Ohio State cruised out to a 23-0 first quarter lead over visiting Buffalo, but seemed to lose focus over the remainder of the game. Below are some areas that I am believing need to be addressed for Ohio State to maintain its national championship goal for the 2013 season.
- Poor tackling, especially by members of the secondary. Tackling high meant not only broken tackles, but missed tackles in several instances.
- Muffed and juggled punts. Corey "Philly" Brown needs to fix that to avoid any turnovers.
- Lack of defensive pressure. Noah Spence had a sack that was nullified due to the penalty on Curtis Grant. Pressure was better later in the game, but it seemed to be lacking at the onset.
- Both Taylor Decker and Jack Mewhort struggled with pass protection. Yes, Khalil Mack is a tremendous player, but they seemed to struggle against other members of Buffalo's defense.
- Why weren't Warren Ball and Ezekiel Elliott used more? Where was Bri'onte Dunn? Ohio State sure could have used a strong physical running attack later in the game to control the clock.
- Why was Braxton Miller in the game at the end of the game? If anything, with Miller's cramping issues, it would have made sense to give Kenny Guiton even more playing time.
- Why were Ohio State's players cramping, while Buffalo had no cramping issues? That was very puzzling to watch. Yes, I know how hot and muggy it was - it was hot and muggy for both teams, not just one.
- Lastly, and maybe this is just my pet peeve...enough with the whole "scarlet and gray section" concept. Ohio State has tried to get fans to do this for the last two years, to no success. People are going to wear their scarlet shirts or jerseys, no matter which section they are assigned.
Yes, victory always tastes better than defeat. It is also possible for Ohio State to learn and grow from a victory.
There is an old coaching adage that a team improves the most from its first game to its second game. With a likely poll drop, due to the somewhat lackluster performance, and with San Diego State coming to town, improvement in the second game will certainly be needed as the season progresses.