#22 Ohio State Football 2012 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes

Overall Rank: #22
#4 Big Ten Conference
Ohio State College Football 2012 Team Preview
Ohio State Team Page


Ohio State is out of the turmoil following the dismissal of Coach Jim Tressel. All the suspensions and questions and changes led to the Buckeyes first losing season since 1988. But with Coach Urban Meyer taking over, there are high hopes, per usual, in Columbus. However, OSU is still not bowl eligible due to an NCAA ban. With a whole slew of young talent returning, Coach Meyer has plenty of talent at his disposal, but how well they play when they have nothing to play for will be the new coach’s toughest challenge.

2011 Record: (6-7, 3-5)
2011 Bowl: Gator Bowl vs. Florida (L 17-24)
Coach: Urban Meyer (First year at Ohio State, 104-23 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tom Herman and Ed Warinner
Defensive Coordinator: Luke Fickell and Everett Withers

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Braxton Miller, QB, 715 yards
Passing: Braxton Miller, QB, 1,159 yards
Receiving: Devin Smith, WR, 294 yards
Tackles: C.J. Barnett, S, 75
Sacks: John Simon, DE, 7.0
Interceptions: Orhian Johnson, S, 3; Bradley Roby, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: K Drew Basil, FB Zach Boren, WR Corey Brown, WR Chris Fields, RB Carlos Hyde, G Jack Mewhort, G Andrew Norwell, LB Etienne Sabino, TE Jake Stoneburner

Key Losses: OT Mike Adams, C Mike Brewster, RB Dan Herron, S Tyler Moeller, OT J.B. Shugarts, LB Andrew Sweat

The Ohio State defense should be back to their old ways after an average 2011 campaign. With nine starters returning and all but two players who tallied over a dozen tackles last year returning, the unit is amazingly deep. On the front line tackle Johnathan Hankins is back to lead the way. Garrett Goebel is an experienced senior who is expected to man the nose guard spot again. On the ends John Simon is back after tallying a team high 7.0 sacks. Adam Bellamy is a returning starter as well, but his starting job may be in jeopardy with the return of Nathan Williams, who missed all of last season with an injury. That will provide the Buckeyes plenty of depth on the line. Linebacker Andrew Sweat will be missed, but the unit will reload. Curtis Grant and Ryan Shazier are promising sophomores and Etienne Sabino is ready to emerge as the senior leader of the unit. The secondary was Ohio State’s strong point in 2011 and will only get better in 2012. Bradley Roby and Travis Howard are two of the best corners in the conference and Doran Grant is full of potential. Safety C.J. Barnett will look to lead the team in tackles again and Christian Bryant and Orhian Johnson are both solid playmakers. This is a team that totaled 13 interceptions last year and they want to boost that number up and they have the players to do it.

For all the potent weapons Ohio State had on offense, they sure looked pretty bad at times. That should change with a year of experience and Coach Meyer’s magical touch, but there are still questions and there are some major holes to fill on the offensive line. The Buckeyes offensive line can certainly reload pretty quickly with players like Jack Mewhort, former tight end Reid Fragel and super recruit Taylor Decker, but the line cannot be better without Mike Adams, Mike Brewster and J.B. Shugarts. And this was a team that allowed 3.54 sacks per game. That number is skewed due to Braxton Miller running around all of the time, but it still is a very high number. And Miller does need to do a better job of sticking around the pocket and making quick, usually short, passes. There are plenty of talented receivers out there, most notably Devin Smith, Chris Fields, Corey Brown and tight end Jake Stoneburner. Coach Meyer’s offense fits into Miller’s strengths as a player who generally makes smart decisions, but he needs to pull the trigger and trust his receivers instead of waiting around to get sacked. The ground game is in flux with the injury to Jordan Hall. Hall was supposed to be the big playmaker this year, but a foot injury put an end to that. That leaves bruising backs Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith in the backfield.

The Bottom Line:
This is a very talented team with a ton of potential. The injury to Hall hurts the potential for the offense to turn from stagnant to explosive over a single summer, but the unit will be much, much more effective than they were in 2011. With a defense that should rank among the best in the conference, there is little stopping Ohio State from being a team that ruins the hopes and dreams of teams like Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Projected Bowl: Not Bowl Eligible Per NCAA

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 191.15 (27th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 127.00 (115, 12)
Total Offense: 318.15 (107, 11)
Scoring Offense: 24.46 (81, 8)
Rushing Defense: 141.54 (50, 5)
Pass Defense: 182.00 (14, 4)
Total Defense: 323.54 (19, 5)
Scoring Defense: 21.00 (27, 6)
Turnover Margin: .38 (30, 4)
Sacks: 1.77 (72, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 3.54 (118, 12)

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:
#8 Johnathan Hankins
#38 John Simon
#89 Travis Howard

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#3 Noah Spence
#29 Adolphus Washington
#91 Se'von Pittman
#92 Tommy Schutt
#97 Bri'onte Dunn
#123 Armani Reeves
#137 Josh Perry
#163 Joey O'Connor
#166 Camren Williams
#174 David Perkins
#179 Taylor Decker
#193 Kyle Dodson
#222 Warren Ball