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What They’re Saying Following Ohio State’s Loss To Oregon

Local and national pundits react to the Buckeyes’ 35-28 loss to the Ducks in the home opener.

Ohio State suffered its first home loss since 2017 on Saturday when Oregon came to Columbus and walked away with a 35-28 win.

The Buckeyes trailed for much of the game but had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes before quarterback C.J. Stroud was sacked as time ran out.

With that said, local and national college football analysts shared some of their thoughts on the game, and BuckeyesNow has compiled some of the best reactions below:

Ralph Russo, Associated Press

Ryan Day had not yet lost a regular-season game as Ohio State’s coach. He now gets a taste of what that’s like in Columbus. Talk radio will not be kind to Buckeyes defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs.

“Day will probably take same heat for abandoning the running game and maybe for some of his fourth-down decisions and play-calling. The Buckeyes put the game on first-year starting quarterback C.J. Stroud and he delivered 484 yards passing, the second-best mark in school history, and three touchdowns. He was also sailed one high late in the fourth quarter that was picked off, essentially sealing a uniquely important victory for Oregon, coach Mario Cristobal and the conference.

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports

“Whether it's arrogance or a lack of ideas, the Ohio State defense hasn't shown much imagination through two games. It looks like a unit used to showing up to a game and being more talented than its opponent, so it doesn't feel the need to get creative. Just snap the ball, and we'll beat our guy and make plays.

“Well, on Saturday, the Buckeyes defense went against an offense with plenty of speed and talent of its own, and it looked overmatched. The Buckeyes possess some of the most talented pass-rushers and defensive linemen in the nation, yet they managed only one tackle for loss on Saturday. The Ducks rushed for 7.1 yards per carry, getting seemingly every yard they wanted.

“Ohio State stayed in its base defense and mainly played man coverage; Oregon was more than happy to keep running the same set of plays repeatedly until the Buckeyes proved they could stop it. By the time Ohio State adjusted and got those stops, it was too late.

“Kerry Coombs took over defensive coordinator duties from Jeff Hafley last season, and the Buckeyes struggled to get sacks on opponents. That trend has continued through two games this season. Perhaps it's time Coombs and the Ohio State defense figure out ways to bring pressure instead of just thinking they can do the job just by lining up.”

Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports

“This loss wasn't the 49-20 debacle against Purdue in 2018, or even the sluggish 17-14 loss in 2015 to Michigan State.

In other words, No. 3 Ohio State's 35-28 loss at home to No. 11 “Oregon wasn't an utter failure in effort or execution but a statement on the Ducks' development into one of the early favorites for the College Football Playoff. 

“The questions stemming from this loss instead revolve around where the Buckeyes go from here, and specifically whether this team is capable of bouncing back from a rare early-season failure to meet the preseason expectations heaped on one of the most dominant programs in the sport.”

Bill Bender, Sporting News

“Ohio State's identity typically revolves around the defensive line, and through two games the unit has managed just two sacks. The Buckeyes had just one tackle for a loss against the Ducks, and that heat now transfers to Coombs. That could be of the hot-seat variety if it doesn't get fixed.

“Coombs was a beloved defensive backs coach under former coach Urban Meyer, and he returned to Ohio State after a two-year stint with the Tennessee Titans. Last year's 52-24 loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game started the criticisms, which have been reinforced the last two weeks.

“A three-week stretch against Tulsa, Akron and Rutgers, led by former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, will be a telling get-well period for the Buckeyes before Big Ten East play ramps up against the contenders.

“Ohio State hasn't lost a Big Ten conference game under Day either. If that happens, and the defense is at fault, then that heat will turn up in Columbus. That is a feeling Day will want to hold off as long as possible.”

Heather Dinich, ESPN

“Coach Ryan Day said, ‘We have to get things fixed,’ and with back-to-back games against Tulsa and Akron to finish September, the Buckeyes have a window to do it.

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“After surrendering 66 points in the past two games -- the most they've allowed in a two-game span -- the defense has to be the priority. There are still opportunities to impress the selection committee with wins against ranked opponents, but it won't happen if the Buckeyes can't find a way to stop the run, win the turnover battle and cut down on costly penalties.”

Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN

“Wow! What a game in Columbus. Oregon deserves all the credit. Came 2,450 miles and were really well prepared. Mario, Joe Moorhead and staff had ‘em ready to play. Players played with a chip. And quarterback Anthony Brown was outstanding with his decision making. Congrats Ducks!”

Skip Bayless, FOX Sports

“It just wasn't Ryan's day. Oregon went into Columbus without its first Pick in the draft and knocked the THE from the front of Ohio State's name. The Shoe was on the other foot. Today it was the Oregon Duckeyes. The visitors exposed OSU's D, won it fair and square.”

RJ Young, FOX Sports

“You know what we’ve learned about Oregon at Ohio State? Fresno State is a damn good football team.”

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Kerry Coombs Takes Responsibility For Ohio State's Defensive Struggles In Loss

Oregon Carves Up Buckeye Defense In Shootout to Upset No. 3 Ohio State

Game Observations: Ohio State Defense Struggles vs. Oregon

Game Observations: Ohio State Offense Thrives In Loss to Oregon

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