I said this wouldn't be a pretty film review. It's going to be worse. Far worse. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, because no one is going to come out unscathed.
I mentioned the offense did enough to win against Rutgers. That was too generous. Half of Rutgers first half goals could be directly attributed to careless passing, or terrible decisions by an offensive player. Or, after receiving a bit of pressure, the Buckeye player got flat out dominated. Here's an offensive middie dodging against a pole, only to lose it easily:
Or, if you prefer, dodging directly into a free double team because the adjacent offensive player is OUTSIDE the dodger, not moving or inside. This is a huge no-no, as you can see the terrible things that happen when you do this:
This might be the most egregious dodge of the game. There's a defender 7 yards off the dodger's left shoulder. Between him and the other Buckeye. And the man with the ball runs directly into him, for an easy Rutgers caused turnover.
I knew this would be bad. But my goodness. This is middle school offensive lacrosse. Not B1G-level offense. And then there's the defense.
This has clearly been an emotionally charged post already. So let me take a clear, concise moment to communicate the following statement.
I don't know what happened during the week, but clearly it wasn't a good one for the defense at practice. Concepts that were executed pretty flawlessly by the Buckeyes against Hopkins were completely alien against Rutgers.
I spoke about the 1-3-2 rotating defense. Here, the rotation is so late that I could have scored a left bomb. And this is 7th year senior Charalambides they're leaving open.
The defender at the very top of the screen is going to go challenge the ball. Great. Well done. The next man in the rotation of the outside defenders, however, is appallingly late. And Charalambides lights the lamp with ease.
Or in man-to-man, when running up against picks, Ohio State chose to do what's called a "stack and whack," wherein the picker's defender, in this case Ryan Terefenko, will pause for a moment to attack the dodger, while the dodger's defender comes underneath to re-engage. Here, the dodger's defender is so lackadaisical and hesitant, the dodger has an easy chance to reset his feet, and fire a goal past Skylar Wahlund.
If you watch previous Ohio State games, they'll execute that play on defense 17 times without incident. For whatever reason, yesterday it was a bridge too far for them to handle.
The absolute worst mistake the entire defense made, however, was in allowing dodgers from Rutgers to get their hands free, and throw 25 yard skip passes to wide open offensive players. It happened over, and over, and over. And every time, the Scarlet Knights scored.
Or here, on the opener:
This doesn't even mention the transition woes. Rutgers had their FOGO score twice, and a pole score off the wing after Ohio State's LSM just flat missed an easy groundball.
Honestly, the big takeaway from yesterday is that it really, truly, couldn't have gone any worse for Ohio State. There is absolutely nowhere to go but up from that performance. Right now, the defense needs to get its mind right, drop the zone, and nail down man-to-man defense until they're incapable of getting it wrong. Because that is a game that will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.
Bring on Penn State, we need a palate cleanser from that abomination.