Everything that could possibly go wrong did during last weekend's shocking blowout loss in Iowa City.
J.T. Barrett threw four picks, the linebackers got destroyed as part of a defensive effort yielding somewhere around 2,765,323 yards and a rash of penalties once again stained Ohio State's performance.
The ridiculous amount of flags – Ohio State racked up nine for 95 yards – is nothing new this season though as Urban Meyer told reporters on Monday, he's addressed the situation.
Q. One of the things maybe that came out of this game was maybe a lack of discipline. You guys had personal foul penalties that allowed them to extend drives and things on offense as well where you just didn't keep it a clean game. What's your thoughts about how those things have kind of crept into your team's play, and how frustrating it must be for the players and coaching as well?
COACH MEYER: There were a couple of devastating penalties that kept drives alive. And 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. That's something we've addressed. And you can't -- those kind of games you can't have those.
Your guess is as good as mine on what "addressed" means as Meyer's team is tallying more penalties and penalty yards per game than any during his six seasons in Columbus.
In fact, the 2017 Buckeyes will be the fourth Meyer team in a row to see increased penalties and penalty yards per game though it might be hard to get worse next year considering the team's current rank of 116th in penalties per game and 125th in penalty yards per game out of 130 total teams.
As I noted in Sunday's Five Things, Ohio State has 71 penalties through nine games this year while the 2013 team posted 73 flags in 14 games and that was still only good for 67th-best in the country.
|SEASON||GAMES||TOTAL PENALTIES||PEN/GAME||NATL RANK||PEN YDS/G||NATL RANK|
The nine penalties in Iowa City ranged from innocuous to devastating highlighted by Nick Bosa's personal foul targeting call extending an Iowa drive after it looked like OSU stopped the Hawkeyes on a crucial third down. Instead, Bosa's play led to a first down and a touchdown one play later, pushing Iowa ahead 24-17 as part of a 38-7 run following the penalty.
Holding penalties on two separate Iowa kickoffs erased what would've been excellent field position approaching midfield, instead forcing a limp offense to start inside its own 15 yard line.
Mix in a a couple offsides flags, two offensive holds, another personal foul and a pass interference call and you've got all the ingredients of an undisciplined football team.
Almost every team can lay an egg, have an off day or whatever you want to call it but the reality for Ohio State is the constant yellow litter on the field is nothing new.
In the last five games alone the Buckeyes have no less than eight false starts, six offsides, six holding calls, five special teams penalties and 10 personal fouls whether it be unnecessary roughness, yanking a facemask or targeting.
Looking at the national penalty stats, the midpoint for penalties per game – so being very average – is about 6.2 penalties per game. The Buckeyes committed less than 6.2 penalties in just two of nine games, or 22%, thus far, totaling at least seven flags in the other seven games while reaching 10 twice.
If Ohio State has any interest in making a run at a B1G championship, cleaning up penalties isn't a magic bullet but certainly can't hurt. Just look at the teams toward the bottom of the various penalty metrics. Most of the programs you'll see range from middling to hot garbage.