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Skull Session: Ohio State’s Defense Still Needs Work, Noah Ruggles Was Failed Before His Kick Sailed and C.J. Stroud Shined Bright in Atlanta

               And the 2022 season is over.                </p><div><p>



Every soul in the Buckeye Nation felt the same emotion at the same time after Ohio State lost 42-41 to Georgia in Saturday's Peach Bowl.
Let's talk about it.






Before that, of course, I have to say this: Have a nice Monday?



<span class="icon-ohio"> </span><strong>We still have work to do. </strong>Looking back, I have no idea how Ohio State made it to the college football playoffs on defense this season. That side of the ball has looked sturdy for most of the season, but Maryland, Michigan and Georgia have proven that the mad scientists still have a lot to do in Columbus.






On Saturday, the Bulldogs delivered the final blow of a three-piece combo to Knowles & Co as the Buckeyes allowed Georgia 42 points and 533 total yards.
explosive play <em><strong>killer</strong></em>  Bennett completed 11 passes of 15-plus yards and UGA amassed 10 plays of 20-plus yards, making it to Ohio State again. None of these plays cost more than Ariane Smith's 76-yard touchdown catch-and-run, which was made after Lathan Ransom tripped and fell to the turf in one-on-one coverage.
A ransom trip would not have been detrimental under normal circumstances, but Knowles' attack cost Ohio State just as it did against Michigan. Zero His coverage call left him with no safety to help Ransom come out on top, with Smith's score wide open to cut Ohio State's lead to his 38–35, and he had 8 left in the 4th quarter. It's now :41.






That kind of call from Knowles - zero coverage and another touchdown (?) followed by 11 points up in team favor - lack of execution from the Buckeyes is concerning.






Smith's touchdown-like plays were all too common in the last two games. Ohio State allowed Michigan and Georgia to set program records for his average yards per play. for the bulldog. And then there's this:
<em>Woof</em>.






The Ohio State defense failed to live up to the high expectations of Ryan Day, Knowles and even Terraja "T-Raw" Mitchell in the preseason. It was a top 10 defense, a top 5 defense, and a top ranked defense.
None of those happened. Perhaps they'll have another year under Knowles in 2023, the expected development of Ohio State's young talent.



<span class="icon-ohio"> </span><strong>Failed before departure.</strong> With a trip to the national championship looming, Noah Ruggles' game-winning field goal attempt from 50 yards failed, and it failed really, really badly.

Acting unknowingly during his two years as Buckeye, Ruggles failed to become a hero and take the team to the Promised Land. Like most kickers who miss game winners, Ruggles could take most of the blame from those who saw his kick spread to the left.

But he doesn’t deserve to be held responsible for the Buckeyes’ losses — certainly not all of them.

Yes, Ruggles should be expected to convert given the opportunity. However, Day was not always able to pull off his questionable play call to the end.

After a 27-yard scramble from CJ Stroud who put the ball at Georgia 31, Day opted to run Darlan Hayden on the first and 10, facilitating Ruggles’ field goal attempt. That decision backfired as Hayden’s carry backed off and lost a yard, putting the Buckeyes behind Ruggles’ target line.

“Two timeouts to go. They were zero, so one split and I could get out in the back end. If I had a few yards there, it would add to the field goal. That was the idea.” Day spoke of the post-game call. Press conference. “It didn’t run as well as we had hoped, but I didn’t change the call.”

“Okay, okay,” added Stroud, who was sitting next to Day at the presser.

Day passed the ball into Stroud’s hands on second and third downs. The quarterback’s first try was for Xavier Johnson, but it fell through. Facing the fourth and long sides, Ruggles trotted across the field.

As the clock struck midnight and the calendar changed from 2022 to 2023, he got in line. But, as I often do with his 4-iron on long par-3s, Ruggles is trying to smash the football instead of hitting it like he normally would, presumably to ensure he has enough foot. It looked like The result was a wide kick to the left.

The season is over and the Ruggles are set to leave Ohio after exhausting their final year of eligibility. Instead of a lasting memory of the winner in the CFP semi-final, he has to live with missing kicks. Timeout completely called by Kirby Smartdefensive blunders, etc.)

<span class="icon-ohio"> </span><strong>Déjà vu. </strong>This year's Peach Bowl had plenty of 2019 Fiesta Bowls for Ohio fans. You start to feel that way when you see the small moments that influenced the outcome of the game.

I don’t want to create PTSD from the Buckeyes loss a few years ago to the Tigers game.Yet small moments killer Among them, scroll down if you don’t want to relive these moments: Tuff Borland’s interception drop, JK Dobbins’ drop touchdown catch, Dobbins’ ankle sprain, Sean Wade’s ejection, Others, such as an overturned scoop and score, all changed the outcome of the game.

Ohio State’s loss in the Peach Bowl is similar to its loss in the Fiesta Bowl in that it felt like Murphy’s Law. In Atlanta Ohio, everything that could have gone wrong eventually went wrong.

And it sucks. It is tough.

Maybe one of these years everything will be fine at Ohio State. At least we can hope.

Stroud did everything he could to help Ohio State win the Peach Bowl. Unfortunately, his superhuman effort (he passed 23 of 34 for 348 yards, 4 touchdowns, his 12 carries for 36 yards, 4 sacks for -36 yards) led to the win. did not.

I understand some of the criticism of Stroud as a quarterback at Ohio State. It was mostly about his willingness to run football. But admirably, he ran the ball on Saturday and looked tough as nails when he ran. His elusiveness in the pocket to set up big plays was also admirable, like two touchdown passes to Harrison.






In my scull session leading up to the game, I asked Stroud to be 10 feet tall and bulletproof against Georgia. there was him It's a shame we won't get to see him make it to Ohio State at the U.S. Championships.






We wish Stroud the best of luck for a wonderful and prosperous career as he moves (probably) to the NFL. His time with the Golden Arm (or Platinum Arm or Palladium Arm) at Ohio State shows that it is bound to happen.






Thank you as always, No.7.
<span class="icon-ohio"> </span><strong>song of the day.</strong> "Something in the Way" by Nirvana.







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