Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 Preview
Odds to Win National Championship 7-1
As a perennial Big Ten powerhouse, the Ohio State Buckeyes continue to shoulder plenty of expectations heading into the 2016 season following their Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame last year. Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer steps into the lead role once again in his fifth year as head coach in 2016. As usual, Meyer has a fresh crop of young talent to work with this season, but will also have to contend with a handful of key departures from very important players within Ohio State’s most recent bowl run.
Offense: Fifth-year OC Ed Warinner will have to groom a new crop of players with his squad, now that such notable names as QB Cardale Jones (1459 yards; eight TDs), RB Ezekiel Elliott (1821 yards, 23 TDs) and WR Michael Thomas (781 yards; nine TDs) have moved on to the NFL. J.T. Barrett will take over as the full-time signal-caller and should help improve the relatively fresh faces on the team. One receiver to watch out for is Curtis Samuel, who should emerge as Barrett’s go-to guy in key situations.
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Defense: Ohio State loses another handful of key names on the defensive side of the ball, with Joey Bosa, Darron Lee, Eli Apple and Vonn Bell (among others) earning roster spots in the pros following very noteworthy college campaigns. High-profile DC Greg Schiano will be taking over the D, and should be able to coach edge rushers Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard to even greater statistical heights. Speedy LB Raekwon McMillan should also make a huge impact in the middle as a cog piece. Ohio State held opponents to 126.8 rush yards per game last year, and will look to continue their third-quarter domination (outscoring other teams 125-34 across the season).
Special Teams: The Buckeyes have a young leg at punter this year in freshman Dru Chrisman, and he’ll get some good guidance from one of the best punters in the nation in veteran Cameron Johnston. Sean Nuernberger will once again handle the field goals, and will enter the season with 106 straight extra-point makes. That’s within striking distance of the record 141 straight, which Neurnberger could break this season for another Big Ten accolade.
Outlook: As usual, there’s no room for failure at The Ohio State University. The College Football Playoffs are a must this year, and to do that the Buckeyes have to get to 12-1 and win the Big Ten Championship. Anything else would be a disappointment to say the least.
September 3 vs. BOWLING GREEN FALCONS Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
September 10 vs. TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
September 17 @ OKLAHOMA SOONERS Norman, OK (Gaylord Family OK Memorial Stadium)
October 1 vs. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
October 8 vs. INDIANA HOOSIERS Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
October 15 @ WISCONSIN BADGERS Madison WI (Camp Randall Stadium)
October 22 @ PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS University Park, PA (Beaver Stadium)
October 29 vs. NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
November 5 vs. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
November 12 @ MARYLAND TERRAPINS College Park MD (Maryland Stadium)
November 19 @ MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS East Lansing MI (Spartan Stadium)
November 26 vs. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)