For the second year in a row, Ohio State and its fans are left trying to figure out what went wrong against Michigan.
While Michigan didn’t dominate in one phase of the game quite the way it did in the run game in 2021, the Wolverines ended up beating the Buckeyes by an even bigger margin this year as they scored five touchdowns of 45-plus yards while Ohio State mustered only three points of its own in the second half.
Why did Saturday’s game snowball away from the Buckeyes and how do they move forward from another devastating loss to their rivals? And how good of a chance does Ohio State have to still make the College Football Playoff?
We assess all of that on this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, plus spend a few minutes reviewing Ohio State basketball’s performance at the Maui Invitational and previewing Wednesday night’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge clash with Duke.
A rundown of topics discussed on this week’s show:
- 1:25: There were excuses for last year’s loss, but there’s no good excuses this year
- 3:30: Ryan Day talks about responding when it gets punched in the mouth, but that didn’t happen
- 5:15: We had concerns about Ohio State’s pass defense all year long, and it cost them against Michigan
- 6:10: Jim Knowles has been lauded for his aggressiveness, but he overdid it in this game
- 9:32: J.J. McCarthy continues the trend of mobile quarterbacks giving Ohio State problems
- 12:39: Griffin had no confidence Ohio State’s offense would score in the second half, which should never be the case with an offense this talented
- 14:43: We shouldn’t have scoffed at Ryan Day giving up play-calling duties, and it’s probably time now
- 17:23: Ohio State missed Jaxon Smith-Njigba throughout the second half of the season, especially in The Game
- 18:40: Michigan consistently dropped seven or more defenders in coverage, and Ohio State struggled to adjust
- 19:45: C.J. Stroud may not have been fully healthy, but his lack of running hurt Ohio State’s offense
- 22:04: Ohio State’s rushing offense wasn’t the problem, but the Buckeyes never fully committed to it
- 25:21: C.J. Stroud is one of Ohio State’s greatest passers ever, but his résumé lacks signature wins
- 29:53: Jim Harbaugh quickly went from a laughingstock to having Ohio State’s number
- 31:05: This is the first time (yes, we’re young) we’ve really felt like Michigan controls the rivalry
- 32:20: Beating Michigan next year won’t be any easier with Ohio State set to lose key players
- 34:55: It’s harder to pinpoint what Ohio State needs to change this year than it was last year
- 36:00: Ohio State is supposed to bring its A-game against Michigan, but it hasn’t for two years
- 37:53: Ohio State is recruiting more highly touted players than Michigan, but it’s not yielding results in The Game
- 41:13: Ryan Day isn’t getting fired this year and probably not next year either, but the pressure is turning up
- 45:55: Ohio State will probably make the College Football Playoff if USC loses (and maybe if TCU loses)
- 51:08: It was a good week for the basketball Buckeyes in Maui, especially for Justice Sueing
- 52:07: Brice Sensabaugh might already be on the Malaki Branham one-and-done track
- 56:37: Fellow true freshman Bruce Thornton is also hitting his stride at point guard
- 57:37: Will Ohio State beat Duke? One of us says yes, one of us says no
- 58:55: Ohio State women’s basketball is dominating but faces its own big test Wednesday against Louisville
You can listen to this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above, while all episodes of RPW are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, among other podcast streaming platforms.