C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes were punched in the mouth when they hosted Oregon in Week 2 of the 2021 college football season. History repeated itself later on in the season when the Michigan Wolverines bullied Ohio State in the trenches.
It was a valuable learning lesson for Stroud, who made a couple of costly errors in both of Ohio State's 2021 losses. And while he gives credit to the Ducks and Wolverines for their victories last year, he's well aware Ohio State beat itself on both occassions.
"Kudos to those teams, they beat us fair and square, but I feel like we beat ourselves at the same time," said Stroud.
There's some truth to that statement, but the reality is the Ohio State defense just wasn't very good last season. Scheme was an issue, but so was physicality. The Buckeyes just weren't as tough as they usually are in the trenches.
The good news is Ohio State went out and hired a new defensive coordinator and key defensive players will be more experienced this fall.
As for Stroud, he's expected to lead an explosive Ohio State offense to big things this upcoming season.