Five things we learned from Michigan’s throttling of Ohio State in the second half

Things looked great for a while, but Ohio State shot itself in the foot far too often and fell apart in the second half. The result is a second straight embarrassing loss to the rival from up north, Michigan. The Wolverines put the throttle down in the second half and beat the Buckeyes, 45-23.

It’s the first loss of the season for Ohio State, but it’s a crucial one that will keep the Buckeyes out of Indianapolis and likely out of the College Football Playoff.

At the end of the day, a season in Columbus is measured by championships and wins against Michigan, and it’s now two straight years Ohio State and Ryan Day have failed to get that done.

We like to reflect upon what we saw each Ohio State football game, and here are five depressing and troubling things we saw in the game on Saturday — read at your own peril.

The defensive changes were a failed experiment this year

Ohio State football: Projecting the defensive depth chart, fall camp
Ohio State football: Projecting the defensive depth chart, fall camp

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles coaches during the spring football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on April 16, 2022. USA TODAY Sports

Why it Matters

Everything that happened prior to the game vs. Michigan was never going to matter. All of the offseason changers were about bringing the improvement on defense against the Wolverines.

After a game in which Ohio State gave up numerous big plays in the passing game in the first half, and then more on the ground in the second half, where do you go from here? It’ll be interesting to see what kind of moves are made this offseason — if any.

Ryan Day is in the pressure cooker now

Nov. 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day takes the field before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Why it Matters

Ryan Day is 45-5 at Ohio State. He has a Rose Bowl victory and two College Football Playoff appearances. That might be good at a lot of other places, but not in Columbus. He is 1-2 against Michigan with no national title and some embarrassing losses.

The big games matter most at Ohio State, and Ryan Day’s resume isn’t what it needs to be to feel comfortable in the coaching seat. It’s still a small sample size, and Ryan Day has done more than enough to have the confidence of Gene Smith and the administration, but the fan base is going to be all over him now.

 

Missed opportunities and mistakes

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Why it Matters

You wouldn’t know it by the final score, but Ohio State was the better team by far in the first half. However, there were several situations and mistakes that could have produced a two- or three-score game early.

Instead, the Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot far too often, didn’t cap drives with scores and had far too many penalties and mental mistakes to put the game away. OSU will watch film and be very disappointed and kicking itself after this one.

A turning point in the rivalry?

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Why it Matters

This rivalry has been earmarked by swings and runs on both sides throughout history. I hope this isn’t the case, but it definitely feels like a bit of a tide turning in this rivalry today. Ohio State was the tight team, and once the game stayed close and momentum started to turn, you felt the doubt creeping into everything for the Buckeyes.

Next year, Ohio State will have to travel to Ann Arbor with a new quarterback. You never know, but it feels like that’s going to be a tall order.

C.J. Stroud's Heisman campaign is officially dead

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Why it Matters

Not that this is the most important thing coming out of this game, but C.J. Stroud’s Heisman campaign is officially dead. Stroud didn’t play horribly, but he was outmatched and outplayed by J.J. McCarthy and couldn’t rally his team with all the eyeballs watching on national television.

It was a wide-open Heisman race as it was with little room for error, but there was an opportunity to potentially nail down the bronze statue in this one. Instead, Caleb Williams of USC is probably the one to beat now.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire