There was no problem with Schiano's philosophies, but those were desires, not plans.
Schiano kept it really simple in 2016 because he had the same formula as last year's defense (3 stud CBs and 1 smart FS, a talented DL that could create pressure without blitzing, and smart LBs that had already played a lot of football). As a result, Schiano could just line up in Cover 1 and down dare opponents to beat them. Other than DeShaun Watson and Clemson, no one really did.
As time went on and those wide talent advantages went away, Schiano had to do more schematically to make up for it, but eventually, he didn't have the answers to every test and it showed. The goal of the current system is to always KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and rely on your technique, not the latest blitz check you borrowed from an NFL playbook.
Good catch, that game might be worth a rewatch as well...
Schiano went from having a secondary full of first-rounders to having none in 2018 (safe to say Arnette and Okudah were not the same players then that they are now) and losing Bosa meant OSU couldn't really get pressure without having to blitz, which obviously puts the coverage structure at risk.
The entire point is allowing talented players to do their thing gets amplified by others. Chase Young's talent allowed the rest of the DL to shine as he drew attention. That attention up front made life easier on the corners who only had to cover for so long. But by having talented corners on both sides and a DL that got home quickly, the underneath defenders weren't getting picked apart by opposing QBs who knew the scheme.
The problem lies in what happens if you can't replace those players year to year.
Good question. Day is banking on Brown staying true to his own tendencies, which is common for most coaches when in tight situations - calling the play you're most confident in your team executing. This isn't a problem for Brown against most teams, but Day knows him well enough to anticipate what Brown will lean on in certain situations.
This doesn't mean that his system is flawed (it's not), it simply means that he needs to break his own tendencies against OSU such as sitting back when he'd typically blitz, showing zone and playing man, using different personnel packages, etc...
No matter how talented a team may be, it can be stopped if the opposing team knows what's coming. This has happened to the Buckeyes more times than many readers here would like to admit (think the 2nd and 3rd quarter of the Fiesta Bowl, when OSU couldn't seem to run the ball). Talent has certainly played a part in the gap between Ohio State and their rivals, but the chess match between the two coaching staffs has also remained in the Buckeyes' favor.
Both good questions:
- Yes, the single-high system fits the way they've recruited over the past few years, prioritizing corners and pass rushers (as evidenced by the NFL draft talent). Those are the two positions where a defense must be ELITE in order for this system to work, and OSU has historically had that talent. The key is continuing to identify and develop said talent, however.
- They announced last month that Wade will bump outside to occupy one of the traditional cornerback spots. This should pay huge dividends in his draft stock should he continue to develop.
No Buckeye RB is as good as Zeke was in that regard. Not Hyde, not JK, not Weber, etc...
That said, Teague still needs to work on this aspect of his game, which is expected for a young back. He seems capable of identifying who he's supposed to block and delivering an initial strike, but sometimes had trouble staying engaged on the block and allowing pressure. The good news, however, is that this is easily correctable with reps, whereas some players never put in the time to even understand blocking schemes.
He needs to have the patience to chase the hole to the edge. Yes, the defense had it well-covered, but the idea of the scheme is that holes often take a few beats to develop, and the back needs to wait until the right time to plant and go. Instead, he immediately squares up to the line in hopes of finding a cutback, but when that is taken away he tries to shuffle back toward the sideline.