College Football Preview: The 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes Preview
2014 Record: 14-1 (1st of 128) Won College Football Championship 42-20 vs. Oregon
Odds to Win National Championship: +325 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Ohio State Buckeyes won one of the more improbable national championships last season and head into this year as the favorite to win it all again. Ohio State is a loaded football team and is led by arguably the best head coach in the country in Urban Meyer. Yes, OSU is back on top of the college football world.
Offense: While everybody is talking about the quarterback position, I look at possibly the best running back in the game in Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for more than 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore. Elliott will be tough to bring down again when you add the fact the Buckeyes have four returning offensive linemen. Michael Thomas returns at wide receiver after hauling in 54 passes, Nick Vannett is the security blanket at tight end and Dontre Wilson can help in the backfield and in the passing game. Oh, yeah, Ohio State also has three proven quarterbacks who could start for just about any program right now in J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller. Whoever gets the job between Barrett and Jones, as Miller moves to wide receiver, this offense will be mighty tough to stop.
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Defense: Last season, Ohio State ranked 19th in total defense and was tied for seventh with 45 sacks. It’s safe to say that this side of the ball is just as scary. Joey Bosa is a flat out monster on the defensive line after racking up 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. Bosa eats linemen for breakfast and now has 21 sacks in his first two seasons. Darron Lee is a playmaking linebacker who shined as a freshman, Adolphus Washington is a big man in the middle of the defensive line and Joshua Perry is a tackling machine after finishing with at least 32 more tackles than anybody else on the team. Oh, the secondary isn’t too shabby either with Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell and Erick Smith just tapping into their potential. The Buckeyes have the ability to be a top-10 defense this season.
Special Teams: Cameron Johnston returns at punter after averaging 45 yards on 48 punt attempts. Sean Nuernberger returns at kicker after making 65 percent of 20 field goal attempts.
Overall: It’s tough to say boom or bust in college football where one loss can really destroy a team’s hopes. However, it’s championship or bust for Ohio State. The Buckeyes have the coach, quarterback(s), running game, offensive line and a defense that is probably the best in the Big Ten. There’s really no weakness with this team and anything but another trip to the college football playoff would be considered a disappointment.