Ohio State coach Ryan Day says changes are coming to defense: 'We're going to look at everything'

By Bill Rabinowitz

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Changes are coming to Ohio State's defense.

The Buckeyes' defensive problems can no longer be dismissed as an aberration, especially after Oregon exposed many deficiencies in the Ducks' 35-28 victory on Saturday.

"(We're) giving up too many yards and too many points," coach Ryan Day said Monday. "That's the bottom line. Now it's not just a single game. It's a little bit of a pattern. We took a long, hard look the last 48 hours and certainly will make some adjustments."

Day was short on specifics of what will be different.

Asked if embattled Kerry Coombs remains the defensive coordinator, Day chuckled before replying, "Yes, he's still the defensive coordinator. But we're going to look at everything."

Day declined to say that Coombs will make the defensive calls Saturday against Tulsa, saying everything is being evaluated.

"I don't want to get into specifics," he said. "No hard decisions have been made."

Day said the past two days have been spent in intense meetings trying to dissect what has gone wrong and how to fix it.

"They're just honest," he said. "I wouldn't say they're uncomfortable. They're just real."

As for his discussions with Coombs specifically, Day said, "I'd rather not share the conversations. But we do look at the results over the last couple of games and then coming off the last year and it's not what we expect here. It's not our expectation."

Ohio State defense entered 2021 with question marks

The defense was expected to be an issue for the Buckeyes entering the season because of the lack of experience among linebackers and defensive backs. Ohio State's pass defense ranked 122th last year.

But its run defense, stout last year, has also faltered. Oregon averaged 7.1 yards per carry on Saturday. The front four had no sacks and only one tackle for loss.

"That is frustrating, for sure," Day said. "We have to create some disruption and affect the quarterback, and we didn't do that."

Ohio State dropped to ninth in the Associated Press poll after Saturday's defeat.

"This loss doesn't sit well at all," Day said. "We wanted to win this game and had it circled for a very long time."

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