COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A year ago, Ohio State's coaches were driven to distraction by defenders unable to wrap up and make a stop in the open field.
The Buckeyes were victimized again and again for big gains after failing to make an early tackle.
Even though the fourth-ranked Buckeyes still aren't perfect in that regard, they feel they've made remarkable improvement from 2012.
The coaching staff determined that the Buckeyes missed 16 tackles last Saturday at California - the goal is a single-digit total. Yet it's hard to argue with a 52-34 win, forcing two turnovers and a 3-0 record.
By most measures - except maybe the missed-tackles tote board - the defense has more than met expectations this year while replacing seven starters, including all four linemen.