Ohio St. v. Notre Dame observations

  • Everyone came into the game thinking the Buckeyes offense is all set, and the defense is the one to watch and be nervous about. Turned out the script flipped for this game. The defense was lights out, while the offense looked choppy until the end. Possible Notre Dame defense was really good but there were numerous dropped passes and bad throws that if caught/on target, this wouldn’t have been a close game.
  • Jim Knowels, the new defensive coordinator came ready for this one. Yes he did have experience facing Notre Dame before, but he still had to get this Buckeye personnel ready. Despite all of that, Notre Dame had under 300 total yards offense, under 75 yards rushing. Their big pass plays were either lucky breaks or just great catches. Big time sacks when they needed them and no one looking lost on defense on either level. Very good to see already and this unit will only get better.
  • The offense on the other hand looked choppy. Even before Jaxon Smith-Njigba got hurt. Pretty sure he got a concussion, be interesting if they play him next week against crap opponent. Anyways, it appears Ryan Day doesn’t know how to function when a star player is out. The play calling gets weird, he ignores what works, doesn’t mix up anything and for most of the game, the offense played right into the ND scheme. Like do a jet sweep or call a QB run or throw it deep and get a PI call. The last drive where the Buckeyes did short throws and ran the ball should’ve been their MO from the start. Miyan Williams did the bulk due to Henderson injury and he was killing the Irish D. Sometimes one has to get creative. This Buckeyes team is loaded at skill position players, use them to your advantage.
  • Be interesting to see how ND plays from here. That was a tough game to lose and they had a lot of momentum throughout the game. Then things just crumbled very quickly. I wrote before how if this game was at ND it might have been interesting and I think if THIS game was at ND, the Irish probably would’ve won. That’s how it works in college football sometimes. I also am curious if their defense is THAT good or the Buckeyes just kept sputtering too much on offense. Won’t learn from Buckeyes offense for next two weeks as their opponents won’t be threats. So by end of this month and into October I think we will see the true state of the offense.
  • Playing high stakes game in Week 1 is tough so I’m not THAT annoyed by the Buckeyes not dropping 50 haha. However, some of the same traits that have been around since Day has been here (even 2018) were still existing. The lack of creativity when the offense loses a top player (think Olave in B10 champ game in 2020); the lack of using playmakers at disposal (happened a bit last year and in 2020) — I mean the go ahead TD was caught by Xavier Johnson who’s like a 5th string WR (granted loaded room), but where was he earlier, or the other guys? The Buckeyes claim all these riches at their disposal but then look confused on how to use them.
  • In closing — would like to see highlights again — but this looked a little similar to last year’s opener where things were less than desired, also had some doses of Oregon game last year, and then Buckeyes realized ‘hey we’re WAY better than these guys!!’ and just turned it on. As soon as it was 21–10 the game was over, might as well have been 40–10. GO BUCKEYES!!

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