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Sports Spotlight Miami Week: DT Robert Landers, who has been at Ohio State a long, long time in his own words, is enjoying the new defense


Robert BB Landers OSU DT Miami Week Talking defense & Mental Health Awareness 9 17 2019


Robert Landers, another standout player for the Buckeyes out of Huber Heights Wayne, says the defense still has much more work to do ( photo)

Coming into this season, no one, fans, media or probably even the staff at Ohio State knew if the defense could get any better than last year. Because, quite frankly, some of the same players would be back minus only DT Dre’mont Jones and CB Kendall Sheffield who went to the NFL.

So new head coach Ryan Day pulled a coup that no one could ever expect. He knew he had to shake up the defensive coaching staff minus DL coach Larry Johnson. So he pulled the unthinkable, raiding OSU’s arch-rival Michigan Wolverines of two of their top coaches in Greg Mattison, defensive line and Al Washington, linebackers. He also brought in Jeff Hafley from the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers to form a formidable coaching staff on the defense with new schemes and ideas.

So with those new ideas to go along with holdover Johnson, the defense has improved even if it has been three games against Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Indiana. All three can put up points on the board at anytime. But not against the Buckeyes. Those teams had no clue how to solve the new defense for four quarters.

The Buckeyes defense has allowed just 171 yards rushing the first three games, a 16-year low.

One of the mainstays of the defense has been Robert Landers at DT. The 6’1, 285 pound senior is the most veteran members of the defensive line with 40 games played. He led all defensive lineman in tackles for loss per play the past two years.

This year he graded out a champion in two games thus far. Against FAU, he combined for a half sack. Last week at Indiana, he had three QB hurries. He too, has improved in the new scheme as has all of the returnees on that side of the ball.