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Ohio State Buckeyes 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Ohio State Buckeyes 2017 Preview

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The Ohio State Buckeyes are 61-6 since Urban Meyer has taken over at head coach, and they enter another season as one of the top contenders to win the college football national championship. With elite offensive weapons and a defense that returns a lot of players, OSU has to be the favorite to win the Big Ten and get into the playoffs for yet another CFB season.

Here’s the Ohio State Buckeyes 2017 college football preview.

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Ohio State Buckeyes 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: The Buckeyes will get another season of quarterback J.T. Barrett, who threw for over 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Barrett can go through slumps and his accuracy can be a problem, but he brings playmaking ability and experience to the most important position. Mike Weber is a 1,000-yard running back and Demario McCall should get more carries after averaging 5.5 yards per carry in a limited role. Tight end Marcus Baugh is the Buckeyes top returning receiver after 269 receiving yards and two touchdowns. While experience is thin, OSU has plenty of options at receiver in Terry McLaurin, Binjimen Victor, Johnnie Dixon and Austin Mack. The Buckeyes offensive line should be improved after Billy Price returned for another season, and Isaiah Prince and Michael Jordan showed improvement later on in the season.

Defense: Ohio State is going to have one of the best defensive fronts in all of college football with Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes returning. That’s a group of players that combined for 18.5 sacks last season, which is 66 percent of the Buckeyes total. OSU will get after the quarterback a ton this season. Jerome Baker will lead the linebackers after racking up 83 tackles last season, while Chris Worley and Malik Harrison are familiar names who bring stability to the second unit. Damon Webb will remain at safety after 57 tackles last season, and youngsters such as Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette ad Jordan Fuller will benefit from playing last season and should be poised for breakout seasons.

Special Teams: Drue Chrisman is expected to replace Cameron Johnston at punter. Sean Nuernberger will takeover at kicker after not playing last year but making three of four field goals and all 15 extra points in 2015.

Outlook: The Ohio State Buckeyes have an explosive offense that will get better offensive line play and is led by an experienced and talented quarterback. The Buckeyes also have far more experience on their defense than last season, which can be scary considering OSU was ranked sixth in the country in yards allowed per game. With a proven quarterback, a loaded defense and a coach in Meyer who has done nothing but win with the Buckeyes, it would be a disappointment for Ohio State to do anything but return to the college football playoffs. And with double the odds of winning the title compared to Alabama, Ohio State may be worth some money on a future bet.

Schedule:

Sept. 2 — at Indiana

Sept. 9 — Oklahoma

Sept. 16 — Army

Sept. 23 — UNLV

Sept. 30 — at Rutgers

Oct. 7 — Maryland

Oct. 14 — at Nebraska

Oct. 21 — Off

Oct. 28 — Penn State

Nov. 4 — at Iowa

Nov. 11 — Michigan State

Nov. 18 — Illinois

Nov. 25 — at Michigan

Dec. 2 — Big Ten Championship Game

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