I'll be honest; I wasn't all that surprised to see Ohio State struggle against the triple of option of Navy. Navy's offense has been prolific on the ground ever since Paul Johnson installed his triple option attack several years ago.
Johnson is gone, but the option has been carried forward by Ken Niamatololo and it is still a difficult offense to prepare for. To struggle to stop Navy's run offense could have been expected, but to struggle to score against Navy's passing game and undersized defense? There is no explanation for that.
I know what you may be thinking. Struggle against Navy's defense? Ohio State put up over 30 points and won! How is that struggling?
Well, for anyone who watched the game, you would have seen the ease with which Navy applied constant pressure on Terrelle Pryor. You would have seen failed short yardage conversions by the Ohio State offense.
There is no excuse for the OSU hogmollies being out-muscled by the vastly undersized Midshipmen line. The Buckeyes have some big problems up front, and they have less than a week to fix them.
On the offensive side of the ball, OSU defensive backs gave up several big plays against a historically anemic passing game. Although Ricky Dobbs is a better passer than the average Navy quarterback, the OSU corners and safeties seemed to be constantly confused on simple post and corner patterns.
Against teams with superior athletes (i.e. USC), the confused Ohio State defense could really be exposed for some big plays, and they won't be able to make up for it using talent alone.
As a fan of Big Ten football, it was truly disappointing to see Ohio State hit such a rough patch. Even though I'm a Michigan fan, I really hope OSU can pull it together next week and put together a good showing against USC for the sake of the Big Ten, but after the game today my expectations of have been significantly deflated.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!