Ohio State Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 Ohio State Football Predictions

In Urban Meyer’s first season in Columbus, the Buckeyes went 12-0 (the sixth undefeated season in school history), blitzed through the Big Ten like a hot knife through butter, and brought back a lot of swagger to a program that had spiraled out of control under former head coach Jim Tressel. With a postseason ban due to “Tattoo-Gate,” Meyer demonstrated his unique coaching abilities, somehow motivating his team to fight past their limitations that most schools would have easily folded under. Now, with the nation’s longest winning streak, Buckeye Nation is back and as fiercely devoted as ever to the Scarlet and Gray.

The Buckeyes return 13 starters from 2012, nine on offense, and will be led by QB Braxton Miller, who has parlayed his superb 2012 season (2,039 yards passing, 15 TDs, 1,271 yards rushing, 13 TDs) into undeniable Heisman contention this fall. Miller’s brilliance last fall quickly erased the memory of his predecessor (Terrelle Pryor) and he displayed toughness at several points, playing through nagging injuries. Miller knows but one way to play, and that’s all-out. Expect the coaching staff to try and instill in him a better sense of the “big picture” this fall, hoping he understands how vital his presence on the field is to this team.

The rest of the offense is top-flight, from four experienced and productive RBs, one of the nation’s most skilled O-lines, and a group of wideouts that are led by Corey Brown (60 catches, 669 yards, 3 TDs). The only losses, OT Reid Fragel and TE/H-back Jake Stoneburner, can be replaced, although making up for Stoneburner’s leadership and clutch play may take awhile. Besides Miller and Brown, expect Gs Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall, along with C Corey Linsley to challenge for both all-Big Ten and national honors. The biggest question mark is probably finding a reliable deep threat to complement Brown, who is more of a medium-range possession-type receiver.

Only four starters return on defense, with three of them in the secondary. The lone front seven returnee, LB Ryan Shazier, is a monstrous hitter who often becomes too zealous and needs to be reined in a bit. If the coaching staff can educate and motivate him (much like Braxton Miller on offense), look for Shazier to be featured on All-American listings at season’s end. The biggest defensive concern revolves around rebuilding the decimated D-line. The hope is that several members of Meyer’s last two recruiting classes will step up their games, and there’s no shortage of bodies waiting in line to do so.

Shazier also needs some support along the LB corps, but just as up front. there are blue-chippers in abundance ready to seize their opportunity. The secondary is deep, experienced and loaded with talent, with Bradley Roby, C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant all probable future NFLers.

The prognosticators are all over this Buckeye squad, with pre-season polls all ranking them no worse than third nationally. The expectations are back in Columbus after the penance of 2012, and with Urban Meyer now firmly in control, the sky is the limit for the Scarlet and Gray.

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