Ohio State's Coaching Staff Takes Blame For Ugly Loss to Oklahoma

By James Grega on September 10, 2017 at 1:41 am
Urban Meyer

Combined, Ohio State's coaching staff has 32 years and counting of head coaching experience at the collegiate level. 

That didn't help the Buckeyes on Saturday night. 

Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley, in just his second game as a head coach, led his Sooners to a 31-16 victory over Ohio State in Columbus.

Not only did Riley's team dominate the Buckeyes, the Sooners dominated both sides of the football. Perhaps more impressive, it dominated a team that has two former head coaches as coordinators. 

Between them, Greg Schiano and Kevin Wilson have 17 years of head coaching experience at the college level, but both admitted after the loss to Oklahoma that they could have done a better job calling the game against the Sooners. 

“You can't give up big plays. We gave up too many big plays. Again, to me that all goes back to coaching. We have to figure out how to do that," Schiano said. "How to get them to play within their skill set and make the plays necessary to win. We didn’t do that.”

Schiano, in his second season as Ohio State's defensive coordinator, is having a hard time slowing down opponents' passing attacks so far this season. In just two games, the Buckeye defense has allowed 806 passing yards to Indiana and Oklahoma combined. 

The former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach maintained that the blame should fall mainly on him, and not the players. 

“We need to do a better job coaching. When you make mistakes, it’s the coaches fault," Schiano said. "We need to get that fixed in a hurry.”

The good news for Ohio State's defense is Army comes to town next week, having completed just two passes all season in its triple-option offense. The downside? The Buckeyes might not be working on their pass defense in practice as they prepare to defend a unique style of offense. 

On the offensive side for Ohio State, the Buckeyes accounted for just 16 points, the second fewest an Urban Meyer-coached OSU team has scored at home in his tenure (14 vs. Michigan State in 2015). 

After running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins combined for just 16 carries to quarterback J.T. Barrett's 18, Meyer wasn't shy about expressing his disappointment in the play calling. 

"I wasn't happy with it," Meyer said. "So we'll just keep reevaluating and I saw what you saw. J.K. was hitting the ball pretty hard and doing some good things. Mike Weber did some good things. And we're just not getting enough flow on offense. And I'm seeing the same things you guys are seeing."

Again the passing game struggled for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes entered the fourth quarter with just 84 passing yards. But Meyer and Wilson refused to put the blame solely on Barrett, who failed to account for a touchdown against Oklahoma.

Instead, Wilson said the entire offensive unit needs to execute better as a whole, and added that the improvement will need to start with him. 

"We got schemed up well and we will work hard to fix those corrections and be better moving forward," Wilson said. "When you block and execute it’s good, but again, our line has been outstanding, our quarterback has been outstanding. We have got to put it together and we didn’t and that is my fault. I own that."

Schiano, who experienced a loss for just the third time as a member of Ohio State's coaching staff, said the coaching staff will have to self-evaluate themselves before moving onto preparation for the Cadets, who roll into Columbus on Sept. 16. 

"We have to evaluate everything, and you start with yourself," Schiano said. "You don’t have a lot of time to do it in-season. You’ve gotta go. You have to figure it out quickly."

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