year had to be all scheme, right because talent wise at every position minus safety there was NFL talent. Everyone on the D-Line is probably going to be a 1st or 2nd round draft pick. Roby was a 1st round draft pick, Doran Grant is projected as a late 1st or 2nd rounder this year. Should have been one of the best defenses OSU has ever seen just off of talent last year. Let's hope the scheme plays to the talent and plays agressive like Michigan State. 

+1 HS
johnjy78's picture

Excited to see some speedy "reaction" defense! Silver Bullets are locked and loaded.


+1 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

I think VaTech's offense is actually going to resemble our own in some ways. I saw a couple of highlights, and they use the same jet sweep triple option that we run. It's the play where Dontre motions across to fake the touch pass then completes a swing route while JT then plays the read option as he normally would. The touch pass sweep, RB give, QB keep, flash screen and TE seam are all possibilities outta that look. I don't know if it has a name yet, but I think it's the Chip Kelly staple play. The QB for VaTech doesn't seem as mobile as JT though, so we don't have to key on him as a running threat out of that. The defense is going to be real fun to watch.

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

+1 HS
Jbucks's picture

our whole d-line could go first round next year if Bosa was a year more experienced. Heres to hoping Washington and Spence come back next year! but focusing on here and now our our secondary needs to find footing and get comfortable and establish themselves as elite!!!!

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

+1 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

Is it Saturday yet!!?? 

+1 HS
zeversole's picture

Not sure if Darron Lee was contesting for a starting spot last week, but if so, well earned start this week. Hell of a game out of him against Navy. Excited to see him improve even more so. 

jBarnes's picture

Which makes me wonder why we schedule Navy.  We don't get any credit for beating them, they are awkward and somewhat dangerous to play.  If we had Georgia Tech on our schedule I would see the point in playing Navy, but...  Now that it is behind us, GO BUCKS!

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  ― Douglas Adams  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

allinosu's picture

On the bright side we are a top pass defense teams so far.

OSUCLAY519's picture

I'm feeling a sack from each defensive lineman this game... too optimistic?