Oklahoma quarterback Austin Kendall isn’t impressed with the complexity he’s seen on tape from Ohio State’s defense so far in 2016.
Kendall, the backup to Heisman contender Baker Mayfield, said Wednesday night on a Fox Sports show that Ohio State had a “basic” defense. Ohio State travels to Oklahoma in Week 3.
“I think they have a really basic defense,” he said. “I think we can go out there and, I mean, Baker, he’ll light them up. I’m really looking forward to it. If my number’s called, I think I can do the same.”
Allow us to pour some cold water on any “controversy” that stems from these remarks. Would Oklahoma have liked Kendall to not say what he said? Of course. There’s not much upside in comments like this.
But this is hardly a big deal. Do you want Kendall to say something bland about Ohio State being a tough opponent and whoever wants it more will win? Shouldn’t he be confident about his team’s chances every week?
Besides, there’s very likely to be some truth in his comments. Ohio State has played Bowling Green and Tulsa to open the 2016 season and entered the year needing to replace eight defensive starters.
With a combined margin of victory of 125-13 in those two games, there was no need for Ohio State to get fancy with schemes. The two games were an opportunity for new starters to get comfortable in their roles and with the speed of the game before a big game on the road vs. a College Football Playoff contender.
And not only did Ohio State not need to draw up some exotic defensive alignments and schemes to beat its first two opponents, it didn’t need to show its hand to Oklahoma, either. OSU can have the benefit of throwing some alignments and assignments at the Sooners that OU hasn’t seen in the first two weeks.
So there’s no need to overreact to what Kendall said; though you can bet he’ll be getting flak from Ohio State fans if the Buckeyes go into Norman and win on Saturday.
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