GLENDALE, Ariz. — It doesn’t get much uglier than that for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes crashed out of the College Football Playoff with a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Virtually nothing went right for Ohio State all night. Every unit of the team struggled at some point, if not for the whole game.
Here’s how Ohio State graded out, on a scale of zero stars to five. You can vote with us, as well, so click on the tabs as you go along.
Here we go:
Offense (0 stars)
One star for every point!
Defense (3 stars)
The score doesn’t reflect it, but the Silver Bullets played out of their minds for much of the game. Ohio State’s offense only held the ball for 22:47 out of 60 minutes, a pretty outrageous number. In addition to the lack of rest, the defense inherited some tough spots. The Buckeyes made two interceptions and gave their offense every chance to get on the board. Each time, they were let down and sent back out there to try to fix things.
I could also see a case for 2 stars because of the sheer production of the Clemson offense. However, I attribute a decent chunk of that to circumstances beyond the defense’s control (fatigue, starting field position, etc.)
Special teams (1 star)
I’m not entirely sure they deserve even the one star because the successes had zero impact on the game, but let’s do it. Cam Johnston punted seven times for a 49.7 average in his Ohio State finale. Additionally, Parris Campbell ran back three kickoffs for a combined 105 yards. However, kicker Tyler Durbin missed a pair of 47-yard field goals. That’s what counts.
Coaching (0 stars)
I left University of Phoenix Stadium thinking at least one person will get fired for this game, if that’s any indication of how the coaching staff did. The play calling was head-scratching, the execution wasn’t great and Clemson looked more prepared. The way Urban Meyer talked after the game, it seems like something has to change.
“We will become a good passing team, we will,” Meyer said. “Next year.”
On top of that, he repeatedly referred to the overall performance by adding, “That’s not going to happen again.”
Overall (0 stars)
The four above scores obviously don’t average out to zero stars, but I don’t care. This was a zero-star performance as a team. It was an embarrassment for the program. To score zero points in a game with this roster is an almost unfathomable collective failure. However, it happened — and on the biggest stage in the sport.
The only good Ohio State fans can take from this game is the changes it will force Meyer to make. The tape will be burned, pictures will be deleted, souvenirs will be trashed. As far as both players and fans are concerned, this game will no longer exist. How can that get even a single star?