Columbus, Ohio – While many outside the program waited to see No. 2 Ohio State unveil another powerful attack against an unrivaled opponent, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day was waiting for this: The match when passes weren’t navigating the air with precision and ease with draft picks. The NFL in the future, when the offense had to beat her with a running game and the defense made the difference.
Day earned the “ugly” 21-10 win against fifth seed Notre Dame on Saturday night, and despite a slow foul, he had something else to look for.
“It was something where we spent a lot of time in the off season saying, ‘We have to be able to win ugly in attack, we have to stop running in defence,'” Day said. And you have to find out based on who you’re up against, how do you want to win that match? When you have that variety, man, it will pay off in the future.”
Ohio State’s offensive, which was No. 1 in the country last year in terms of efficiency, was weakened on Saturday by the high pre-season expectations that pegged the Buckeyes as a strong candidate to finish in the College Football Playoff. With a flagship wide receiver jackson smith ngigba Missed out due to the injury he picked up in the first quarter, Ohio State struggled early against Notre Dame’s gritty defense.
The Fighting Irish, led by famed first-year coach Marcus Freeman, a former Ohio State player, came to Ohio Stadium and before announcing a crowd of 106,594 gave the Buckeyes everything they could handle through the late fourth quarter. Ohio State, which won games last season by an average margin of 29.1 points, held its magic in the second quarter and fell 10-7 in the inning.
There were less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter for Ohio State to cement the win—thanks in large part to the 14-game, 95-yard drive that stripped 7:06 off the clock and gave the Buckeyes a 21-10 lead.
“We were struggling early on, just trying to get a connection, trying to build that rhythm, but eventually, we started to get it, and we started clicking more,” the Ohio State quarterback said. CJ Stroud, who completed 24 of 34 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. “It’s kind of weird being there again, to be honest, seeing the fans, dealing with all the outside noise, just trying to shut out.”
In the fourth quarter, Stroud completed 9 of 10 passes for 107 yards and touchdowns. Although it was not a brilliant performance and worthy of the Heisman Cup, he reminded everyone of his abilities in the gaming industry.
Ohio State entered this season as the No. 2 team after losing to rival Michigan and finishing sixth in large part due to offensive firepower returning from a team that led the nation in scoring and yards per game last year. The Buckeyes have many Heisman hopefuls, including Stroud and Back Trivon Henderson, but when Smith Ngba was injured in the first quarter, the Buckeyes were on an early hiatus. Last year, Ohio State averaged 27.2 points in the first half, more than any other FBS team. The Buckeyes had seven Saturday nights.
“The early games are a bit tough, and the loss of Jackson pushed us a little bit,” Day said.
The defense, which was a flashpoint for Ohio State last year, was the highlight on Saturday. It was a solid start for first-year defense coordinator Jim Knowles, who was hired from Oklahoma State. The Irish finished with 253 yards and chased after their last six possessions.
“We’ve been called up all last year, and we just had to sit there and eat,” the Ohio State defense appeared Lathan Ransom He said.
Day said the toughness was something the whole team was looking to prove.
“We wanted to be known for something other than just the talented,” he said.
Notre Dame’s game plan was to hold the ball, control the clock, and keep the Buckeyes attack off the field. The Irish were able to do so in the first quarter, but they finished in just 3 of 13 turnovers for the third.
Day said he could see more teams trying to do the same this fall, but he’s not worried about moving forward with the passing game. In the end, there were other lesser-known players that appeared in Ohio State, including former players Xavier Johnsonwhose 24-yard touchdown grab lifted Ohio State 14-10 late in the third quarter.
Johnson said, “I love these guys, so my legs are empty, with all that, none of that matters. It was all for the team and the glory of God.”
“I was in a position to do what I was trained to do.”
In the end, they were all – even if she wasn’t pretty.
“Winning this way has been a huge focus,” Day said. “And it starts with defending. You can play a good, strong defense like we played tonight, and we can manage football – we know we’re going to throw the ball, we know that – but if we want to go where we need to be and achieve our goals, we need to be able to do those two things. “.
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