Perennial powerhouse Ohio State is not accustomed to losing games during the regular season. The Buckeyes especially aren't used to losing in September to two-touchdown underdogs, which happened last week.
So how will the Buckeyes, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 9 in the AP Top 25, respond?
“I know no one is used to losing or anything like that but, you know, we've just got to move on, make corrections,” coach Ryan Day said Tuesday.
“The sun came up, and we're going to go from there. It's nothing that different guys haven't felt before.”
Before major defensive lapses led to Saturday's 35-28 loss to Oregon, Ohio State hadn't let a regular-season game slip away since 2018, and hadn't lost one at home since 2017.
“You find out a lot about a lot of people when adversity hits,” Day said. “You find out about their true character.”
As Day noted after the game, one loss isn't fatal to Ohio State's bid to make the College Football Playoff, but it makes it a little harder and more complicated.
Take 2018, when the No. 2 Buckeyes lost to unranked Purdue in October. They won the rest and the Big Ten title but were outside looking in when playoff selections were announced.
Issues with the Buckeyes defense must be cleaned up fast. The offense has to get more balanced. Schemes will be dissected, personnel evaluated and assistant coaches upbraided.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the next two weeks bring Tulsa and Akron to Columbus for tune-up games. Blowout wins – Tulsa is a 27-point underdog Saturday – probably aren't going to impress poll voters.
Ohio State resumes Big Ten play at Rutgers on Oct. 2.
Fifth-year defensive tackle Haskell Garrett insisted that all the Buckeyes' goals are still attainable, noting that Ohio State's 2014 team lost to Virginia Tech at home in Week 2 but rebounded to run the table and win the national championship.
“We're going to get on the film, make the proper corrections, we're going to put it behind us and then go play the next game,” Garrett said. “It is what it is. They did it in '14. We can do it in 2021.”