Ohio State Buckeyes sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller will host Cal on September 15 at the Horseshoe in Columbus. Photo Credit: Greg Bartram

Know the Opponent: Ohio State Buckeyes

Our first Big Ten opponent is next on our know the opponent countdown as the Ohio State Buckeyes come in at 19. Last season Ohio State went 6-7 and 3-5 in conference play, this season they’ll be ineligible for postseason play.

Luke Fickell served as interim head coach in 2011 after Jim Tressel left following the situation surrounding former Buckeye players. Ohio native Urban Meyer who was an analyst at ESPN last season is now the head coach. He brings a 104-23 record after stops at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida which includes two national titles with the Gators plus an unbeaten season with the Utes.

Meyer will inherit a pretty solid team even if they cannot play for the conference title or bowl game with sophomore Braxton Miller at quarterback. Miller threw for 1,159 yards with 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions, he took over the job full-time following the loss at Miami (FL).

The running game did suffer losses but it was Miller who led the team with 715 yards with seven TD’s. Senior Jordan Hall had 408 yards with two scores and junior Carlos Hyde rushed for 566 reaching the end zone six times.

Ohio State returns most of their receiving corps with sophomore Devin Smith who had 294 yards and four scores with a 21 yard average when catching a pass. Corey Brown was second with 205 yards but scored just one TD, he did have 14.6 yards per catch. The best weapon might be senior tight end Jake Stoneburner returning, he had 193 yards but lead the team with seven touchdowns.

Fickell was retained by Meyer as the defensive coordinator that side of the ball should improve from last season. Junior free safety CJ Barnett who had 75 tackles with two INT’s leads the defensive backs. His partner in the defensive backfield will be fellow junior strong safety Christian Bryant who had 68 tackles a season ago. Senior defensive end John Simon Sr. who had a team high seven sacks and 4.5 tackle for losses in addition to 53 total tackles.

This should still be a good team even with the bans in place, I saw them lost a huge lead at Nebraska last season which they controlled for two plus quarters. Expect Meyer to keep this team motivated throughout the season with an eye on a run in 2013. They’ll see California on September 15 at the Horseshoe with a 9 am ABC kickoff.

2012 Ohio State Buckeyes Schedule –

Miami (OH) 9/1
Central Florida 9/8
California 9/15
UAB 9/22
@Michigan State 9/29
Nebraska 10/6
@Indiana 10/13
Purdue 10/20
@Penn State 10/27
Illinois 11/3
@Wisconsin 11/17
Michigan 11/24

Previous Previewed Teams -
July 2 – Nicholls Colonels (32)
July 6 – Northern Colorado (31)
July 12 – UNLV (30)
July 13 – Duke (29)
July 16 – Colorado State (28)
July 18 – Sacramento State (27)
July 20 – Fresno State (26)
July 23 – Rice (25)
July 25 – San Jose State (24)
July 27 – Syracuse (23)
July 29 – Southern Utah (22)
August 1 – Eastern Washington (21)
August 3 – Hawai’i (20)

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Tags: ABC ABC College Football B1G Big Ten Conference Big Ten Conference Football Big Ten Football Braxton Miller California California Golden Bears California Golden Bears Football Espn Jim Tressel Luke Fickell Ohio State Buckeyes Football Ohio State. Ohio State Buckeyes Pac 12 Football Pac-12 Pac-12 Conference The Horseshow Urban Meyer

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