COLUMBUS – Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has a simple solution to eliminate the problem his team has had with giving up too many big plays.
Tackle somebody. Just tackle somebody, Meyer said on the Big Ten football coaches teleconference on Tuesday.
“On defense — too many big plays, and that’s just obvious,” Meyer said. “Get aligned and get the guy down. If he makes it to the second level, get him down. That’s the biggest issue on defense is eliminate the big plays and if it does break, get him on the ground.”
Ohio State (3-0) allowed a 93-yard touchdown run by TCU and touchdown runs of 80 yards and 78 yards by Oregon State. It also had surrendered eight pass plays of 25 yards or more in its games against TCU and Oregon State.
In comparison, the three longest plays in the Buckeyes’ first three games last year were a 42-yard run by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, a 37-yard run by Army running back Andy Davidson and a 28-yard pass from Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow to wide receiver Simmie Cobbs.
Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones said it is just a few small things on the defense that need fixed, but added that those small things could have big consequences.
“We have to find a way to fix those little issues because eventually those little issues become bigger and we end up losing,” Jones said after practice on Tuesday.
Safety Jordan Fuller said, “That’s definitely not our standard so we’re doing everything we can to erase those (long runs). We have a really aggressive defense so sometimes we’re going to mess up and a ball will pop. But we’ve got to get those runs on the ground, obviously.
“It’s a combination of things, it’s not just one thing,” he said.
He defended the players playing the other safety position across from him.
“I don’t like people saying, ‘Oh, Isaiah (Pryor) should have gotten him there,’ or ‘Oh, Jahsen (Wint) should have gotten him.’ It’s all 11 guys,” he said.
The two biggest offensive plays for Tulane (1-2) this season have been a 74-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Jonathan Bankas in a 23-17 overtime loss to Wake Forest in the season opener and a 69-yard run by running back Corey Dauphine in a 42-17 win over Nicholls.