Tag Archives: Larry Johnson

Buckeyes looking to lock up Big Ten East division against Indiana

A return to the Big Ten Championship Game is in sight for Ohio State, but first the Buckeyes must dispatch Indiana at home this weekend.

Urban Meyer was happy to acknowledge this has been a big goal of the team since the end of last season, when they saw their national championship hopes snuffed out in Indianapolis by Michigan State.

The Buckeyes’ pass defense was their undoing at the end of last season, but that has looked much better under the direction of Chris Ash.

The run defense? Not so much.  Continue reading

New Buckeye defensive staff’s success could come down to matter of trust

So Ohio State finally confirmed the hiring of Chris Ash as safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator. Along with new defensive line coach and assistant head coach Larry Johnson, Ash completes Urban Meyer’s staff for 2014.

Now what?

After the two get off the road from recruiting, they will find a defense left in shambles at the end of last season, the last of three years of regression that followed a decade of stellar play.

Ohio State lines up against Indiana last November
Ohio State lines up against Indiana last November

Johnson has a reputation as an outstanding position coach, and he will find a group that performed well in a trial by fire this past season. The stout, fundamentally tough play he taught at Penn State could blend very nicely with the aggressive style outgoing coach Mike Vrabel instilled in the group.

Ash’s job figures to be much tougher, though he will have a nearly clean slate when he and holdover Kerry Coombs work to rebuild a secondary that gave up 268.0 yards per game last season, almost 25 more than a year earlier.  Continue reading