Home Sports Staples: Ohio State must contend all game against Georgia. Its identity depends on it

Staples: Ohio State must contend all game against Georgia. Its identity depends on it

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Atlanta — Ohio defender Jack Sawyer hear you praise Georgiaphysicality of Buckeyes vs Bulldog Sawyer will not be fooled by your attempts to shove an insult into a compliment.

“When you hear people talking about their physique, you really know what that means,” Sawyer said Wednesday. “They want to say we’re not that physical. And because of what happened in the previous game, we can’t really say anything. , you can see how much you played physical throughout the match.”

Lost the ‘previous game’ 45-23 Michigan at home. Ohio Big Ten East title and Big Ten title at stake. Proved Wolverine’s victory over the Buckeyes in 2021 it wasn’t a flukeIt also created the first woes of the Buck Island existential crisis.After years of dominating the series, Ohio State University beaten twice I forgot the plan.



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But that loss didn’t cost Ohio State a shot at the national title. USCdefense could not hold up Utahviolation of Pac-12 title game, and the Buckeyes got reprieve.would be ohio one more guarantee Games with championship stakes for 2022.

The outcome of this game can either calm that existential crisis or dig deeper. Coach Ryan Day can restore or completely shatter his trust in his management.

If you’re not an Ohio fan, this is the part that will have you screaming “wow” and reminding you that Day is an amazing 45-5 at Ohio. Lost two Big Ten games (two Michigan games).Buckeyes play against georgiathe team was expected to win the national title this season since Oregon State was dismantled in Week 1. I’m happy just for this season Regardless of Saturday’s results?

of course not.

Just as Georgia standards are different, so are Ohio standards. Buckeyes are never happy wherever they are. They must dominate the lower classes and fight evenly with the elite. They should never be a weak team. Ohio State’s ideals are best summed up by strength his coach Mickey Marotti’s definition of “Buckeye his football,” Sawyer told Wednesday.

Run the damn ball.

Stop running damn.

Play good special teams.

Teams with elite recruits who do these three things win most games.that is Alabama I did it while winning six national titles between 2009 and 2020. Clemson A few years ago, he won two national titles in three seasons. In 2014 college football in his first playoff season, that came true when Ohio State won the national title.

That’s what Georgia is doing now.

Oh can it be done?

We know the Buckeyes can throw the ball. Marvin Harrison Jr. It may be the best receiver in the country. CJ Strouda potential first round NFL Draft pick ranked third nationally in yards per attempt.

But can you do it when it matters? Treveyon Henderson He will miss Saturday’s game due to injury. Miyan WilliamsAnother of the Buckeyes’ leadbacks is expected to play, although he is recovering from an ankle injury. Even with the Bucks limping, Ohio State averaged 4.9 yards of carry against Michigan, but the Buckeyes failed to complete his second task on Marotti’s list in the fourth quarter. Abandoned the run to.

Remember when Ohio State’s Sawyer said the Buckeyes’ defense didn’t falter because of Michigan’s physicality? Someone else who recently took that game apart agreed.

‘When you cut the movie, they’re physical guys,’ says Georgia Center cedric van plan said Wednesday. “Watching them play against Michigan, they were really physical. The guys hit blocks. The guys jumped around and tackled. was.”

“Unfortunate” was 75 and 85 yards Donovan Edwards touchdown run. They came about as Michigan blockers overwhelmed some defenders while others closed false gaps. This blocked the path for his teammate Edwards, allowing him to push through a gaping hole to find an open field. But these two plays of his do not tell the whole story. The previous drives set the table for those plays, and the first long touchdown run all prolongs Ohio State’s woes.

The Michigan blocker began eating the Buckeyes’ soul late in the third quarter with a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that stretched into the fourth quarter. In his four-play stretch early in the drive, Michigan gave him 35 yards on the ground. What had been difficult up to that point — Michigan averaged 3.1 yards of carry before that drive — suddenly seemed easy.The Buckeyes succeeded in some resistance in his zone, but the Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy Turning QB powerplays into 3-yard touchdowns, the Wolverines ran 10 47-yard runs on their drives, effectively exercising their will to take a 31-20 lead.

From the start of that drive to the end of the game, Michigan ran 17 times for 232 yards. And even with Edwards trailing 15 yards for the first long touchdown, Michigan likely grounded out the remaining seven minutes, landing 5 yards at a time. Three minutes were spent dropping blocks and making tackles, but the final quarter was full of plays, with seemingly all silver helmets disappearing behind winged helmets.

Not so on Saturday. The problem is that Georgia has a more explosive passing game than Michigan, who still hit three long, wide-open touchdown passes to Ohio State.Darnell Washington When brock bowers) can annihilate 2nd level defenders in a run game.

If you compare the weekly practice schedules of Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio, the two states probably look about the same. Another one is from Ohio. That wasn’t always the case.georgia tailback Kenny Mackintosh The phrase Wednesday used was probably familiar to some of the beat writers at Ohio State University. .

McIntosh said, “We all know that on this day, basically, we’re going to get physical and bloody. ‘We want to make it hard.'”



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Many programs over the years have referred to Tuesday practice as “Bloody Tuesday.” This makes sense. Because Tuesday is well past the previous game, and you have plenty of time before your next game to do your most physical practice of the week. But the reason it’s so familiar to the Buckeyes is that it’s also what Urban Meyer called practice Tuesday. He believed that the only way to improve, and the way to keep his tackles good even after a long season, was to hit.

So, like Smart, Harbaugh and Nick Saban still do, Meyer’s team did it on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some of the 2014 Buckeyes, like defensive tackle Michael Bennett and offensive tackle Taylor Decker, likely felt the same way some of these Georgia players feel about their practices. High. “It’s more spiritual,” Van Plan said. “Anybody asking, ‘Do you really want to do this? And you’ll find out more.

The question now is whether Day and his staff pushed this team hard enough to find ‘more’ when Saturday mattered. I said that I did physical exercises for (So ​​did Georgia. It always does.) A few weeks back to basics in blocking and tackling, combined with the Buckeyes’ prodigious athleticism, could result in a team capable of: merge with georgiaUnlike most games played by the Buckeyes and Bulldogs, recruitment rankings and projected NFL Draft slots are very similar for both sides. Marotti knows how much the team needs to push to reach national title level. He has performed three times, twice in Florida and once in Ohio.



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When Mayer turned over the Ohio State program to Day after the 2018 season, he handed over the keys to the tank. Day landed quarterback Justin Fields as a transfer from Georgia, but Fields was protected by a line that included four current NFL starters. It was nasty. Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper cut ties. DaVon Hamilton and Tommy Togiai rotated in his tackle defensively. Pete Warner and Malik Harrison roamed his upstairs.

Ohio State’s offense remains strong under Day, but the defense has not been able to return to the level of its group. Getting him on board didn’t seem to solve the problem, at least judging by what happened against the Wolverines.

But we may be in a rush to judge. After all, there aren’t many real challenges on the Ohio State schedule. Perhaps we’re overreacting to his 23 minutes of badness. Saturday should give you the correct answer.

‘This is an opportunity many don’t get,’ said Edge Lasher JT Tsui Morowho should be in oh The next defensive superstar. He is not wrong.

But this isn’t just a chance to compete for the national title, it’s also a chance for Ohio State to reclaim its identity as a program. If the Buckeyes can compete with the Bulldogs, they’re still where they need to be.

What if they can’t?

it will be ohhhhhhhh off season.

(Top photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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