ESPN's Greg McElroy says it was preparation that doomed Ohio State: 'It was a horrible plan'
Greg McElroy of ESPN didn’t like Ohio State’s defensive preparation going into the National Championship against Alabama. In fact, he thinks that it’s the main reason why they lost the game.
He appeared on ESPN’s College Football Live on Tuesday and discussed the downfalls of that preparation by the Buckeyes (via Riley Gates of 247Sports):
“I think it really went wrong for Ohio State in their week leading up, from a preparation standpoint, their defensive production and really, their defensive approach, was absolutely horrendous,” McElroy said. “I’m not trying to say you need to reinvent the wheel leading up to the National Championship game. You dance with who brung you. You’re going to play four-down defensive linemen and three linebackers. That’s who you are. But you can’t do that against Alabama.
“Alabama’s going to force you into nickel and right now, we saw over and over and over again, Ohio State line up in regular personnel defensively and Alabama turned it into a track meet. Therefore, Ohio State, with their linebackers on the field, couldn’t keep up. I thought it was a horrible defensive plan from Ohio State, from start to finish.”
The Buckeyes gave up over 300 yards passing in the first half, as well as 215 yards receiving to DeVonta Smith. It was the main reason why they were down 35-17 at halftime which put the game out of reach.