The AP third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes thought they’d have a relatively easy time disposing of No. 12 Oregon at home on Saturday, but the Ducks took the fight to the hosts in Columbus, and emerging with a 35-28 upset victory.
Even though Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for a whopping 484 yards and three touchdowns, hard as it is to believe, he left plenty of yards on the field. Some of that is on Ohio State’s unimaginative scheme, which deploys the exact same rushing plays ad nauseum, but Stroud also had some critical misses.
In the fourth quarter, Stroud overshot Garrett Wilson down the right sideline on a downfield throw that would’ve potentially tied the score at 35. It was one of several deep shots Stroud failed to connect on throughout the afternoon. He later scrambled outside the pocket and sailed a pass over Chris Olave’s head, resulting in an interception.
Ohio State’s celebrated offensive line struggled against Oregon’s front seven, despite top 2022 NFL Draft prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux not in at defensive end for the Ducks. They were also without star linebacker Justin Flowe.
The fact that the Buckeyes couldn’t get enough push up front to establish the run is a huge red flag, but let’s give some credit to Oregon.
Rallying around the absences of multiple key players, the Ducks played inspired football, while Ohio State was flat. Head coach Mario Cristobal and his staff completely outcoached and outclassed Ryan Day and the Buckeyes.
Undisciplined defense and failed in-game adjustments doomed Ohio State, as did an excellent showing by Oregon tailback CJ Verdell. He had 195 total yards and three touchdowns, running for 161 yards on 20 carries and two scores, including a 77-yard house call near the start of the third quarter.
So, now it’s time to look at just how crushed the Buckeyes got on social media for their first regular-season loss during Day’s tenure.
The rest of the country watching Ohio State lose pic.twitter.com/9jL4xZumWc— Sidelines – Arkansas (@SSN_Arkansas) September 11, 2021
We have no idea what we are doing on defense. This is embarrassing for a place like Ohio State. pic.twitter.com/YmyDZLGoou— jbook™ (@jbook37) September 11, 2021
We should’ve known this was going to happen after this start by Ohio State— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 11, 2021
Not having to hear about how good Ohio State is for the rest of the season pic.twitter.com/V8Z5DlsgXG— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) September 11, 2021
It just wasn't Ryan's Day. Oregon went into Columbus without its First Pick in the Draft and knocked the THE from the front of ohio state's name. The Shoe was on the other foot. Today it was the Oregon Duckeyes. The visitors exposed OSU's D, won it fair and square.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 11, 2021
quite the embarrassing loss for ohio state, woof.— Damon J. Kecman (@DownWithDamon) September 11, 2021
one of the worst buckeye defenses i’ve ever seen. oregon blanked them early, hard to come back down fourteen in the 4th.
Oregon’s OC is putting on a clinic on how to attack Ohio State’s athletic DEs. Great mixture of counter kick out blocks, power read, wrap/avoid TEs, split zone, and then using the TEs underneath off of bootleg.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) September 11, 2021
They have no idea at all what’s coming.
I typically think football fans are too hard on coordinators because they’re easy scapegoats. Not sure that’s the case for Ohio State right now though.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 11, 2021
#OhioState QB CJ Stroud had some bad passes, sure. BUT He played well enough where they could’ve won that game.— NFL Draft Insider (@JaredNFLDraft) September 11, 2021
It’s the defense and especially the linebackers that lost the game for OSU.
Ryan Day loses his first regular season game as a HC at OSU.
Ohio State might need to think about using one of the other five star QBs they have.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 11, 2021