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Ohio State’s Goals Of Winning Big Ten, Reaching College Football Playoff Remain Intact Despite Loss To Oregon

The Buckeyes were in a similar position following a home loss to Virginia Tech in 2014.

Seven years ago, Ohio State began the season with a hard-fought win against Navy in Baltimore before dropping its home opener to Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes then rattled off 13 straight wins after that to capture the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.

While addressing his teammates following Saturday’s 35-28 loss to Oregon, fifth-year senior defensive tackle and team captain Haskell Garrett pointed to that improbable run and reminded them that their goals of winning their fifth straight Big Ten title and reaching their third consecutive College Football Playoff remain intact.

“We got a long season. This ain’t COVID anymore,” Garrett said during his postgame press conference. “Our main objective is still there. We need to get to Indy. It’s a non-conference game. We’re going to take this as a lesson, we’re going to get on the film and nobody should be hanging their heads low. Hang your heads high.

“All this is is a lesson. We need to get on the film tomorrow, make the proper corrections, put it behind us and then go play the next game. It is what it is. They did it in ’14. We can do it in 2021.”

In order for the Buckeyes to repeat that feat, they must improve defensively.

That starts with defensive coordinator Kerry Coombswho said he accepts full responsibility for the unit’s struggles. But senior linebacker Teradja Mitchell said it falls on him as a team captain, too.

“I feel like I have a huge responsibility,” Mitchell said. “Guys look up to me, so I just have to do my part in keeping us together and understand that we have a lot of work to do. That’s something that we’re looking forward to, and we’re ready to get back to practice tomorrow to fix the mistakes.”

With Oregon now in the rearview mirror, Ohio State has tune-up games against Tulsa and Akron before resuming Big Ten play with a trip to Rutgers. 

“We have to learn from this,” head coach Ryan Day said. “We have to grow from this. We still have a lot of football left, and get on the film and figure out where the execution issues were and get them fixed.”

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