Ohio State offense eager for the rematch

COLUMBUS — The usual storyline about Virginia Tech’s 35-21 win over Ohio State last year is that OSU’s offensive line had a massive letdown when it allowed seven sacks.

But Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, who is also the offensive line coach, says there is more to the story.

“Our entire team and coaching staff didn’t perform very well, with team meaning the offensive team,” Warinner said earlier this week.

“We left plays on the field at every position. There were things the offensive line obviously needed to do better. There were things at quarterback that we could have executed better. There were things at wide receiver we could have done better,” Warinner said.

Quarterback J.T. Barrett was 9 of 29 and was intercepted three times. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for only 32 yards. And OSU’s coaches admit they didn’t adjust to Virginia Tech’s defensive game plan.

While Warinner was reluctant to point a finger at Ohio State’s defense, that unit also came up short in important situations.

Virginia Tech made first downs seven times when it faced situations of third down and five yards or longer to go. It made first downs twice when it was third and nine and once when it faced third and 17.

Maybe the most costly failure to come up with a stop was early in the fourth quarter when OSU allowed a first down on third and 7 just after tying the game 21-21.

Head coach Urban Meyer said OSU was unprepared for Virginia Tech’s “Bear” defense, which put seven or eight players close to the line of scrimmage.

“They got us. We had so much focus on Navy and all these new players last year and we did not do a good job preparing our team,” Meyer said on his weekly radio show. “That was the first time in 13 or 14 years (of being a head coach) I’ve felt that way after a game.”


NOT A PROBLEM: Also on his radio show, Meyer said he disagrees when people tell him he has a problem because he has to choose between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones as OSU’s starting quarterback.

“No, no. It’s when the quarterback stinks that you’ve got a problem. Ours are really good,” he said.

LATTIMORE HURT AGAIN: Redshirt freshman cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who missed all of last season because of hamstring surgery, has had a second setback this summer and probably won’t be available until later this season, Meyer said.

Lattimore was rated one of the top 50 recruits nationally in the 2014 recruiting class.

REMEMBERING SHOOTING VICTIMS: Ohio State will join Virginia Tech in wearing helmet stickers in memory of Roanoke (Va.) television station WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who were murdered during a live report on the station’s morning news show on Aug. 26.

By Jim Naveau

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Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.

Jim Naveau
Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.