The pressure of remaining on top after their 2014 national championship may have been too much for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Defensive lineman Joey Bosa felt that the expectations for the team affected players mentally until their 23-game winning streak came to an end with a loss to Michigan State on Nov. 21, reports ESPN’s Sam Khan Jr.
“It just seems like nothing you do is ever good enough unless you’re beating teams by 50 points,” Bosa said Wednesday. “You win by 20 and it was a bad week. That was definitely a struggle for us, because you never feel like you’re good enough. It's hard when your own fan base is getting after you for being, what, 10-0? And they still weren’t happy. We won  games in a row.”
Bosa says that the 17–14 loss to the Spartans was devastating for the team, taking a toll on players emotionally.
“You could just tell it was draining, that loss,” he said, “It killed a lot of us.”
It wasn’t until after the loss that the team was able to loosen up, says Bosa. They went on to defeat Michigan 42–13 the following week.
“We were able to get out there and just play the way we should have been all season,” Bosa said.
Bosa added that he is “happy” with where the team is now. “I think that loss brought some good adversity to our team and some needed adversity because we were getting maybe a little bit complacent. With the coaches and us, it brought us closer together and we’re going to finish out as strong as possible.”
The No. 7 Buckeyes are set to take on No. 8 Notre Dame in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.
- Xandria James