Ohio State's defense had been laid to waste by Clemson in the 2014 Orange Bowl, the last in a series of lousy performances by the Buckeyes that caused a promising season to end with a thud.
Coach Urban Meyer had seen enough. He ordered defensive coordinator Luke Fickell to blow up everything and start anew.
"His mindset was: I want to be aggressive. I want to challenge, challenge, challenge," Fickell said Wednesday.
The result was a defense built around a scheme called press quarters, a zone coverage that cuts the field into four parts but plays a lot like man-to-man and relies heavily on defensive backs to win head-to-head matchups with receivers. Since...