College Football Looks to Fundamentals to Combat a 2020 Hangover

More than one-third of Power 5 teams played eight games or fewer last season. Coaches are now preaching the basics more often than ever.

Coach Ryan Day of Ohio State is challenging his players -- and his coaches, too -- to reconsider their approach to fundamental football ahead of this season. Credit... Paul Vernon/Associated Press

Sept. 1, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The football coaches talked for days about the basics: how to carry the ball, how to handle a block, how to tackle. The men shared their deepest beliefs about the game as they dissected each position group.

The Ohio State off-season ended. This was the Ohio State that reached the title game last season. It had a lobby filled with 83 trophies, and a hallway dotted with more prizes and shrines that seems as long as a field. The Buckeyes had only played eight games last season and the coaches were beginning to worry about the infiltration of rusty and inexperienced athletes into their program.

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