Ohio State Football 2014 Bowl Capsule

Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten


There are arguments to be made for a handful of teams making the playoffs, but the bottom line for Ohio State is that they had a great season. After that tough home loss to Virginia Tech, the Buckeyes reeled off 11 wins in a row. They won at Penn State, at Michigan State and at Minnesota. Those are not bad wins at all. But there were questions heading into the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin due to an injury to star quarterback J.T. Barrett. But the Buckeyes and Cardale Jones proved the doubters wrong by beating Wisconsin 59-0.

2014 Record: 12-1, 8-0
Coach: Urban Meyer
Coach Bowl Record: 7-2

Big Wins: 11/8 at Michigan State (49-37), 12/6 vs Wisconsin (59-0)
Bad Losses: 9/6 Virginia Tech (21-35)

The Buckeyes have one of the most potent offenses in the nation with or without Barrett. Outside of the loss to Virginia Tech, Ohio State never failed to score over 30 points in a game. They went to East Lansing and dropped 49 points on the Spartans. The Wisconsin defense was highly regarded before allowing Ohio State to score 59 points in the title game. Cardale Jones will be back under center in the bowl game and he is coming off of an amazing starting debut against the Badgers. He threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns and played a smart game throughout. Devin Smith, Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall are all dangerous receivers. Smith is the big play option and has 30 catches for 799 yards and 11 touchdowns. Marshall, who caught 28 passes for 392 yards and six scores, is more than just a receiver. He is the player who will run end-arounds and line up in the quarterback spot on occasion as well. Ohio State will rely more on running back Ezekiel Elliott while Jones is under center. Elliott rushed for 220 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, so getting him more carries is not an issue.

By Big Ten standards, this defense is just slightly above average. They rank fourth in the Big Ten in pass defense and fifth in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense. Teams can move the ball against the Buckeyes and good teams will punch it into the end zone a few times. Until the Big Ten Championship, Ohio State did not hold any conference foes under two touchdowns. But what this defense does have is Joey Bosa and a host of other players who will make life very difficult for any opposing quarterback. Bosa tallied 13.5 sacks on the year and players like Michael Bennett, Darron Lee, Adolphus Washington and Joshua Perry can get into the backfield too. That pressure has resulted in an impressive 21 interceptions. Doran Grant and Vonn Bell have picked off five a piece. When Ohio State is getting pressure on the quarterback, this defense can make big plays that will more than make up for the yardage allowed.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, 1,402 yards
Passing: J.T. Barrett, QB, 2,834 yards
Receiving: Devin Smith, WR, 799 yards
Tackles: Joshua Perry, LB, 113
Sacks: Joey Bosa, DL, 13.5
Interceptions: Vonn Bell, DB, 5; Doran Grant, CB, 5

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 257.4 (11, 3)
Passing Offense: 246.0 (50, 2)
Total Offense: 503.4 (11, 1)
Scoring Offense: 44.1 (5, 1)
Rushing Defense: 145.6 (40, 5)
Pass Defense: 188.3 (17, 4)
Total Defense: 333.8 (19, 5)
Scoring Defense: 22.9 (29, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.42 (32, 3)
Sacks: 3.08 (11, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.92 (52, 6)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2013    Orange Bowl    Clemson (35-40)
2011    Gator Bowl    Florida (17-24)
2010    Sugar Bowl    Arkansas (31-26)
2009    Rose Bowl    Oregon (26-17)
2008    Fiesta Bowl    Texas (21-24)
2007    BCS Championship    LSU (24-38)

*all team stats through 12/1


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