May 16th, 2012 at 7:28 PM ^

IMO, the linebackers and corners look very good, the D-Line looks above average as well. That offensive line though makes me cackle with glee. It lacks both depth and talent. Mr. Miller had better be ready to scramble.


May 16th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

if Williams is back to form, the D-line will be excellent. Sabino hasn't lived up to the hype, and as noted below, Grant was a fat guy last year. Roby is really good, but the safeties aren't. Every year surprises; I'd expect Ohio's D to be very good but not the same as some of their better ones in the last 10 years.


May 17th, 2012 at 8:51 AM ^

I actually think this could be the best defense Ohio State has fielded in a few years.  The only defensive starter lost from last year is Sweat, and while he was a solid LB, he certainly wasn't anything close the lead LBs OSU has had over the past decade.


The defensive line should be absolutely dominant with Simon and Hankins in the lead roles and a LOT of very good and experienced players around them.  The linebackers are a little bit of a question mark because of inexperience, but the talent is there.  Shazier and Grant's ability to step up (Or Sabino finally putting it all together.....) is by far the most interesting question on this side of the ball.  The corners are excellent, and while the safeties aren't a true strength Barnett has been constantly singled out as a player who really stepped it up this spring.


May 17th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

Don't really understand why everyone thinks the safeties will be the weak link. Barnett was All Big 10 and Johnson/Bryant both have double digit start experience. I know that doesn't mean they'll be amazing, but I don't exactly consider them a weakness.


May 16th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

Will be interesting to see how Ohio St's offense turns out. By many accounts, Braxton Miller's throwing has improved 10 fold, which is a scary thought. But keep in mind, at this point in time last year, Borges told Michigan fans Denard was throwing ~70% in practice.

I'm not worried about their recievers. Their backs will either be above average, or below average, nothing game-breaking. Their OL has a HUGE drop off from last year.

Defense continues to be their strength, though will still be interesting to see how things evolve in the Meyer era.


May 16th, 2012 at 8:42 PM ^

We could see our own dropoff at OL if Lewan leaves early for the NFL, having to replace Lewan, Barnum, and Omameh.  Mealer leaves too, leaving only Jack Miller and Chris Bryant and a group of RS freshmen (Kalis, Mags, Braden, Bars, Williams?) to fill in.  We have some talent and potential, but we will be very young.


May 16th, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

Don't forget Schofield should be entrenched at RT for the next 2 years.  If Lewan stays (please), then Schofield and Lewan will be our starting tackles in 2013 with Miller, Bryant and the RS freshman filling in the other spots.  Very young group; this is where those years of thin OL recruiting starts to hurt.  Sure is nice to hear reports that Kalis is playing at the level of a college soph already.


May 17th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

I don't think I have heard those same reports on Kalis.  I have heard that he has a college ready body and has good technique, but I have not heard specifically that he played at the level of a college soph.


May 17th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^


Receivers and offensive line are by far our two biggest issues.


The fact that all the receivers got on the field last year is nice, but our offense being an absolute mess didn't lead to them really doing anything with their playing time.  Unless Philly Brown really steps it up there probably aren't any legitimate playmakers.  However, Jake Stoneburner should be able to do some serious work in a TE/WR hybrid role.


While Brewster and Adams are huge losses, I expect the OL to play better than last year because of the move to a much simpler blocking scheme/better coaching.  Pass protection will still be a big issue, and this is by far the biggest weakness of the team (Not to say we're absolutely loaded everywhere).  They should be very good at creating space in the running game though.  I think the biggest concern here is the fact that there is literally no quality depth unless some true freshman step it up (Taylor Decker has supposedly looked very good and may end up starting at RT though).


The one thing that should be very good is the running game.  Jordan Hall has the ideal spread running back skill set, and Carlos Hyde is a big, powerful runner with deceiving speed.  Neither are exceptional, but collectively they should make for a very nice outside/inside running game.  Hall's ability as a receiver will also allow them to get on the field at the same time too.  Of course, the biggest factor in the running game will be Braxton Miller.  Having more than two designed QB running plays (Pistol speed option and 5 wide QB draw) will be beneficial to both the execution and aesthetics of the offense, and Miller has already proven he is a lethal runner.


Another thing on Miller.  Even though he looked like a much better passer in the spring game, I don't think that will be a truly dangerous part of his game for another year (If ever). Both his play and production as a passer should be much better than last year for an assortment of reasons, but defenses are definitely still going to have the most success against us by shutting down the run and making us throw.


May 17th, 2012 at 9:13 AM ^

at Ohio might be decent, but look at history. Urban likes to run the QB and pass short all day. He will occaisionaly run with the backs about as much as he throws deep. Ohio RB's will slowly start to take the back seat now that this new offense is in place. It's actually not that different from RR's spread attack in many ways... This makes me pretty happy because the excellent running backs have always been the hardest thing to stop when we play the Buckeyes IMO. 


May 16th, 2012 at 7:33 PM ^

I like our chances. Our offense got better, our defense should too being the second year in a system, their offense took a big hit, and the defense about stays the same.


May 17th, 2012 at 2:05 AM ^

From what I heard, Grant showed up pretty out of shape last fall.  He was a lot slower than Vrabel wanted, which is why Grant didn't get a lot of playing time.  Seems like Grant really brought into Marotti's conditioning program this offseason and has now officially jumped the incumbent starter, Storm Klein, on the depth chart.  

Shazier has reportedly gained about 10-15lbs of muscle, so that should be adding a little more pop to his already devastating hits. Then there's Sabino, who after 4 years still seems to struggle grasping the cerebral aspects of the game, which results in him always being out of place.  Most of us are hoping that as a 5th-year senior, he'll finally be a consistent contributor and become worthy of his #1 MLB rating in HS.


May 16th, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

I doubt it, and certainly not with a mobile QB darting around back there, plus all 4 of last year's 5 leading receivers back in the lineup.

Also Meyer has a nice one-two punch at RB with Hall and Hyde to take the pressure off Braxton Miller a bit.




May 16th, 2012 at 8:06 PM ^

True that a mobile QB can alleviate some concerns of an inexperienced OL in scrambling to buy time, but even mobile QBs throw a lot better when they have time to set their feet and keep their eyes down field.

More problematic than in the passing game, that OL is going to struggle to open holes for their RBs.  See MSU last year.  They had pretty talented RBs in Baker, Bell, and Caper, and finished near dead last in the B1G in rushing because their line sucked ass.


May 17th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

Quick question for Michigan fans: where does your perception of our O-line sucking come from? There is only one player on the line without starting experience. We actually have a real O-line coach now. And Meyer himself said he is more pleased with the line. I honestly think they'll be top 5 in the conference. Unless of course we have mass injuries. One and we'd be fine, but any more and that's stretching things.


May 17th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

Your o-line play last year was mediocre at best and poor by OSU standards, and you lost your 3 best linemen in Adams, Brewster, and Shugarts. The coaching may be better but there are still likely to be transition issues when implementing a new scheme.


May 17th, 2012 at 9:36 PM ^

I'm pretty pleased with our first-team O-line, I think Mewhort, Norwell, Linsley, Hall, Fragel will be serviceable, but the dropoff in talent for the 2nd-team line worries me (aside from Decker).  I think the addition of Joey O'Conner and Kyle Dodson in the fall will help a lot though. I agree that the O-Line will be a Top 5 B1G unit by mid-season, but it'll be a rough beginning.


May 16th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

Looking at this, the questions look like they might be on  offense, but that's what everyone seemed to anticipate with the dawn of the Urban era. As I recall, Guiton has been on campus for about an hour, so there are depth questions at QB, to be sure, but I have to think Meyer will look for ways to make Braxton Miller work long before we see Guiton.  That O-line is pretty fresh, I think, which will probably mean Miller works under pressure a little bit. Still, a mobile QB and some high-end receivers out there mean, offensively, they still quite alive potentially. I wonder if the relative lack of experience gets them off to slow starts though. The first year of Meyer's offense in Columbus could be intriguing. 

The defense looks like it might be somewhere around where it was last year. That's not really a bad front four that they are putting out there, and they are looking good in the secondary as well, but I believe a majority of the returning starters were on defense anyway, so at least there is the advantage of experience there. 

That being said, I think I like our shot in this one come November. 


May 17th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

Their defense is a mortal lock to be better than it was last year. They have just about everyone back, and most of them have room to grow. It should be one of the top units in the conference, although I don't expect it to be in the class of some of the really dominant OSU defenses of years past.


May 17th, 2012 at 9:28 PM ^

Don't forget that Carlos Hyde was supposedly the fastest RB on the team last year (4.45 40, I believe).  Hyde may not have a lot of shiftiness, but he can definitely truck through some players and take it to the house.

I'm just excited by the amount of depth and versatility  at RB: a shifty back in Hall, 2 power backs with Hyde/Dunn, and 1 hybrid with Smith (not the mention Warren Ball coming in during fall).


May 16th, 2012 at 8:01 PM ^

caught 16 of the 18 TD passes thrown by Ohio last year.

Posey is now gone, but he had only 162 yards receiving and 2 TD catches on the season, most of that in big chunks against Michigan in his final game.

Next to Miller, the most dangerous dude on the team was TE Stoneburner, who returns. The other "receiver" that stands out to me now is TB Carlos Hyde.


May 17th, 2012 at 8:39 AM ^

He looked misserable on the OL last year, and I seriously doubt he was ever going to get much better.  He looked pretty good at DT for a guy switching over from the offensive side of the ball, and his size along makes him an intriguing prospect at the position.

no joke its hoke

May 16th, 2012 at 8:18 PM ^

I like our DB's against their WR's.

I like our LB's against their RB's.

I like our blitz package against their oline.

I don't like B Miller running crazy on busted plays which maybe a staple of their offense.