Ohio State defense will be much better this fall with Alex Grinch

Ohio State defense will be much better this fall with Alex Grinch

Terry Johnson

Ohio State defense will be much better this fall with Alex Grinch


There are rumors circulating that Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano may be headed to the NFL. No matter what happens, the Ohio State defense is in good hands with the hiring of Alex Grinch from Washington State.


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The Ohio State Defense Will Be Much Better With Alex Grinch This Fall

It doesn’t matter if Greg Schiano stays on as defensive coordinator or bolts for the NFL, the Buckeye defense will be much better this fall with the addition of Alex Grinch.

Don’t get me wrong: Ohio State’s pass defense wasn’t exactly awful in 2017. The Buckeye secondary held six opponents to fewer than 150 yards passing, including conference foes Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, and Michigan State. It also did a great job of not giving up big plays, allowing only 12 completions longer than 30 yards. More impressively, the secondary limited its opponents to a paltry 6.1 yards per attempt – the 10th best total in the nation.

Although the Buckeyes posted solid numbers for the year, they did struggle at times against the pass. In two losses, Ohio State allowed its opponents to complete 71.6% of their passes for an average of 315 yards per game with an 8/0 TD-to-INT ratio.

It’s tough to win national championships with numbers like that, which is why Urban Meyer brought Grinch to Columbus. Yes, his secondaries might give up some yardage from time-to-time, but they come up with big plays when needed. As the defensive backs coach at Missouri, Grinch’s secondary picked off 32 passes from 2013-14, guiding the Tigers to back-to-back berths in the SEC Championship game. He had similar success at Washington State as the defensive coordinator, generating 75 turnovers in three seasons after inheriting a squad that produced just seven in 2014.

That, my friends, is just what the doctor ordered for the Ohio State D, especially in the secondary. Remember, the Buckeyes won the national championship in 2014 in large part due to an active secondary that intercepted 25 passes, including three crucial ones against Alabama in the opening round of the College Football Playoff. If the Buckeyes are going to make it back, it’s imperative that they force more turnovers than they did last season, especially against top competition.

As noted above, Grinch’s aggressive schemes have had no trouble generating takeaways in the past. Regardless of whether he’s calling the shots as the defensive coordinator or just focusing on the secondary, there’s no reason to think that Ohio State won’t produce a lot more turnovers in 2018. If that happens, it’s quite possible that the Buckeyes will add another crystal football to their already crowded trophy case.

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