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Fixing defensive issues is top priority for Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State’s defense is not accustomed to being in the middle of the pack nationally, but that is exactly where the Buckeyes stand through three games.

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, shown during Saturday’s postgame press conference, said Monday that he has not been around a defense that has given up as many big plays as the Buckeyes have during their first three games. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

The Buckeyes, who gave up over 500 yards to California in a narrow 35-28 win Saturday, currently rank 66th out of 120 FBS teams in total defense. Ohio State is allowing 392 yards per game despite its 3-0 start.

What hurt Ohio State the most in the Cal game was a lack of sound tackling. On many of Cal’s big running plays, there were Buckeyes in the area but they failed to bring down the ball carrier.

“I know we tackle more than anybody (in practice), but obviously it’s not getting the job done so we have to tackle more,” said Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer during his weekly press conference Monday. “Instead of one day a week, we’ll probably have to go two now. It’s all about fundamentals and technique.

“I can’t remember a defense I’ve been around that has given up this many big plays. That’s got to stop, or we’ll lose a game.”

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