Can Ohio State Buckeyes Run the Table in 2021?

Can Ohio State Buckeyes Run the Table in 2021?

Ryan Knuppel
1 year ago
3 min read
Can Ohio State Buckeyes Run the Table in 2021?

Ohio State is on a mission to return to the national championship and avenge a loss against Alabama that ended their season on a sour note last year. Whether or not their shot at Alabama comes will not be entirely up to them, but just like Clemson last year, they will do their best to live up to their end of the deal.

QB Inexperience

Ohio State has four QBs on the roster that are listed as freshmen and that I would bet on to play D1 football as a starter at some point in their life. How many of them will start at Ohio State? Two? I think Ohio State hopes that it's two, but it will be hard for them to screw up the QB situation with so much talent in the room and so much momentum on the recruiting trail when it comes to Ryan Day, Corey Dennis, and QB recruiting. 

I would be shocked to see anyone but CJ Stroud taking the first snap this season barring an injury or something of the sort, and this should be welcome news for Buckeye fans. While Stroud has never thrown a college pass, he was a former five-star QB that won the 2019 Elite 11 MVP. It's safe to say the Stroud has enough talent to keep this team on track, and I have zero worries about the inexperience at QB because of the rest of the offense.

Offensive Skill Position Insanity

The RB, WR, and TE group at Ohio State can argue as one of the best in modern football history heading into this season if certain players live up to their expectations, especially when all of their careers are over. We all know Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jeremy Ruckert, but I expect Miyan Williams, Treveyon Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and many others to be household names around Columbus this fall with 7 high 4 or 5-star receivers on the roster looking to make an impact.

In the Trenches

I expect the Buckeyes to have their strongest units in the lines in the last few years outside of the Chase Young year, where he was basically a one-man wrecking crew. The combination of Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith besides freshman 5-stars Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau on the edge should create chaos for opposing QBs all season long. On the offensive side of the ball, I think that we see Dawand Jones take over at right tackle, and we see one of the best offensive lines in Ohio State history and in the country this season.

Secondary Questions

It sounds like the Buckeyes are going to use a lot more athleticism at linebacker and even look at more five DB formations with a hybrid linebacker/safety combo to deal with speed on the interior that has hurt them over the last few years. The big question here is can the cornerback play improve from last season, and will a young talent step up and prove he needs playing time?

Schedule Analysis and Predictions

The Buckeyes start off with two tough games at Minnesota and vs. Oregon, but I think that the overall experience on offense outside of the QB position will be too much for those teams to deal with, and I think that will just continue with better QB play as the season rolls along. 

Ohio State has historically played at Penn State and at Michigan in alternating seasons, and this is a year where they play at Michigan, and I think that is a win for the Bucks. They would much rather go to the Big House than enter a hostile white-out environment in Happy Valley. This is a team that hasn’t played a true nailbiter game in the regular season in two seasons, and I think this will be the third with the same result. 

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