5 Stars: The best and worst of Ohio State’s crushing loss to Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

This is going to be a long eight months plus until Ohio State gets back on the football field to get rid the bitter taste in our mouths.

Georgia mounted the biggest comeback in College Football Playoff history, winning the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, 42-41, in dramatic fashion.

It was a crushing blow for an Ohio State team that was told for a month that it back-doored its way in and didn’t deserve to be there. The Buckeyes didn’t win the game, but I think they still proved a lot even with a loss.

There were some good things (five stars) and bad (one star) during Saturday’s tough loss for to Buckeyes. We break it down.

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5 ⭐️ - C.J. Stroud

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I think Stroud heard all of the talk about his toughness. He was fantastic for the Buckeyes all night. He moved in the pocket like NFL quarterbacks while finding open receivers. It was [autotag]Marvin Harrison Jr.[/autotag] early, then Stroud started to look other ways when the coverage shifted over our All-American before an injury forced him out.

[autotag]Emeka Egbuka[/autotag] joined Harrison Jr. in going over 100 yards and Stroud threw for 348 yards and four scores. Not only that, but what many of us wanted to see, was Stroud using his legs. He’ll never be confused for [autotag]Justin Fields[/autotag], but all he needed to be was a threat. The box score will not show it but Stroud’s 34 yards were on some big scrambles in the fourth quarter and moved the Buckeyes into field goal range late. Stroud showed everyone that he was one of the best in college this year and should be a top pick in the NFL draft.

4 ⭐️ - Ryan Day’s aggressiveness

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I love it. It seemed like Day called plays scared against our rivals, but there was none of that today. Going for it early on fourth-and-1, not just letting the clock bleed out and scoring before the half. He continued being aggressive with the offense in the second half. There was another failed attempt at a fake punt: Georgia saw it and called a timeout. That was good coaching from Smart. Day made the moves when he had the opportunity. Now, about the play calls at the end …

3 ⭐️ - Ryan Day’s play-calling

Dec. 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leads his team in warm-ups prior to the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

This team is a great passing team, but it doesn’t bring the same intensity on the ground. Dallan Hayden played well, but didn’t get many carries in the second half. Xavier Johnson did. Miyan Williams tried to go, but what looked like an ankle injury held him back. The Buckeyes threw for 348 yards and ran for 119 yards and scored 41 points. For three quarters it was great, but they couldn’t do much late, which leads us to….

2 ⭐️ - The fourth quarter offense

Dec. 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day looks on against the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After Ohio State scored its fifth touchdown early in the third quarter, it seemed the Bulldogs wouldn’t be able to stop the Buckeyes. That wasn’t the case. That touchdown was their last. Ohio State produced just two field goals the rest of the game. The Buckeyes put up points but not quite enough. despite having an urgency to find the end zone. Not scoring touchdowns late hurt.

⭐️ - The defense

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This was bad — really bad. It looked like the same game plan that we used against our rivals. It obviously didn’t work. With similar personnel, Georgia is the version of Michigan in the SEC. The offense uses the run to open the pass, and it was clear that’s what Georgia wanted to do. A few big runs in the first half allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett took over in the second half, specifically in the fourth quarter because the Buckeyes couldn’t generate the pressure they had in the first half. The defense wore down. Now that we have seen the last three losses be exactly the same, it’s a trend that needs to be fixed. If Ohio State can keep teams around the 28-point range, it’s going to win a lot of games, but 42 just doesn’t cut it.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire