The Ohio State Buckeyes are going to miss Kenny Guiton more than any other player gone from last year’s team. Guiton was the back up QB, but he was pressed into service in the 2nd through the 4th game due to an injury to star QB, Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat with Guiton running the show.
Braxton Miller sat out the Spring Game and was replaced by Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. Neither looked like Miller or even Guiton. Coach Urban Meyer has already named Cardale Jones as the back up. Jones is a big, strong guy in the likeness of Terrell Pryor, Vince Young or Cam Newton but he looks pretty rough right now. The potential is definitely there.
JT Barrett actually looked better in the Spring Game.
Head Coach Urban Meyer wants to throw the ball more this season, and that’s pretty much all they did in the Spring Game.
They want to continue running the ball but throw it better.
As a football fan, I look forward to watching Braxton Miller play another season. It will be interesting to see how many yards he can put up after already throwing for 5292 yards and running for 3054 yards. Those are amazing numbers with one year remaining.
Offensive Line only returns one guy, Tackle Taylor Decker. The rest will be new starters. Good news is Chad Lindsay from Alabama has transferred to Ohio State and will be eligible immediately. Lindsay started some at Bama, but will have to beat out Jacoby Boren and Billy Price for the Center job. Price is supposedly the strongest guy on the Buckeye team.
It’s always good to know what a contender has returning up front or who the new starters will be. Starting this game was Darryl Baldwin at Left Tackle and beside him at Guard was Joel Hale. At Center was Jacoby Boren with Antonio Underwood at Right Guard and Evan Lisle at Right Tackle. Expect Taylor Decker to start at one of the Tackle spots. This unit struggled at times in this scrimmage, but time will tell if that was because the defense was just really good or the Offensive Line is just going to be average in 2014.
The Buckeyes also lost super Running Back, Carlos Hyde and his 1521 rushing yards. They have nobody on the roster like him. Few rosters have Carlos Hyde’s on them this side of the SEC West.
Their defense was not that good a year ago against the pass. The front seven is really good, but the defensive backfield struggled.
To battle with SEC teams should they make it to the new playoffs, OSU is going to have to throw the ball and continue with an outstanding run game. But, the defense has got to get a lot better. They have to get past Michigan State, but the winner of that battle could represent the North in the new playoff system.
Chris Ash is new co DC from Arkansas and formerly from Wisconsin. He was brought in specifically to fix the pass defense.
The front four on defense was young but talented last season. Two of them were sophomores and one was a freshman. Noah Spence and Joey Bosa return at the ends and Michael Bennett and Adolphus Washington at the tackles.
The experts say the biggest difference between SEC schools and others is the Defensive Line and depth there, but Ohio State is right up there and is 8 to 10 deep up front in talent.
Interest is high in the Ohio State Buckeye Spring Game with 61,000 announced fans on hand. Some of them may have come to see the half time race between students and football players.
I watched every Spring Game that was available and this race was as fun of an event as anything I saw in the Spring Games. The students were impressive, but the race was won by a football player by a nose. Corner Back Doran Grant, a junior from Akron won the race just barely over a student who I suspect was a ringer, but this was a fun event for the fans and the students and the players. My hat is off to Urban Meyer and his staff for putting this event in the mix. Every school should do this. It was fun for everyone involved.
My hat is also off to Urban Meyer for saying he didn’t care what schools saw from his Spring Game and he was going to do what they wanted. He just wanted to see guys make plays.
In the kicking game, Coach Meyer stood right over each kicker as they attempted Field Goals. True freshman and early enrollee, Sean Nuermberger was impressive. If he can make a Field Goal with Urban Meyer with his icy stare standing right over him, he should make one with a crowd of over a hundred thousand watching and millions across the country on their television sets.
Speaking of early enrollees, the Buckeyes signed a very impressive class ranked #7 in the country. 7 members of the 7th ranked class are already on campus and the best of them should be Georgian Raekwon McMillan. More than likely, he is the top defensive player in next year’s freshman class. With the ball being thrown around so much in this scrimmage, McMillan had few chances to show his run stopping ability, but he did have that opportunity in one goal line stand and he looked very good.
2014 is going to be an outstanding football season, can feel it in my bones. Ohio State is going to be a fun team to watch. AJ Hawk was one of my favorite College LBs in the last 20 years and now they have another that is likely to be a favorite in Raekwon McMillan. They need to keep Braxton Miller healthy and find another Running Back, but it should be a very interesting year to be a Buckeye.