Skull Session: Najee Harris Praises the Buckeye Defense For “Blowing My Ass Up,” Ohio State Didn't Change Its Scheme, and the Big Ten is College Football's Best Conference

By Kevin Harrish on January 13, 2021 at 4:59 am
The Buckeyes are ready in today's skull session.

Everything is fine, actually.

I spent a good deal of yesterday pondering the Monday night massacre and it occurred to me that I felt almost no sadness or even the slightest bit of ill-will towards the team that just brutalized my team on national television for four hours.

It's a wild place to be, considering that at this time last year I was strongly contemplating arson against either Dabo Swinney or the fellonious referees (or both!). But this year, I'm at peace. My team was fairly and squarely beaten – nay, drubbed –by the clear-cut best team in college football with a roster made up of remarkably likeable human beings.

I watched over an hour of Alabama press conferences waiting for somebody to say something – anything – inflammatory, provocative, disrespectful or even interesting that I could put on this here website, and there was nothing. They were all complimentary and by all accounts completely delightful individuals. The most disrespectful thing the Crimson Tide did to the Buckeyes on Monday night was sincerely believe a receiver limping so badly he looked like he needed a damn HurryCane could beat Ohio State's secondary. Which...

We almost didn't even have a season this year. But ultimately, I got to watch QB1 ball out a few more times, Trey Sermon go super saiyan for three games, and witness guys like Jonathon Cooper and Justin Hilliard making the most of their final season.

And most importantly, Dabo got stuffed in an unmarked grave.

All is well. But we'll still run that back next year, Bama.

Word of the Day: Ameliorate.

 “THEY WAS BLOWING MY ASS UP.” Remember what I said about remarkably likeable human beings? I was talking about Najee Harris, who has quickly become probably my favorite non-Buckeye player in college football.

And this is just a few days after this glorious moment when Harris remembered a reporter from his high school days just by his voice and greeted him like an old friend.

We need far more "don't act fake now" and "you trippin'" responses in college football. I'm extremely here for that.

Basically, we just need more Najee Harris'. But in Ohio State uniforms, please.

 PARTY LIKE IT'S 2018. There's only so much you can do schematically to slow down that absurd Bama offense. And so, Ohio State did effectively nothing.

We spent the whole week asking — nay, begging — Ohio State to give help to its cornerbacks against Alabama’s receivers. If the Buckeyes could just spend a few practices reinforcing the two-high coverages they already have in their playbook, though rarely used, it would show the Crimson Tide different looks and confuse them even a little bit to at least not put up 52 points. Or, to counter the incredible speed and talent Alabama puts out at receiver, use your nickelback instead of your Sam linebacker to get better matchups. 

Ohio State, as we now know, stuck to its guns and surrendered 52 points. Alabama put on a clinic of attacking the specific ways the Buckeyes play one-high in their base personnel. Whether it was man or Cover 3, Ohio State had no shot. If Jeffrey Okudah and Damon Arnette are manning the outside for the Buckeyes in this game, then sure, let them be isolated and take on DeVonta Smith for the whole game. Unfortunately, those two players play in a different league now, and starting cornerbacks Shaun Wade and Sevyn Banks have not played up to their level as replacements. 

The Buckeyes got away with not giving help to their corners for the whole season because they just didn't play against enough passing attacks that could have threatened them. They survived Penn State, Indiana and Clemson even with their two cornerbacks getting beat time and time again, but they were never going to outlast the Crimson Tide like this. 

For those of you who want a TL;DR on that, I had Kyle Jones, our resident football-knower, explain Ohio State's defensive woes to me like I'm five. This is what he came up with:

"The best way to explain it is what Sark did to Coombs last night is that it's what Day did to Don Brown."

Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool.

I'll die now.

What I'm understanding is that Ohio State got absolutely cooked all game because they stubbornly refused to alter their defense even slightly and stuck to a scheme everyone on the planet – besides the million-dollar defensive coordinators, apparently – knew wasn't going to work.

What an incredible homage to the 2018 season. The running game even did its part!

The only solace I take is that there's an extremely good chance that Bama would have flayed the Buckeyes even if they arrived with the world's best gameplan, especially if the offense is only bringing 24 points to the table.

 HEY! BASKETBALL! You'd be entirely forgiven if you haven't been paying even the slightest bit of attention to basketball-related things while the football Buckeyes were trying to win a national title. But now it's time to play catch up.

First off, there's an Ohio State basketball game tonight. Second, the Buckeyes have basketball beef with Rutgers these days. Third, Jae'Sean Tate is legit balling out in the NBA.

Also, Zed Key is quite possibly the most likeable player and human on the planet and I assure you I will write more words about that between now and Ohio State's inevitable Final Four appearance. Hell, he might get his own Skull Session.

 MY CONFERENCE CAN BEAT YOUR CONFERENCE. Hey, what do you know. Turns out, the Big Ten was good, after all!

Now consider that we had four SEC teams in the top-10 of the final rankings and two ACC teams in the College Football Playoff. Cool.

Also, based on those numbers, it's not a stretch to say that 6-0 in the Big Ten is quite a bit more difficult than 11-0 in the ACC. Get in your box, Dabo.

 HERE, HAVE A LAUGH. This has nothing to do with sports but this video is one of the funniest things I've seen online in a long time and I have to share.

Just felt like y'all needed something to laugh at that isn't Tuf Borland running after DeVonta Smith like a toddler chasing the escaped family dog down the street.

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