Kerry Coombs in Press Box for Ohio State Defensive Coaching Staff Against Tulsa

By Griffin Strom on September 18, 2021 at 3:53 pm
Kerry Coombs

One change for the Ohio State defense ahead of Saturday's matchup with Tulsa was evident before kickoff.

Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs took a seat in the press box for what could be the first time in his Buckeye coaching tenure, switching places with secondary coach Matt Barnes, who is typically in the box.

Ryan Day foreshadowed the move in his comments earlier this week, as he said "structural changes" were coming for the Ohio State defense. On Thursday, Day said he had not yet made a final decision on who would call plays for the defense against Tulsa following a string of poor defensive performances for the team dating back to last season.

In a similar situation at Maryland in 2018, Barnes – now in his third season on Day's staff took over defensive play calling responsibilities even though Andy Buh was the Terrapins' defensive coordinator in title. Day said Thursday “there most likely will be changes” in terms of who coaches from the booth and who coaches from the field this week.

Ohio State ranked No. 112 in the country in total defense after two weeks of play, and the Buckeyes have given up 118 points in the past three games dating back to the national championship game this past January.

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