Gameday+ | Spotlight player: Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah
The first two career interceptions for Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah came in late September.
Okudah, who went through his first two seasons in college without any, intercepted two passes in consecutive weeks against Miami University and Nebraska. But they’ve been harder to come by since then. Teams aren’t eager to throw the ball in his direction.
Okudah has been targeted only 10 times in the past four games, allowing two completions, according to data collected by Pro Football Focus.
It’s an indication of tight coverage, though there are fewer opportunities for the junior to grab potential interceptions or break up passes, leaving him at least a little wistful.
“Selfishly, it's kind of frustrating,” Okudah said, “because you want to be able to be more involved in the game. But when you think about the grand scheme of things, what it does to offensive coordinators, how it limits their play-calling, I guess you have to buy into that.”
Over the first month of the season, according to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks targeted Okudah 24 times, and he allowed 15 completions.
The change in approach from teams prompted him to focus on other areas.
“For me, it's about playing good technique every single snap,” Okudah said, “lock in my assignment and being detailed, make sure that I do my job and don't try to do someone else's job.”
When he reviews his performance on game film, there are only so many plays on the ball to review.
Okudah is mostly left to reexamine his technique in pass coverage and other fundamentals.
“My biggest thing is just technique,” he said. “If I'm playing good technique, then I feel like they won't throw the ball my way regardless. So I got to be really critical of my technique and make sure my technique is on point.”