Ohio State Team Preview
Despite losing quarterback C.J. Stroud to the NFL, Coach Ryan Day’s Buckeyes should not be written off as Big Ten cellar dwellers. This team will instead retool around either quarterback, Kyle McCord or Devin Brown, especially since the victor will have access to the best receiving corps in the country and a stacked group of backs to throw to.
The offensive line was a work in progress in the spring and continues to be a cause for concern as the fall approaches. Defense under Jim Knowles, who is in his second season as coordinator, should get better. Ohio State will be looking for payback when it returns to Ann Arbor to face Michigan later in the season, but the game against Penn State in late October is just as crucial to the Buckeyes’ Big Ten championship ambitions.
Head coach Ryan Day has openly discussed handing up some play-calling responsibilities to new offensive coordinator Brian Hartline. It’s important to keep an eye on developments now that former Heisman Trophy hopeful C.J. Stroud is no longer in charge. Although junior Kyle McCord is the heavy favorite to win the open quarterback position, backup Devin Brown is ready to step in if necessary.
Although the defense improved in 2022 with coordinator Jim Knowles and his 4-2-5 scheme, it was gashed in losses to Michigan and Georgia, giving up 43.5 points and 8.9 yards per play. Despite OSU’s offensive line being far from dominant last season, the interior can be disruptive with Michael Hall Jr. at the helm. Ends Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau have 13.5 career sacks between them.
The Buckeyes ended the season with consecutive losses for the first time since 2011. The Buckeyes need the defense to find its pass-rush mojo again and make more clutch plays if they want to be competitive again. There may be questions about the offensive line and a new quarterback, but there is still a lot of talent on that side of the ball. Their games at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and archrival Miami will reveal a lot.
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