Preview: UNLV (1-1) at #10 Ohio State (2-1)

The Ohio State Buckeyes will have another hometown showdown against the UNLV Rebels.  They shut down the Army offense to hold them well below their average for rushing yards en route to a 38-7 victory after their defeat at the hands of Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners.

The UNLV Rebels have rebounded well after losing their home opener to Howard, an FCS team. They had their offense flowing with a 44-16 victory over the Idaho Vandals.  This week they will travel to Columbus for a date at the Shoe.

J.T. Barrett is coming off a successful and efficient game against an Army team that was no threat to them and overmatched.  His next opponent UNLV will not go away quietly, but this game may get out of hand with the difference in overall talent.

Armani Rogers found passing lanes for 191 yards and a score through the air while carrying the ball for 86 yards for another touchdown.  While Lexington Thomas and Devonte Boyd had a total of 293 total yards and 4 total touchdowns between the two as they steamrolled the helpless Vandal defense.

The Silver Bullets rebounded as well as they put the clamps on the Army rushing attack in the second half after the proper adjustments were made.  This week they faced a more balanced attack that features a quick Running Back in Thomas and a playmaking receiver in Devonte Boyd. They will have to focus on these two players if they want to be successful in this game.

On the other hand, the Rebels defense will face some pretty good athletes on this Ohio State team.  If the Buckeye Zone 6 can break away and make a few plays from all over the field, it will be a long day for their defensive players, but so far, the offense still has a few near major concerns.

This matchup will feature the 77th and the 90th ranked defenses in the nation in Total Defense.  It is nothing to scoff about and 90th is expected with UNLV, but the bigger story will can the Buckeyes improve from 77th overall in the nation?  Did they buy too much into their own hype when they were projected to be a preseason Top 10 Defense?

Prediction:  38-13 Ohio State defeats UNLV

 

Recap: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After another lackluster performance against Oklahoma, the Buckeyes face an Army team that rarely threatens teams through the air.  Even though they aren’t dangerous, the Black Knights are #2 in the nation in the rushing department.

The Buckeyes front seven need to stay disciplined and the entire team needs to make sure tackles.  This is a winnable game that they need to regain confidence in their scheme for the rest of the season.

First Half:

The Buckeyes began the game with the opening possession, and within 2:37 after receiving the kickoff, J.T. Barrett put seven on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run.  On Army’s first possession, they were forced to punt the ball away and the Buckeyes responded with a drive that lasted 4:12, that ended with another short-yardage touchdown by J.K. Dobbins.

From then on out, the ugliness seeped out both teams exchanged punts, but Army answered the call after they drove 99-yards for a touchdown after a Buckeye punt at the Army 35 yard line. Army took a huge chunk of time off the clock on that drive and it left the Buckeyes with a single possession prior to the half ending, where they added a field goal to extend their lead 17-7.

Second Half:

The second half began with Army missing a 43-yarder and it quickly turned into another Buckeye touchdown after J.K. Dobbins broke off a pair of long runs, the first for 22-yards and the next for 52-yards and another touchdown.

On the next Army possession, they fumbled the ball on a bobbled handoff which resulted in a 20-yard passing score to Terry McLaurin to push the lead to 31-7.  That was essentially the end of the Army success on the ground, as the Buckeyes buckled down and shut them down.

The last Ohio State touchdown was a 9-yarder to Austin Mack for his first collegiate touchdown reception of his career which is significant, but it was Barrett who just bested Drew Brees’ BIG 10 total touchdown record with the last score of the game to push their lead to 38-7.

After the record was captured, Dwayne Haskins took his shot and entered the game during mop-up duty.  He finished 4-4 for 46 yards, and he proved that he has the talent to take the reigns after Barrett departs.  Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.

Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.  They will look to improve the passing game and maintaining the balance.  The defense will look to improve as well in all areas as they face a team that might test them through the air, but for now, we will enjoy the win.  Go Bucks!

 

 

Preview: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After a long week of bickering and talk from anyone and everyone, game day is finally upon us, and it will turn the page on the previous weeks awful showing at the home opener.  There was a whirlwind of opinions from people dishing their hot takes after the Oklahoma loss at home.  A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

We all weathered the storm and now an opportunity to right the ship and turn the page is almost here.  The Army Black Knights are 2-0 and they will test the strength of the front seven for the entirety of this contest with an efficient rushing offense that ranks 2nd in the nation with 835 yards and 11 touchdowns on 113 attempts, averaging 417.5 yards per game.

On the other side, the home team Ohio State Buckeyes are surrendering 60.5 yards per contest, holding their opponents to 121 total yards on 64 rushing attempts.  They are allowing 1.89 yards per rush, while only giving up a single rushing touchdown so far this season.

Ohio State is #32 in the NCAA in rushing offense for 459 total yards in 85 attempts for 4 scores. They are averaging 5.4 yards per rushing attempt and 229.5 yards per contest and they must establish a balance to control the pace of the game.

The right side of the O-Line suffered against the constant pressure, so this game will be needed to regain their swagger.  They got beat often and were caught off guard by blitzing defenders, so they really need a boost.

Barrett on the other hand also needs this game to re-establish himself as the starting QB with everyone and their mother bashing him over the lack of down the field pass attempts and the lack of accuracy in his passes.  He is 39-70 for 487 yards and 3 touchdowns against one interception. He is averaging 243.5 yards per game, 6.96 yards per attempt and 12.49 yards per completion, which isn’t bad but he needs to show a lot of improvement in both the accuracy and the production department to truly improve and become more successful.

This Army team appears to be no threat to the Buckeyes through the air and through 2 games, as they are 2-10 for 17 yards.  They are averaging 1.7 yards per attempt and 8.5 yards per game, but they will be a could find a way to involve the running backs, similar to what Oklahoma did.

The Buckeyes linebackers were getting beat by dump-off passes, which could work to Army’s advantage during the game. The linebackers were often out of position and looked confused, so let’s hope they worked out the kinks.

The secondary improved, but tackling was an issue again as they were constantly looking for the big hit instead of wrapping up for the sure tackle.  They need to build on their performance again this week.

Prediction:  41-9 Buckeyes

After that embarrassing loss at home, it will drive the cause the Buckeyes to take a step in the right direction.  The offense improves and executes better, but will still be a work in progress. There will be a balance between the run and pass, and a big play or two will occur, with emphasis on improving the play-calling situation.    

The defense racks up TFL’s against the Army rushing attack forcing them to attempt more passes.  I am calling for a forced fumble and a pick to happen due to the immense pressure that the Rushmen place of the Army O-Line.  

 

Recap: #5 Oklahoma vs #2 Ohio State

First Half:

In an early test for both teams, neither seemed to get into a rhythm in the first half of the game. Oklahoma has statistically been more successful outgaining the often anemic Ohio State offense 222-92.  They have outgained the home team by a large margin and they seem to be gaining more and more confidence as the game continues.

Baker Mayfield has been leaning solely on his arm, which has been dicing up the Ohio State defense for 158 yards on 11 of 18 attempts, and he is gaining 8.8 yards per pass attempt but has no touchdowns to show for it yet.  He has been banged up as well, as he can be seen limping off to the sideline after taking a few huge hits.  So far Mayfield has been sacked twice, both by Sam Hubbard.

J.T. Barrett has struggled mightily, and he has been leaning more towards the designed QB runs, that have Buckeye fans scratching their heads.  Barrett finished the first half 5 for 11 for 25 yards and also carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards.

The first half ended in a 3-3 tie with Oklahoma turning the ball over three times.  They had two critical fumbles and a missed field goal, in what appears to be a defensive struggle.  Sooners also lost Mark Andrews, their big WR/TE to an apparent leg injury.

Second Half:

The Buckeyes started the half with balance and they capped off the opening drive with J.K. Dobbins’ first touchdown as a Buckeye.

Mayfield was quick to answer with a touchdown of his own to a 36-yard pass to Dimitri Flowers to tie up this contest.  The Sooner offense also caught fire as Mayfield found his teammates for 2 scores, 1 by RB Trey Sermon and another to Lee Morris.  Jordan Smallwood also found paydirt on a jet sweep.

The Sooner defense clamped down and shut down the Buckeyes, only giving up two field goals in the second half.  One in the early 3rd quarter and a second mid-4th quarter.  After a failed onside kick, the Sooners continue to drive the ball and rack up yardage on the tired Buckeye defense.

The Sooners win 31-16 with their rookie Head Coach Lincoln Riley, which is a rare and impressive feat in itself.  This by no means knocks the Buckeyes out of the playoff conversation.  There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.

There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.  The WR’s failed to separate, they were back to their old ways with the play calling, and J.T. Barrett’s issues accuracy and trust in his receivers.

The Buckeyes will be back, so stay tuned Buckeye Nation.

 

 

 

 

 

Preview: #7 Oklahoma vs #2 Ohio State

With the first week of the young CFB season behind us, we look forward to another contest that has once again garnered another College Gameday appearance.  The featured matchup will place two Top 10 teams against each other, and with two big-time and experienced leaders at the Quarterback position, there will be no shortage of big plays and drama.

What To Watch For:

J.T. Barrett versus Baker Mayfield:

In a game filled with great matchups, Barrett versus Mayfield takes the front seat in this contest. Mayfield led the offense to an impressive win over UTEP, while Barrett took some time to get his offense going.  Although it was not entirely his fault, the WR’s failed to break away from the opposing DB’s.

Mayfield looked sharp against inferior and outclassed competition.  He finished 19 for 20 for 329 yards and 3 scores, in a 56-7 drubbing of UTEP.  This week he will face a newly pieced together set of DB’s and he will be looking to test them early and often with his crop of receivers.

Barrett was efficient during his showing and he showed some improvement balancing the running and passing.  He finished with 4 total TD’s and 365 yards, 301 of which were through the air and he also had 64 on the ground.  This balance was needed and he will need to stay focused and sharp against a mostly experienced secondary that has three Seniors to lean on.

This game will most likely fall on the shoulders of both men with ball security, balance and turnovers will be the deciding factor.  There will be no shortage of big plays and offensive fireworks, this is what makes this so exciting.

Trench Wars, Best D-Line versus Best O-Line:

In what is almost another given, the battle in the trenches between Oklahoma and Ohio State is another key matchup to watch in this battle of two Top 10 teams.

Oklahoma has one of the best Offensive Lines in the nation led by LT Orlando Brown and they average out to about 304.4 lbs of humanity tasked to protect Mayfield.

On the other side of the line will be one of the best Defensive Lines in the nation led by Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis.  Behind them, the depth at Ohio State, particularly on the Defensive Line, they are two or three deep at each position.

This matchup will determine the success of either team.  The Sooner line is talented and will be a major test for the Buckeyes line.

Buckeye DB’s versus Sooner WR’s:

I remember people saying that Ohio State will not face another crop of big, physical receivers again this season. Guess what?  They were wrong.  The Sooners top 3 receivers are 6’3″, 6’5″ and 6’5″.  Ceedee Lamb, Mark

The Sooners top 3 receivers are 6’3″, 6’5″ and 6’5″.  Ceedee Lamb, Mark Andrews, and Jeffery Mead are massive, with Andrews, a former Buckeye target being the heaviest at 253 lbs.  Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Denzel Ward need to be sharp.  Jordan Fuller and Damon Webb need to stay disciplined as well.

Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Denzel Ward need to be sharp.  Jordan Fuller and Damon Webb need to stay disciplined as well.

This could be another shootout, but can the Buckeye secondary cover and force a few turnovers for the defense?  Can the Sooner Wideouts out-muscle their smaller opponents?

Sooner Front 7 versus Dobbins/Weber:

True Freshman J.K. Dobbins received his first start and he surely did not disappoint.  He finished the game with 29 carries for 181 yards and 2 catches for 24 yards.  This week he will share the load with Mike Weber.

Together they face a stout front 7 led by 3 seniors. They will be tasked to stop the ground game and get to the QB.  It won’t be easy, but they gave them fits a season ago, so it’ll be interesting.

The Ohio State line isn’t sorry either, as they average 310.8 lbs as a whole.  Three of the five a 6’7″, with Jones being 6’5″ and Price being 6’4″.  With a major chip on their shoulders, particularly with the right side of the line, Bowen and Prince will be looking to establish themselves.

Can WR’s break open:

Finally, can the Buckeye WR’s break open consistently enough to and make plays?  This will be hard due to the experience opposing them.

They are all talented, but they need to outwork the DB’s to give Barrett a chance to win the game for them.  Barrett wasn’t perfect, and he did miss a few of his guys on errant passes, but the WR’s had a few drops during the game too.

Will they be reliable threats for Barrett?  Will they be able to break free from the coverage and make plays?  Can Zone 6 make the Buckeye Offense, particularly the deep ball sizzle again?

Prediction:

This will be another hard fought game with the Sooners keeping it close in the first half.  Their WR’s will out muscle the DB’s early before halftime.  This game will be a back and forth affair until the Buckeye Defense takes over and forces a few turnovers.

With a combination of second half adjustments and the Buckeye front seven’s relentlessness, the Buckeyes pull away in the second half for a close win at home.

This game will showcase many NFL hopefuls and it will be filled with team scouts.  This game will also feature the next wave of talent, as many Buckeye commits and targets will be present for the show.

Final Score:  41-31 Buckeyes

 

 

 

 

Recap: #2 Ohio State VS Indiana

And just like that, the offseason is officially over.  The 2017 CFB season has begun and Ohio State opens up against an Indiana Hoosiers team that is looking for an upset win at home.  Mike Weber did not make the start because he is banged up, but his replacement, J.K. Dobbins will become the second true freshman to start for the Buckeyes.

First Half

With the game underway, the Buckeyes started off hot, but the offense is still a work in progress. J.T. Barrett, on his first drive, took the ball 66 yards and the drive ended with a 27-yard FG to put the Buckeyes up 3-0.

Richard Lagow wasted no time to respond as they took the ball 87-yards for a TD by Ian Thomas. The highlight of the drive was a one-handed toss to Simmie Cobbs.

The Buckeye offense struggled mightily, with a lack of separation by the WR’s from the Hoosier DB’s.  O-Line play was decent during the first half, but there is some room for improvement in that department and there is a lot more to be desired.

Simmie Cobbs continued to light up the next generation of Buckeye Defensive Backs as he snagged another one-handed TD pass against Denzel Ward.  The Buckeyes should have been down 21-3, but because of a tipped pass by Kendall Sheffield, it resulted in an interception by Jordan Fuller.

The Buckeyes should have been down 21-3, but because of a tipped pass by Kendall Sheffield, it resulted in an interception by Jordan Fuller.

J.K. Dobbins was the star in the making for the Buckeyes in the first half registering 15 carries for 107 yards.  Dobbins shows the burst and the promise to become the next feature back at Ohio State.

The Rushmen are also doing their job as well as they have registered 3 sacks in the first half, keeping the Hoosier offense at bay.  Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa and Sam Hubbard have one a piece, but let us see if they can keep the pressure on in the second half.

Second Half

In 2016-esque fashion, the Silver Bullet placed the clamps on the Hoosier offense and Barrett turns on the offensive lightbulb as their talent and big-play abilities began to show.

Indiana started the second half only to be shut down in back-to-back drives.  Barrett’s stalled in a single drive and turned the ball over on downs before scampering into the end zone for their first lead of the game.

Lagow answered with another touchdown to his TE, but Barrett outdid Lagow with 2 touchdowns for 74-yard and 59-yard by Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon.  Both passes were short, but with the excellent downfield blocking and RAC ability, they both took it to the house.

With their third stringers on the Defensive Line spelling their starters, Jashon Cornell got Lagow for a strip sack and it was recovered by Jonathan Cooper.  The second turnover was important because Barrett found Binjimen Victor for an 11-yard score.

On the next offensive drive, Lagow made quite the drive, but he was then picked off by Denzel Ward for his second pick of the game, third overall.

Barrett and Ohio State piece together another scoring drive while grinding away at the clock. Antonio Williams rushes for his second score of the game to put the Buckeyes up 49-21.  Prior to the Williams touchdown, a hilarious moment was captured on National Television, as J.K. Dobbins was seen begging for that elusive TD only to get shut down by Coach Alford.

This was a measuring stick to see how far the team has come after the way things ended last season.  The offense and defense will continue to work out the kinks in the mean time.  Ohio State will prepare for another potent offense in Oklahoma.

 

 

 

Ohio State Projected Depth Chart 2017

With under a week left of the dreaded offseason, another year chalked full of expectation is upon us.  After a dreadful, nightmarish showing in last seasons CFB Playoff, Coach Meyer and company will prepare themselves for another run at the title.

Projected Starters for 2017:

QB:  J.T. Barrett

RB:  Mike Weber

WR:  Johnnie Dixon

WR:  Austin Mack

Slot/H-Back:  Terry McLaurin

TE:  Marcus Baugh

LT:  Jamarco Jones

LG:  Michael Jordan

C:  Billy Price

RG:  Brandon Bowen

RT:  Isaiah Prince

DE:  Sam Hubbard

DE:  Tyquan Lewis

DT:  Dre’mont Jones

DT:  Tracy Sprinkle

WLB:  Jerome Baker

MLB:  Chris Worley

SLB:  Dante Booker

CB:  Denzel Ward

CB:  Damon Arnette

Nickel:  Kendall Sheffield

S:  Damon Webb

S:  Erick Smith

K:  Sean Nuernberger

P:  Drue Chrisman

J.T. Barrett will return for the final chapter in his career.  Barrett will lead another talented offense in their quest for another title.  He will most likely hold every, if not most of Ohio State’s records and he will be able to obtain a few BIG records too.

Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins were neck and neck up until now, but due to an injury during practice, Haskins will serve as the backup QB.  This is a case of plain bad luck, and it really opens the door for Haskins to audition for the starting job in the 2018 season.  True Freshman Tate Martell is another interesting prospect who might just see some time during garbage time, but we will just have to see.

Weber will resume duties as the lead back of Tote Nation.  Behind him, he will have a true freshman, J.K. Dobbins to relieve him.  Dobbins has quite the following as he surpassed Antonio Williams and Demario McCall.

Zone 6 took a hit after Samuel and Brown left for the NFL, but the players that are on the team are sneaky good.  With the lack of a deep threat last season and a combination of poor play calling and the lack of confidence, the offense sputtered and was predictable.

This season will be different with Coach Wilson and Coach Day.  Both will provide a quick paced and high tempo attack that will leave opposing defenses gasping for air.  Mack, Dixon, and McLaurin are all speedsters that have big play ability and behind them are bigger stronger receivers like Victor, Harris, Grimes and Gardiner.

The O-Line returns 4 starters from last season, which helps Barrett remain upright.  The Slobs are all over 6’4″ with Price being the shortest of the bunch.  Prince was a liability, earned the title of starter at RG, but he is wedged between Price and Prince just in case he needs help.

The D-Line or the Rushmen returned the starters from last year and their backups.  They will terrorize teams with relentless pursuit.  Baker, Worley and a healthy Booker return to bolster their LB group.

The secondary proves to be of concern because they basically have to reload once again, after losing three first rounders to the NFL Draft.  Damon Webb and Denzel Ward return, but Damon Arnette, Kendall Sheffield will be the next two corners up, while Erick Smith will assume the other Safety spot.

Overall, I think the Buckeyes have what it takes to win the BIG onward to another Playoff berth, but crazy thing could happen as the season develops.  I will watch it as it progresses, but the talent is certainly there.  The drama has yet to unfold, but with the season fast approaching, I cannot wait to go through the emotions with you.

 

 

Preview: Ohio State vs Indiana

 

When:  Thursday, August 31st @ 6:00 PM on ESPN

Where:  The Rock, Bloomington, Indiana


With the 2017 College Football season fast approaching, I could not help but preview opening day of the upcoming season.  After my brief break due to my move back to the states, I am proud to say that I am back MOTSAG faithful!

To open the 2017 season, Ohio State will collide with a seasoned Indiana team that is capable of putting up huge numbers on opposing defenses, but that was under former Head Coach Kevin Wilson, who coincidentally was dismissed by Indiana and is now the Offensive Coordinator at Ohio State.
In an unusual turn of events and because of some luck, Coach Meyer jumped at the chance to improve their offensive deficiencies by employing Wilson.  Wilson has a proven track record of reinventing offenses under his watch with stints at Miami (OH), at Northwestern and at Oklahoma. He will bring a quick tempo attack to Ohio State, and it is what the Buckeyes lacked after Texas Coach Tom Herman left.
The search for improvements did not stop there, as Coach Meyer plucked another young coach from the NFL ranks to bolster their staff in Quarterback Coach Ryan Day.  Day, a Chip Kelly disciple, will be tasked to improve the QB play.  Day and Wilson will work side by side to resurrect an anemic Buckeye offense that was shut out in last years CFB Playoffs.
J.T. Barrett will lead the team for his last season donning the Scarlet and Gray for a Thursday game at Bloomington, Indiana.  With him, he has 4 returning starters along the O-Line, but a new RG that has yet to be announced.  Bruising RB Mike Weber returns and TE Marcus Baugh is back as well.
Ohio State will break in many first year starters at WR, with Dixon, Campbell, and McLaurin leading the way.  Ohio State also has a mix of older and younger players at the position vying for playing time in Hill, Mack, Victor, Harris, and Grimes, so we will have to see how the offense adapts to their newer, faster system.
The defense returns the majority of the front seven and their backups.  The biggest question would be the secondary, which lost 3 first rounders to the NFL Draft.  The projected starters at CB will likely be Arnette, Sheffield, and Ward with Okudah as the fourth man up.  While Wade, Williamson and Riep will be looking for playing time in during garbage time.
At the Safety spots, Webb is the only returning starter, while the other spot is up for grabs between Erick Smith and Jordan Fuller, who no matter who wins, both will play this season.  Both bring different playing styles, but both would do well when called upon.
Indiana has a bit of a QB battle going as Richard Lagow is trying to fight off a Redshirt FR Peyton Ramsey, who did well during the spring game.  They will have 5 returning starters on offense and a BIG leading 9 on defense led by Tegray Scales.  Scales will attempt to stymie his former Head Coaches new team in the season opener.
Prediction:  44-20 (Ohio State)
The Barrett led offense will shine in the opener, with obvious improvements across the board.  It will be a balanced attack with 200+ yards passing and at least 100 on the ground.  The WR’s will be the biggest improvement and the TE will be featured more frequently than the previous seasons.  O-Line will improve as well with Prince and the new RG being the key players, but also the key matchup.  
The defense will be stout, but the secondary with the new starters will give up a few huge chunk plays before the lock in.  The Rushmen package will be lethal the LB’s will give Indiana fits.  I look for them to have a least 2 sacks and a forced fumble, while the secondary snags 2 interceptions. Scales will lead the defensive charge and he will be a problem.  He will be near the ball the entire game.  

Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Defensive Line

The biggest strength of the Ohio State defense, the Rushmen, will wreak havoc this season.  After losing multiple starters to the NFL Draft over the past two years, Ohio State managed to return their key D-Linemen for at least one more season in the Scarlet and Gray.

At Defensive End, both starters from last year, Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis have returned and the will lock down the two starting positions for the Buckeyes.  Behind them, Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes and Dre’Mont Jones wait patiently to spell the aforementioned starters or during the Rushmen Package.

Defensive Tackle is the most open out of all the positions with Dre’Mont Jones returning and Tracy Sprinkle returning from injury from a season ago.  Michael Hill also has spent some time as a starter, and he will look to build further because his eligibility is running out.  Sprinkle was supposed to be the starter coming into last season, but an injury prevented him from starting.

Jones, Sprinkle and Hill will be fighting for the starting spot, while trying to stave off Landers who shined during spot duty.  Davon Hamilton will be nursing his broken foot and is this years Sprinkle, with an unfortunate injury.

The depth at Defensive Linemen is similar to what Coach Meyer had at Florida and the talent is in place.  Year after year, they team adds a couple of highly touted and quality recruits, and all of them train to make each other better.

A few names to watch for are Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, Haskell Garrett, Jerron Cage and Chase Young.  They add to the depth of the team and they all will be looking for a more permanent role on the team.  The biggest advantage is that they could all play and most of the DL are versatile and could play multiple positions.  It will be up to Coach Johnson to decide, but this will be an exciting group of players to watch for years to come.

Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Offensive Line

The Offensive Line or the Slobs have been a staple at Ohio State since the new Playoff system and as time has passed, the tradition still remains.  The Buckeyes have one lone member of that Championship team remaining.

At Left Tackle, Jamarco Jones will return to protect J.T. Barrett’s blindside for the 2018 season.  Jones was a solid contributor the entire year and he will try to continue to improve as the offseason continues and as the 2018 season approaches.  Behind Jones, a talented true freshman Josh Myers will look to make the two-deep as his back-up, but nothing will be given to him.  He will try to beat out upperclassmen such a Branden Bowen and Kevin Feder for the back-up spot.

Left Guard will return Michael Jordan, a rare true freshman starter who was the second Buckeye to earn a starting role along the Offensive Line just like Buckeye Legend Orlando Pace did years ago.  Behind Jordan Gavin Cupp, Matthew Burrell, Brady Taylor and Demetrious Knox will try to earn their way onto the two-deep.

The Center will be leaned on because the lone member on the Offensive Line, Billy Price will cap off his Ohio State career and start at the position.  He brings the experience and the stability to ensure the rest of the line lives up to the standard.  Behind him is Gavin Cupp and Jack Wohlabaugh who are two more versatile linemen wanting to help the team this season.

Right Guard was the only question mark as Price changed positions and Pat Elflein left for the NFL.  There are a bunch of good candidates in play here as incoming freshman Wyatt Davis will try to impress the coaches to be the third true freshman to start, but he will have to fend off the competition.  Malcolm Pridgeon, Matthew Burrell, Demetrious Knox, Brady Taylor and Gavin Cupp are all in play as well, making Right Guard the most interesting open spot on the roster.

Finally, at Right Tackle Isaiah Prince will look to rebound after surrendering a dreadful amount of pressures a season ago.  Prince was the weak link for the Slobs and he will have a fire in his belly to ensure he protects Barrett.  Behind him is incoming freshman Thayer Munford and the upperclassmen Bowen and Feder, who will try to unseat him or earn spot on the two-deep.

Consistency will be key and with 4 of the 5 starters from last season returning, the Buckeyes will search for improvement in communication and protection.  The trenches will be the biggest point of emphasis along with the lack of creativity with play calling.  Coach Meyer made some changes to his staff and it is now fight or flight.  How his team will respond to adversity and change.  Clemson did a number on the Slobs and they are looking for redemption and quite possibly, payback after the beatdown that they endured at the Fiesta Bowl.