Jim Knowles had a key task on his offseason checklist coming out of the 2022 season. Find a way to limit explosive plays as Ohio State’s defense was gashed in losses to Michigan and Georgia to end the Buckeyes’ season.

So far this season, Ohio State’s defense has been up to the task of keeping opposing offenses in check. While one reporter mentioned it looks like the defense has nailed that task down, Knowles said the defense never has it “down” and pointed to a constant pursuit to avoid the big play.

“I never feel like we have it down, ever. It’s a constant pursuit to defend explosive plays,” said Knowles. “Look at the one that got us, what was it, that fake sneak thing (against Rutgers)? Man. Hats off to them, what a great play.”

Knowles used that fake sneak by the Scarlet Knights that went for a big gain to prove the Buckeyes need to always be “on high alert” against the big play.

“You never know where they are going to come from, so you better be on high alert. It’s got to be a priority,” Knowles explained. “It has shown to be a real fact in this game when you study statistics, it’s been a real factor. So you can never stop talking about it, defending it, practicing it.”

We’ll see how Ohio State is able to cope with the big plays this time around after they doomed the Buckeyes in 2022.

(H/T 11 Warriors)