Ohio State Football 2012
2012 Ohio State Buckeyes Preview
Each year as autumn approaches in Columbus, there is a buzz and excitement surrounding the Ohio State football season.
This year, the anticipation seems to have increased by the arrival of first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
Meyer was hired as head coach on November 28 of last year — two days after OSU's 40-34 loss to Michigan in their regular season finale... a season that couldn't have ended soon enough for the Buckeye faithful.
But now, a dynamic recruiting class, a solid group of returning letterman and a dedicated coaching staff has inspired tremendous optimism.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the optimism can only go so far this season as they will not be allowed to play for either a Big Ten Championship or a National Championship as a result of NCAA sanctions.
The 2012 campaign opens up on Saturday as the Scarlet and Gray square off against the Miami RedHawks, who ironically Meyer faced to open his last year at Florida.
Here is a breakdown of what to expect this season:
Notable Loses - Joe Bauserman-QB, Dan Herron-TB, DeVier Posey-WR, Mike Adams-OT, Mike Brewster-C, J.B. Shugarts-OT
Last season, the Buckeyes really struggled in manufacturing points and there has been a big emphasis this season on having an offense with the goal of putting points on the board by featuring a more up-tempo style. The offense likely won't be as fast and explosive Meyer's Florida teams due to the lack of explosive playmakers in the backfield, but they will look to mimic a similar type of pace.
The strength of the offense should rely heavily on quarterback Braxton Miller's ability to run and pass and make big plays.
Conversely, a possible question mark will be the line which took a slight hit with the departure of pillars Mike Adams and Mike Brewster.
The skilled positions are solid and have potential to blossom in a more wide-open offensive scheme. Tight end Jake Stoneburner and running back Jordan Hall are players expected to have a major impact.
Defense: Returning Starters - 10
Notable Loses - Tyler Moeller-SLB, Andrew Sweat-WLB
Defense has always been a staple of Ohio State football teams, and this season's squad will be no different.
Every single player in the defensive backfield returns from the nation's 15th ranked pass defense lead by last season's leading tackler, C.J. Barnett.
On top of that, the front line also boasts the return of every single player with versatile lineman John Simon spearheading the attack at either tackle or end.
Expect a slightly different approach to the overall defensive scheme under Urban Meyer. The stereotypical, bend but don't break OSU defense may give way to a looser, ball-hawking defense predicated on creating turnovers.
Prediction: 10-2 (6-2 Big Ten)
The 2012 Schedule loans itself to a 10 win season with a weak non-conference schedule and perennial Big Ten powerhouses expected to have down years.
The first real test for the Meyer-lead Buckeyes will be a September 29th matchup in East Lansing, Michigan against the Michigan State Spartans.
The schedule doesn't get too challenging until the final two games of the season when the Buckeyes travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers before playing rival, the Michigan Wolverines, at the Horseshoe.
One would assume Meyer won't be able to turn a 6-7 team into an undefeated, juggernaut in one season, despite the weak schedule. Michigan State and Wisconsin edge the Buckeyes because of experience and home-field advantage, but hard to bet against the Buckeyes at home against the Wolverines.
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