Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are having trouble getting to the quarterback.
The defense seemed to have been the Buckeyes’ shining point this year, but how strong has it been?
While the secondary at Ohio State is developing into a unified unit, the defensive line has struggled to pressure the passer. Particularly, Ohio State is bottom in the Big Ten in sacks with seven.
Sacks aren’t everything, according to defensive line coach Larry Johnson, especially when the team is applying more pressure to the quarterback.
“You should observe how hard we are pressing the opponents in order to force the ball out quickly. You have to understand how crucial those things are, Johnson added. “Each team plays [us] [differently].”
The Buckeyes’ dearth of sacks may be explained by pressure rates, but what can be said about the rush defense?
When you exclude non-Power 5 teams, Ohio State’s 106.4 rush yards per game—which ranks No. 4 in the conference—increases to 117.7 rush yards. Nevertheless, none of the opponents the Buckeyes have faced has a rushing offense that is in the top 50 in the country.
Up until Notre Dame, when they allowed the Irish 176 rush yards, the Buckeyes had been rather strong against the run.
In addition, they occasionally allowed Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to escape the pocket, although overall they only gave up 106 rushing yards to the Terrapins.
Overall, Johnson expressed his satisfaction with the defensive line’s development, saying that the team only needs to be persistent and keep working hard for the desired results.
As we advance, our time will come, but for the time being, Johnson added, “[We] need to continue doing what we’re doing.”
Jim Knowles, the defensive coordinator, and Johnson, according to Johnson, have a good working relationship.
Before Saturday’s game at Purdue, they might be able to figure out how to make the line better.