Ohio State Buckeyes 2013 College Football Preview
2012 Record: 12-0 (8-0) Big Ten
The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off a perfect season in 2012, going 12-0 overall and 8-0 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes obviously had a great season, but OSU was not as strong as their record might suggest. Ohio State took advantage of a very weak Big Ten field, and getting to play their first four games of the season at home definitely didn‘t hurt either.
The Buckeyes still have one of the top offenses in the Big Ten, and should be able to put up plenty of points, but this season should hinge on their defense. The Buckeyes gave up a lot of points last season, which is very uncharacteristic of a proud OSU defense. Look for the Buckeyes to shore up their defensive efforts against the spread offenses of the Big Ten, the style of play that gave OSU the most fits last year.
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You can’t talk about the Buckeyes without talking about their starting QB, Braxton Miller. Miller is the returning passing and rushing leader for the Buckeyes from a season ago, and looks to start this year off as a serious Heisman frontrunner. Miller rushed for over 1,200 yards and 13 scores last season, and while I’m sure Meyer would love to see those numbers go down and take some pressure of the kid’s legs, the other backs will have to step up their game to allow that to happen. Carlos Hyde looks to have a solid year out of the backfield, but the guy I'm excited to see this season is Jordan Hall. Hall will more than likely be the “utility” guy in Meyer’s offense and should see a lot of touches, both out of the backfield and as a receiver.
Next to a solid QB, having a strong offensive line is one of the biggest keys to success in football, and the Buckeyes have that covered. OSU returns four starters from a year ago, with the only likely newcomer being Taylor Decker at tackle.
The one problem this team had last season was, surprisingly enough, their defense. The Buckeyes gave up a lot of points last season, mostly to teams that run the spread offense, and were able to confuse and outrun the Buckeyes to the edges.
This year’s squad looks to be quicker and you can bet will be more prepared for some of the unique offenses they will come across this season. Roby is a stud at the corner position, and will play a huge role, but watch for LB Ryan Shazier. Shazier is one of the top players in the nation at his position and will be a force to be reckoned with once again.
Look for the Buckeyes to shore up their defensive problems from a season ago, and once again should have one of the best stop units in the Conference.
It will be tough for this team to run the table again this season, that just doesn’t happen much in back to back campaigns. Looking through the OSU schedule, however, things do look very favorable.
The Buckeyes have four of their first give games at home this season, including a meeting against the Badgers in late September for their Big Ten opener. OSU does travel to Cal, which could be tricky, and a trip to Northwestern immediately after the Badgers also looks like a possible slip-up spot.
That being said, this OSU team should be favored in every game they play this year, and unless they shoot themselves in the foot, the Buckeyes could very well be playing for a National Title once again.