Ohio State fans know they should be excited for the 2013 football season. At least, I hope so. For those who aren’t exactly sure why 2013 should be a memorable one for the Buckeyes, here are the top eight reasons that any Ohio State fan should be counting down the days until the first game (53).
8. Carlos Hyde
As the 2012 season went on, defenses began to clamp down on Braxton Miller, leaving Hyde to pick up the slack, which he did in impressive fashion. Hyde missed two games early in the year but still managed to gain over 900 yards on the ground. Also, considering that Ohio State could have played two more games between the B1G Championship Game and a bowl game, Hyde would have rushed for well over 1,000 yards. With Ohio State having a plethora of speedy options, Hyde’s power running abilities make the Buckeyes’ offense that much more dynamic.
7. Bradley Roby
Roby makes for an exciting cover-guy because his biggest strength is what most corners lack: toughness. A relentless competitor, Roby has no issue coming in fast and taking down a guy twice his size. Considering his upper-body strength and his speed (rumored to run around a 4.30 40-yard dash), Roby can cover any type of receiver. The junior should be the next great Ohio State defensive back in the NFL.
6. Ryan Shazier
Shazier is an awesome physical specimen, often appearing in the opponent’s backfield in a flash. As the lone starting linebacker returning, Shazier will be looked at for leadership. With some work on his one-on-one and open field tackling, Shazier could be seeing plenty off-season accolades. He already has plenty of motivation coming into this season after being snubbed from the All-Big Ten Coaches First Team last season.
Urban Meyer’s first full offseason at Ohio State resulted in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. The Buckeyes return most starters from last year’s 12-0 team, and where there are holes to fill, an anxious back-up awaits. Ohio State fans should be excited to see which freshmen can find playing time with all that returning experience. Pay special attention to the freshmen on the defensive side of the ball— we may see a few inserted into starter roles as the season rolls along.
4. Offensive Line
Don’t forget about these guys. Not for one second. Four starters from last season return and all four are seniors. The fifth spot should go to Taylor Decker, who almost won himself a spot in the line-up last season. If you’ve ever wanted to be excited to see an offensive line in action, this is your year. The Buckeyes have plenty of weapons, so adding a solid, experienced O-line should really bolster what should be one of the nation’s top offenses.
3. Braxton Miller
Meyer showed his confidence in Miller’s arm last year by going to 5-wide sets often. After a year in Meyer’s offense, Miller should show improvement in the passing game; last year he tended to hang onto the ball too long. Really, with his running ability being so electrifying, it doesn’t matter much. If he can get even just slightly better throwing the ball, it’ll be a long year for B1G defenses.
2. Easy Schedule
Michigan is the biggest threat? Cal is the premier out-of-conference game? Honestly the schedule is so bad Ohio State fans should be nervous. Any loss will be a significant letdown.
1. Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer should be the reason Ohio State fans are excited about 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016… you get the point. But they should be especially excited about having Meyer this year because of his past success in his second season at other programs. If Meyer can improve a 6-7 to 12-0, then what will 2013 bring?