Execution, not game plan, the problem in Ohio State's loss to Alabama, Buckeyes DL Jonathon Cooper says
Jonathon Cooper called out his teammates on Monday night after a poor defensive showing in the championship of the College Football Playoff.
A senior defensive end, Cooper said the performance by the defense simply wasn’t good enough in No. 3 Ohio State’s 52-24 loss to No. 1 Alabama. Cooper had two tackles in the loss (one sack, one forced fumble):
Jonathon Cooper: “I feel like we had a good game plan. We just needed to execute better.”
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 12, 2021
Simply put, Alabama’s offense and their line in particular was at a completely different level than the Big Ten champions.
The Ohio State defense sacked Alabama quarterback Mac Jones only twice and didn’t register any hurries. The lack of a push up front was a major reason why Alabama mustered 621 yards of total offense and 157 rushing yards.
The Crimson Tide put up a staggering 33 first downs. For the Buckeyes, it was a completely narrative then the Big Ten Championship Game where they shut out Northwestern in the second half. Or for that matter, the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson, where quarterback Trevor Lawrence was kept in check.
Cooper likely finished his Ohio State career on Monday night. On the season for the 7-1 Buckeyes, he had 24 tackles and a career-high 3.5 sacks.