Skull session. Ohio State’s defense still needs work, Noah Ruggles failed before his shot and CJ Stroud shined in Atlanta

And that concludes the 2022 season.

After Ohio State lost to Georgia 42-41 in the Peach Bowl on Saturday, every soul in Buckeye Nation felt the same emotion at the same time.

Let’s talk about it.

Before I do, I must of course say this. Let’s have a good Monday, shall we?

STILL WORKING TO DO. In retrospect, I have no idea how Ohio State made the College Football Playoff with the defense it had this season. While that side of the ball looked solid most of the season, Maryland, Michigan and Georgia proved the Mad Scientist still has a lot of work to do in Columbus.

The Bulldogs added the final blow of the three-part combine to Knowles and Co. on Saturday as the Buckeyes allowed 42 points and 533 total yards to Georgia, including a career-high 398 yards to Stetson Bennett, in the Peach Bowl.

It was the explosive plays murderer again for Ohio State, as Bennett caught 11 passes for more than 15 yards and UGA tallied 10 plays of 20 yards or more. None of those plays cost more than Arian Smith’s 76-yard touchdown and run that came after Lathan Ransom slipped and fell downfield in man-to-man coverage.

Ransom’s trip wouldn’t have been harmful under normal circumstances, but Knowles’ aggression cost Ohio State the way it did against Michigan. The zero-coverage call produced no safety to help Ransom go over the top, leading to a wide-open Smith score that cut Ohio State’s lead to 38-35 with 8:41 left in the fourth quarter.

A call like Knowles. zero coverage went up by 11 points and had momentum in his team’s favor after another touchdown (?) — and the Buckeyes’ lack of execution is concerning.

In the last two games, where Smith’s punts through broken coverage were all too common, Ohio State allowed Michigan and Georgia to set program records in yards per game average, 8.83 for the Wolverines and an even worse 8.88. for the Bulldogs. And then there’s this.


Ohio State’s defense failed to live up to the high expectations of Ryan Day, Knowles and even Teradja “T-Raw” Mitchell in the preseason. It was a top-10 defense, then a top-five defense, then a top-ranked defense.

None of them happened. Perhaps they will in 2023 with another year under Knowles and the expected development of Ohio State’s young talent. One can hope, at least.

CHANGED TO NAVIGATE FORWARD. With a trip to the national championship on the line, Noah Ruggles’ game-winning 50-yard field goal attempt missed, and it missed really, really badly.

Ruggles, who was nothing short of automatic during his two years as a Buckeye, failed to be the hero and lead his team to the promised land. As most players who miss game-winners do, Ruggles will likely bear most of the blame from those who watched him hit left.

But he doesn’t deserve the blame for the Buckeyes’ loss. not all, that’s for sure.

Yes, Ruggle should be expected to transform whenever possible. However, Day didn’t necessarily set him up for success with his questionable play calls.

After C.J. Stroud’s 27-yard scramble put the ball at the Georgia 31, Day opted to run Dallan Hayden on first-and-10 to facilitate a field goal attempt for Ruggles, whose career-high was 49 yards. . That decision backfired as Hayden’s carry backfired for a 1-yard loss, putting the Buckeyes behind Ruggles’ target.

“Two timeouts left. They were scratched, so if you split one, you could get out in the back. Any two yards there would have added up to a field goal. That was the idea,” Day said of his postgame call. press conference. “Didn’t execute it the way we would have liked, but I wouldn’t change that call.”

– Good call. Great call,” added Stroud, who was sitting next to Day in the press.

Day put the ball in Stroud’s hands on second and third. The quarterback’s first attempt was intended for Javier Johnson but fell incomplete and the second was thrown away as he eluded pressure from the Georgia defense. Facing a fourth-and-2, Ruggles took the field.

As the clock struck midnight and the calendar flipped from 2022 to 2023, he lined up to make the shot. But, as I often do with my four-iron on the long par 3, Ruggles looked like he was trying to crush the football rather than hit it like he normally would, presumably to ensure he had enough foot. : The result was a cross from the left.

After the season ends, Ruggles is set to leave Ohio State after serving out his final year. Instead of the lasting memory of the game-winner in the CFP semifinals, he will have to live with a missed shot that would have been difficult for most in his position; one that I would argue that Ruggles should never line up. first place (see: Marvin Harrison Jr. leaves with concussion, perfectly called timeout by Kirby Smartdefense gaps, etc.)

DÉJÀ VU. The 2019 Fiesta Bowl was too much for Ohio State fans at this year’s Peach Bowl, right? When you look at the small moments that affected the outcome of the game, you start to feel that it is.

I don’t want to create PTSD from the Buckeyes losing to the Tigers a few years ago. Still, it was the small moments murderer In that one too, so scroll down if you don’t want to relive these moments. Tuff Borland’s dropped shot, J. others all changed the outcome of the game.

Ohio State’s loss in the Peach Bowl was similar to that loss in the Fiesta Bowl in that it looked like Murphy’s Law was in full effect. Everything that could go wrong eventually did for Ohio State in Atlanta.

And it’s unpleasant. It’s heavy.

Maybe one of these years things will go right for Ohio State. One can hope, at least.

Stroud did his best to lead Ohio State to victory in the Peach Bowl. Unfortunately, his Herculean effort of 23-of-34 passing for 348 yards and four touchdowns, plus 12 carries for 36 yards, which included four sacks for -36 yards, did not lead to a victory.

I understood the criticism of Stroud as an Ohio State quarterback, mostly when it came to his willingness to run the football. But ultimately, he ran the ball on Saturday and looked tough as nails when he did. Also admirable was his reluctance to make big plays, like his two passes to Harrison.

In my Skull Sessions leading up to the game, I called for Stroud to be 10 feet tall and bulletproof against Georgia. He was. It’s too bad we won’t get to see him play in another Ohio State national championship. His performance deserved it, but the team’s didn’t, and that’s a shame.

As Stroud (probably) moves on to the NFL, I hope he has a great and prosperous career. His time at Ohio State as a player with a golden arm (or platinum arm or palladium arm) will show that this is bound to happen.

Thanks for everything, #7.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Something In The Way” by Nirvana.

CUT THE LINE. Happy new year! 2023 is celebrated around the world… 10 weirdest news of 2022… Woman mistakes Tasmanian devil for plush dog… toy… ‘Avatar’ sequel dominates box office again… Roberto Clemente remains Latino the legend 50 years after death.

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