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Seriously, who loses five number one draft picks, the entire
defensive back seven, the number one receiver, and two tremendous
offensive linemen and is supposed to be better than the year
It's partially due to the lack of a true number one team to start
the season, and it's partially due to quarterback Troy Smith and an
offense that should light up most defenses like a Christmas tree,
but it's mostly due to the recruiting. Ohio State is one of the
select few that can lose players like A.J. Hawk, Donte Whitner,
Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Ashton Youboty,
Anthony Schlegel, Nate Salley, and Rob Sims, and immediately replace
them with athletes just as strong, just as fast, and just as
Of course, it's asking too much for all the new starters to
immediately play like first round draft picks, but the expectations
have gone out of control after winning fifty games, including four
of the last five against Michigan, a national title, three BCS
games, and four straight bowl games under Tressel. Simply put,
anything less than a national title will be seen as a disappointment
No pressure there.
Head coach: Jim Tressel
6th year: 50-13
21st year overall: 185-70-2
Best OSU Players
QB Troy Smith, Sr.
2. WR/KR Ted Ginn Jr., Jr.
3. DT Quinn Pitcock, Sr.
4. RB Antonio Pittman, Jr.
5. OT Alex Boone, Soph.
6. OT Kirk Barton, Jr.
7. CB Malcolm Jenkins, Soph.
8. C Doug Datish, Sr.
9. LB Marcus Freeman, Soph.
10. DT David Patterson, Sr.
at Michigan State
2005 Record: 10-2
2005 predicted wins
San Diego St
at Penn State
Michigan W 25-21
Notre Dame W 34-20
But the makings are there
for this team to get the job done. If it's not the number one team going
into the season, it'll be in just about everyone's top three. It has a
high profile showdown at Texas which could mean a rock-solid number one
ranking with a win, and a loss would come early enough that a national
title shot would still be a possibility by winning out. The secondary
is full of big, fast athletes that looked like seasoned veteran
throughout spring ball. The linebacking corps replaces the legendary
trio of Hawk, Schlegel and Carpenter with seven talented options to form
a great rotation. And then there's the offense.
Smith is expected to be this year's Vince Young. After two years of
clutch performances in several big games, and with his knowledge of the
Buckeye offense that will allow for more spread formations, it's all
there to have a Heisman caliber season. He has Ted Ginn Jr. to throw to,
and Antonio Pittman along with superstar recruit Chris Wells in the
backfield. To make Buckeye haters even more nervous, the line might be
the best yet in the Tressel era with two tremendous tackles and enough
depth to form a solid second team.
Of course, with everything going for them, the Buckeyes will have to
avoid a 2004-like letdown if there are problems early on. That team was
much like this year's version; it was loaded with talent, but it had to
replace a slew of stars. Experienced teams loaded with veterans win
close games; teams with plenty of new starters, even talented ones, tend
to have issues when things get tight.
And that's where Smith is supposed to come in. If he really is VY part
two, he'll be the leader who gets the team out of jams and makes all the
big plays he has to. Fortunately for OSU, he won't have to do it too
often because of ...
The Schedule: Let's
cut to the chase here. Games against Northern Illinois, Cincinnati,
Bowling Green, Indiana, Minnesota, at Illinois, and at Northwestern
will be mere formalities unless all the planets are aligned
absolutely perfectly. Considering Wisconsin has beaten the Buckeyes
in the last two meetings and that Purdue should be better, missing
those two from the Big Ten slate isn't a bad thing. At Texas on
September 9th is the one the world is waiting for, and at Michigan
State will be much tougher than expected. The other two potential
battles are in Columbus against Penn State and Michigan. In other
words, if the Buckeyes can get by the Longhorns and survive a trip
to Iowa, things are as
favorable as can be reasonably asked for.
Offensive Player: Senior QB Troy Smith. Michigan fans liked to
joke that Smith was the second best pro quarterback in Ohio behind
Carson Palmer after the Buckeye star got suspended for taking money
from a booster. Ohio State has had all the laughs recently in the
last two wins against the Wolverines thanks to Smith after he
completed 40 of 60 passes for 541 yards and three touchdowns with no
interceptions, 282 rushing yards, and two touchdowns.
Senior DT Quinn Pitcock. While he doesn't get a lot of
headlines and his stats are hardly eye-popping, the 6-3, 295-pound
senior is one of the nation's best tackles. He's strong enough to
occupy two blockers without a problem, and quick enough to force the
action in the backfield.
player to a successful season: Sophomore PK Ryan Pretorius and
redshirt freshman PK Aaron Pettrey. Ohio State hasn't had to worry
about field goals for several years with Mike Nugent and Josh Huston
among the best in the nation. Can Pretorius and Pettrey be as
clutch? If not, the offense might have to open it up just a little
bit more in close games.
season will be a success if ... the Buckeyes play for the
national title. The schedule is too favorable and the Texas games
comes just early enough that anything less than a game on January
8th, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona will be a major disappointment.
game: Sept. 30 at Iowa. Of course everyone is jacked up for the
Texas game on September 9th, and the Michigan game is always one of
the must-see games of the year, but Iowa has the type of team that
can win the Big Ten title, and has a good enough schedule that it
can reasonably dream about playing for a national title. If the
Buckeyes aren't razor-sharp, national championship and Big Ten title
dreams can go bye-bye.
The Last Time Ohio State…
- Sacks: Ohio State 44 for 291 yards - Opponents 18 for 110 yards
- Second quarter scoring: Ohio State 111 - Opponents 41
- Time of possession: Ohio State 32:00 - Opponents 28:00
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame)
…missed a bowl game…1999
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Northwestern)
…was shutout…1993 (Michigan)
…scored 50 points…2002 (San Jose State)
…won a conference title…2005 (share, Big Ten)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1998 (Joe Germaine)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Antonio Pittman)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2002 (Michael Jenkins)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (LB A.J. Hawk, DB Donte Whitner,
LB Bobby Carpenter, WR Santonio Holmes and C Nick Mangold)