Real Pod Wednesdays: Evaluating Ohio State’s Offensive Struggles in Back-to-Back Games and Whether C.J. Stroud, Buckeyes Need to Run the Ball More

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on November 10, 2021 at 4:10 pm
C.J. Stroud vs. Nebraska

While one bad game can be chalked up as an off day, two games is a trend, and Ohio State’s offense has had some recurring issues in its last two games against Penn State and Nebraska.

The Buckeyes have scored just two offensive touchdowns while settling for four field goals in each of their last two games as they’ve struggled to run the ball effectively and finish off drives in the red zone. Ryan Day’s play calling has also drawn scrutiny from Ohio State fans, as has C.J. Stroud rarely running the ball.

Diagnosing what’s gone wrong with Ohio State’s offense is our main topic of discussion on this week’s Real Pod Wednesdays, as we spend the first half of this week’s show looking back on Saturday’s 26-17 win over Nebraska. While we personally believe the criticism toward Day and Stroud has been overblown, we discuss what the Buckeyes are going to need to do better on that side of the ball in order to win the big games they have coming up on the schedule.

Beginning at the 25:30 mark, we also discuss whether the defense could become Ohio State’s strength – we’re not ready to go there yet – and talk about some of the Buckeyes who had standout performances against Nebraska including Tyreke Smith and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Our look-ahead to this week’s game against Purdue – another game that could be dangerous for the Buckeyes after the Boilermakers beat Michigan State for their second top-five upset of the season last week – begins at the 37:07 mark. We break down why Purdue could match up well with Ohio State, but also why we ultimately believe the Buckeyes will avoid the upset in their first matchup against Purdue since 2018.

We also react to the College Football Playoff committee’s latest head-scratching decision to rank Michigan State behind Michigan (44:40), project the likelihood that Ohio State will win out and make the playoff (49:55) and share our takeaways from the men’s basketball Buckeyes’ battle with Akron in their Tuesday night season opener.

You can listen to Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above or wherever you listen to podcasts, including SpotifyApple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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