Real Pod Wednesdays: Reviewing the Peach Bowl and Ohio State’s 2022 Football Season

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on January 4, 2023 at 12:45 pm
Kenny McIntosh vs. Ronnie Hickman
Jason Parkhurst/Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Ohio State’s 2022 season came to an end against Georgia, but the Buckeyes weren’t far off from advancing to the national championship game.

That made Saturday’s loss in the Peach Bowl both devastating but also encouraging to a degree, as the fourth-seeded Buckeyes went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 seed and could be playing for a national championship on Monday if even one more play went their way. They proved they belonged in the CFP, leaving a far less negative vibe about the state of the program than after their previous loss against Michigan.

Still, Ohio State isn’t a program that’s going to celebrate moral victories, leaving plenty to digest about why the Buckeyes came up short of their championship goals once again. A second straight poor defensive performance to conclude the season had a lot to do with that, so we spend a good amount of our time on this week’s Real Pod Wednesdays discussing what went wrong defensively and what Jim Knowles and the Buckeyes must do to fix that.

With the 2022 season now complete, we discuss how the season should be graded as a whole and make our picks for Ohio State’s best player, biggest surprises and most memorable moments this year. Additionally, we talk about the possibility of Ryan Day giving up offensive play calling, Jim Harbaugh exploring NFL opportunities again, how we expect Monday night’s national championship game to play out and what we expect to see from Ohio State men’s basketball against No. 1-ranked Purdue on Thursday.

The full rundown of topics covered on this week’s show:

  • 0:54: The game’s outcome wasn’t shocking, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking
  • 5:53: Better vibes around Ryan Day, Ohio State even after the loss
  • 7:28: Ohio State’s defense got exposed in the final two to three games of the year
  • 10:40: Jim Knowles isn’t going anywhere, but he has work to do to earn his $1.9 million salary
  • 15:34: There were a lot of close calls and bad breaks that swung the game in Georgia’s favor
  • 16:50: Ohio State’s defensive personnel could use upgrades, but Knowles has done more with far less talent
  • 20:00: Ohio State’s safeties weren‘t good enough down the stretch for the Buckeyes’ “safety-driven defense”
  • 21:55: This year’s secondary was a disappointment, but no secondary looked great in the CFP semifinals
  • 27:50: Ohio State’s offense, especially C.J. Stroud, played at a championship level against Georgia
  • 32:48: C.J. Stroud isn’t one of Ohio State’s top two all-time quarterbacks, but he’s in the conversation after that
  • 35:35: It’s logical for Ryan Day to give up play calling, but he has to pick the right offensive coordinator
  • 42:43: Noah Ruggles shouldn’t be blamed for Ohio State’s loss
  • 46:04: Jayden Fielding has a bigger leg than Ruggles, but asking him to kick a game-winning field goal would have been a tough call
  • 48:24: 54% of Eleven Warriors readers gave Ohio State’s season a B grade, and that makes sense
  • 51:34: We both agree Marvin Harrison Jr. was Ohio State’s best player this season
  • 53:12: Revolving door at running back, Tommy Eichenberg’s rise among biggest surprises of 2022
  • 54:49: Kamryn Babb’s catch, J.T. Tuimoloau at Penn State among year’s most memorable moments
  • 57:44: What we make of the latest Jim Harbaugh-to-NFL rumors
  • 1:00:34: Why we think Georgia will win but TCU will cover in the national championship game
  • 1:03:36: This year’s semifinals were the best pair of games in the CFP era
  • 1:04:10: How Purdue will test Ohio State and how the Buckeyes could beat the Boilermakers
  • 1:09:02: Ohio State women’s basketball has now tied its best start in program history

Listen to Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above or subscribe to RPW on streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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