Saturday’s loss to Oregon was brutal. I needed a full day to emotionally recover, and thanks to the Chicago Bears yesterday, I will now be taking a full week off for personal reasons.
However, some folks on the internet seem really confused about what went down at the ‘Shoe this weekend and have decided to place the blame solely on the shoulders of C.J. Stroud. Let’s get one thing clear — did Stroud play a perfect game? No, of course not. But the expectation that a freshman would play perfectly two weeks into the season is absurd.
We are not placing the blame for that loss on the quarterback who threw for 484 yards (the second-most in a single game in school history), is batting 1.000 at Big Ten Freshman of the Week, and despite a few shaky moments, did a lot of the heavy lifting in Saturday’s game.
There were a lot of areas this game did not go according to plan, and we definitely need to see more rushing out of Stroud, but y’all need to seek professional help for some of these takes. And so, with that, I’d like to dissect some of the absolute worst takes on the internet.
1. Up first is this person who thinks Georgia’s Stetson Bennett is a better QB than Stroud, an absolutely baffling declaration.
lmao Stetson Bennett > CJ Stroud— KG (@itsOkayG2) September 13, 2021
Sure, Bennett threw for five touchdowns this weekend and Stroud only threw for three. But Bennett was playing the University of Alabama Birmingham, not exactly a ranked powerhouse team. This was a gimme game for them, and his 288 yards and five touchdowns is nothing compared to what Stroud did against a team as good as Oregon. Congrats on the win, bro, but if Stroud had been leading Georgia in this game, my guess is he puts up more than five touchdowns.
2. Then we have this lovely human, who thinks Stroud is responsible for the weak offense and two horrendous games and must be running City Council in Clown Town.
He is garbage and responsible for weak offense in the two horrendous games so far. All the missed passes and awful red zone play from him is inexcusable.— aintwoke (@aintwoke1) September 13, 2021
I will concede that Stroud’s completion percentage (currently 63.2 for the season, placing him at 62nd in the NCAA) could be higher, but I almost don’t care when you’re throwing for near-record yards. Not all of those incomplete passes are solely on Stroud, either. For example, our man Olave dropped what should have been an easy touchdown pass, yet no one is out here claiming that he’s a horrendous football player. This tweet is extra hilarious to me in that it’s replying to Stroud being named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, and after a loss no less. If the loss rested on his shoulders, I promise they wouldn’t have selected him. Also it’s laughable that anyone is trying to blame the offense for anything when the defense would have looked better if they’d sat down in the middle of the field and had a tea party. The secondary is non-existent. Coombs’ job is probably in question. But sure, go off about the ~oFfEnSe~ which is most definitely the main problem here.
3. If the last guy runs City Council in Clown Town, this person is most certainly the mayor of it.
Also, CJ Stroud is the worst starting QB for Ohio State since Steve Belisari, and maybe worse than that.— TRJ (@NecroDogma) September 13, 2021
To compare Stroud to Bellisari is mind-boggling. At its absolute highest, Bellisari’s completion rating was 60.0 percent. At the rate Stroud is going, he’ll have surpassed Bellisari’s season-long passing yardage by, like, week 4 or 5? Bellisari was an erratic player on and off the field, and Stroud isn’t showing signs of either of those things up to this point. Even in a world in which Stroud doesn’t live up to the legacy of a Braxton Miller or a Justin Fields, there are at least two QBs since Bellisari that Stroud is out-performing even at this point. I won’t name names because I’m not trying to drag other people down, but this take is ridiculous from start to finish.
4. If this person is not a bot built by a M*chigan fan, I would be shocked.
Unbelievable either fix CJ stroud or go back to being bullied it is ok though at least we still have the nathinol championship— ohio state football (@RoccoTa73626099) September 13, 2021
This tweet made me laugh out loud, and I’m absolutely taking the cheap shot here. We’re being bullied by first name bunchanumbers who called it the “nathinol” championship. Why anyone would want to take football advice from this account is beyond me, but I think if this person says we should fix Stroud, we should actually probably do the exact opposite and leave Stroud exactly as-is. I don’t think anyone is rushing to replace Ryan Day with this random twitter user.
5. And finally, this one that hit too close to home on many levels for me as both a Buckeye fan and a Bears fan.
Look Bears. I had to put up with CJ Stroud missing receivers for two straight weeks. If you aren’t going to use Justin Fields, give him back.— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) September 13, 2021
No, the Bears will not give Justin Fields back. We all knew Dalton was going to start the first few games. This isn’t some shocking revelation. Was Fields an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime talent at OSU? Yes absolutely. Should we give Stroud more than two (2) games to find his groove before we start calling for his replacement? Yes. Given that he wasn’t exactly putting up a poor showing, fans need to chill. I don’t understand this expectation that a freshman player with little experience throwing for near-record yardage and being 2-for-2 at Big Ten Freshman of the Week is somehow a second-rate QB.
Give Stroud a few weeks and I expect most of these people will be eating their words, singing his praises, and buying his jerseys. Until then, let’s remember that this week’s loss is not the fault of the guy putting up a pretty decent fight when his defensive counterparts couldn’t even be bothered to show up.