2013 Ohio State Spring Football Analysis
Ohio State Buckeyes 2013 ...
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Ohio State Buckeyes
Why To Be Excited: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the offense is expected to be special after leading the Big Ten in scoring and with nine starters returning, but don’t sleep on a pass defense that could surprise. The secondary gave up yards but rarely got beaten deep, allowing 15 touchdown passes and coming up with 14 picks. There were a few lapses – oddly enough, Miami University, Indiana and Penn State had the best passing days against the Buckeyes – but overall the secondary did a nice job. Three starters return, and while there’s work to do up front, there’s enough athleticism to come up with a good pass rush.
| 2013 Schedule|
9/7 San Diego State
9/14 at California
9/21 Florida A&M
10/5 at Northwestern
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/26 Penn State
11/2 at Purdue
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/16 at Illinois
11/30 at Michigan
Why To Be Grouchy: There might be an adjustment period up front. It’s Ohio State, so the lost star talent will be replaced by new start talent, but it’ll still sting for a while with all four starters gone including John Simon and Nathan Williams on the ends and Johnathan Hankins on the inside. Throw in the losses of linebackers Zach Boren and Etienne Sabino, and the front seven is going to be the focus throughout the spring.
What Needs Working On: Protecting Braxton Miller. The offense is loaded with talent and experience, the depth is there across the board with a terrific set of young options for the line and several good position battles for time at all the skill spots except quarterback. While Kenny Guiton proved he could come in cold and save the day against Purdue, the difference between a good season and a possible national championship run depends on keeping Miller alive and kicking. He takes way too many big pops and was sacked way too often. Being tough as nails is one thing, but he’s not built like Tim Tebow – its asking too much to expect him to last the season if he’s getting blasted.
Non-Conference Games: Buffalo, San Diego State, at California, Florida A&M
Games Against The Legends: Iowa, at Michigan, at Northwestern
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 11-1
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Buffalo, San Diego State, at California, Florida A&M, Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, Indiana
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Michigan
Schedule Analysis: The Buckeyes have the schedule to go unbeaten again, or they’ll at least have the ability and potential to get close. Considering California is rebuilding, San Diego State might be the most dangerous non-conference game. Buffalo and Florida A&M will be warm-ups, and they’ll need them before starting out the Big Ten schedule with the game they must have.
Michigan might be Ohio State’s biggest rival, but Wisconsin is the team that matters in the division; Ohio State can’t blow the Big Ten home opener. Going to Northwestern the week after isn’t going to be easy, but then it’s time to relax with a week off before hosting Iowa and Penn State before going to Purdue. With another week off before the finishing kick, there shouldn’t be any problems with a road trip to Illinois and a home game against Indiana. OSU will be favored in every with the possible exception of the finale. No matter what else happens throughout the year, the road trip to Michigan will be focused on all season long.
Team Concerns For 2013: Defensive line, defensive line and defensive line. Of course, it would be nice if the passing game became a bit more sophisticated, but that's not what the offense is about with Braxton Miller able to make big plays down the field when needed. The run defense improved as the year went on and the talent level is being raised by Urban Meyer, but the Buckeyes have to replace all four starters up front along with linebackers Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein. It's Ohio State - there are more talents waiting in the wings - but it's going to be the concern early on.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It was already a fantastic class, and then came Signing Day and the pickup of running back Ezekiel Elliott,
Oregon flip Ezekiel Elliott at running back and receiver James Clark. Much is being made about the haul on the defensive line, and rightly so, with Joey Bosa and Tyquan Lewis among the nation's top end prospects and Michael Hill, Donovan Munger and Billy Price three excellent tackle prospects, but the key is the secondary. It was great, and then came the signing of safety Vonn Bell to make it special. Corner Eli Apple was a nice get out of New Jersey, and Cameron Burrows and Gareon Conley are just as strong, while safeties Darron Lee and Jayme Thompson are going to someday be excellent starting safeties. Overall, this is a special class - even for Ohio State - with linebacker Mike Mitchell, receiver Jalin Marshall and tackle Evan Lyle all destined to be all-stars.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
2. That Class Was Heavy On ... Welcome to Urban being Urban. Meyer appears to have a renewed energy, and it shows with a typically great Ohio State recruiting class. Even with almost no time to work, he’s getting just about everyone he wants from Ohio and has been able to get a few key players from outside the state. In just a short time he’s putting together a monster that’s as good as any class in the country, particularly on the defensive front where he’s loading up with the best prospects for any line in America. The skill positions aren’t being ignored, but the Buckeyes need to keep building up the defense. Meyer will go more for the offensive side next year.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was Heavy On ... the defensive front seven. All eyes will be on Braxton Miller, who might be the quarterback and the key to the start of the 2011 season, but the Buckeyes will be loaded for years to come thanks to the pickup of several amazing
defensive players. The Signing Day coup of Curtis Grant, the nation’s top outside linebacker, was the icing on the cake for a class that came up with NFL talents in Michael Bennettat defensive tackle and Steve Miller on the outside. Ejuan Shazier will be the team’s next great inside linebacker, while brother Ryan Shazier will be a star on the outside.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 20. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Receivers.
Predictably, Ohio State didn't come up with its
normal jaw-dropping haul of NFL talents after coming
up with the nation's top class last year. But that
didn't mean that a few key prospects weren't signed
led by superstar offensive tackle prospect Andrew
Norwell, who'll be great once he hits the weight
room. The receivers aren't the sure things of past
classes, but Corey Brown, James Louis and Tyrone
Williams can move. Roderick Smith is a freakishly
talented running back who could've gone anywhere in
the Big Ten and got a big push from Georgia and
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 1. That Class Was
Heavy On ... everything. Name the position and about 100 other teams would be ecstatic to do as well overall as Ohio State did in any one area other than quarterback (and Kenneth Guiton isn’t a bad prospect). Running back? Jaamal Berry and FB Carlos Hyde are the stars of a good group. The receiving corps, led by Cris Carter’s son, Duron, is special, the offensive tackles are all prototypes, the defensive tackles big and quick, the linebackers fast, and the defensive backs even faster. This class has it all.