Ohio State's new defensive coordinator has been named the nation's best.
Jim Knowles was already coming to Columbus as a highly-regarded defensive mind after leading one of the top defenses in the country at Oklahoma State, but now the new Buckeye defensive coordinator has officially been named the nation's best, earning 2021 Defensive Coordinator of the Year award by Football Scoop.
To build an elite defense, Jim Knowles started up front: No team was better at the point of attack than Oklahoma State. The Cowboys' 8.69 tackles for loss and 4.15 sacks per game led the nation.
Aided by their constant ability to make plays in the opponent's backfield, Oklahoma State was also stellar against the run. They ranked sixth in FBS at 91.2 yards per game, fifth with 2.74 yards per rush, and fourth with just 38 runs of 10-plus yards. The Pokes limited six opponents to fewer than 70 rushing yards, and held Iowa State's Breece Hall and Baylor's Abram Smith (top 10 runners, both) below 100 yards in all three combined meetings.
Knowles earned the honor after a vote from the awards' prior winners. He was selected over fellow nominees Doug Belk of Houston, Dan Lanning of Georgia, Jim Leonhard of Wisconsin, and Mike Macdonald of Michigan.