Ohio State stock report after Week 5: Buckeyes use week off to prep for Terps
Ohio State continued to talk about its thrilling, come-from-behind 17-14 victory at Notre Dame.
All of the discussion on the local weekly radio shows by Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles centered on what the Buckeyes have learned about themselves heading into the heart of the Big Ten schedule.
Day calls games in which talent is more equal (like vs. Notre Dame) matchup games. The No. 4 Buckeyes lost the last 2 they had played: Michigan and Georgia.
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“We competed in everything that we did to try to figure out in a matchup game that it may come down to 1 play, it might come down to 1 yard,” Day said. “It did. There was a lot of emotion that came with that, and our guys were genuinely excited. What a great environment. What a great night.”
Biggest task: Sharpening everything
Game-planning focuses on schemes and the opponent. But the off week is for something different.
“You want to have a lot of energy because a lot of football is ahead of us – a ton of football – but it goes back to fundamentals,” Day said. “And when you go back to the game film of last Saturday, it’s usually fundamentals, and that’s what it comes down to in the end.”
Developing trend: Situational development
When the defense needed a late stop at Notre Dame, they got it with defensive end JT Tuimoloau disrupting the Irish passing game. And when the offense had to score, quarterback Kyle McCord led a 15-play drive to win the game.
“We spend a lot of time this season on situational football and lot of time in the 2-minute drill,” Day said. “We learned that the matchup games can come down to that. It did the other night, and I thought our guys were ready for it. I thought we handled ourselves well on defense in the 4-minute situation, and then the offensive guys didn’t panic.”
Week 6: The Maryland challenge
Lots of talk heading into the Notre Dame game centered on quarterback Sam Hartman. This week the talk will be about Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. He threw for 352 yards and accounted for all 6 touchdowns Saturday in a 44-17 victory over Indiana.
The Terps are 5-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since joining the league in 2014. They received enough votes in last week’s AP poll to be No. 31. If they can break into the Top 25 this week, it would set up a game between ranked teams.