With another wild year of college football on the horizon, there is a serious focus on the Ohio State Buckeyes football program and its new head coach Urban Meyer.
Who has the most pressure on them?
Meyer will look to stars like Braxton Miller to take the reins of the team and help lead them to the elite levels of college football again.
While the Buckeyes aren’t eligible for a Big Ten or Bowl win this year, they can build for the future with a great 2012.
With the departure of Dan Herron to the Cincinnati Bengals, the primary running back on the field will be junior Carlos Hyde. As much as Braxton Miller will rack up the rushing yards, the Buckeyes need Hyde to step up and take the workload as well.
With another year of experience and the confidence of the coaching staff, Hyde will be looking to have at least 200 rushes in 2012 and will try to continue the 5.3 yards per carry average he had last season.
If Hyde and Miller can find a potent chemistry together, there is little doubt that both will see more rushing plays and could each top the 900-yard rushing mark. We could be talking about one of the best running back/quarterback duos in college football.
The Defense as a Unit
After losing a few starters this offseason, the Ohio State Buckeyes must find the consistency they had defensively last year again in 2012. While the offensive transition will be arduous, the better the defense plays, the easier the transition to Meyer’s style will be.
The Buckeyes defense was left out to dry by their putrid offense too many times last year, but they still managed to finish in 19th overall in the country in terms of defense. With the reclamation project on offense in full swing, the defense will have a better chance to succeed.
With only 23 sacks in all of 2011, Meyer will turn around the focus of the defense and ensure that those numbers will almost double. At the conclusion of the season, Ohio State will have close to 40 sacks.
For any Urban Meyer team in history, the offense starts and ends with the abilities of the quarterback. That’s why Braxton Miller is the biggest star that must shine for Ohio State.
Miller was the ultimate dual-threat QB in 2011, rushing 159 times and throwing 157 passes for a total of almost 1,900 yards of total offense and 20 touchdowns. Now that Meyer is on board to teach him all the tricks of the spread system, the numbers will skyrocket.
While Miller doesn’t have the elite size (6’2”, 210 lbs.), his speed and elusiveness will help give the offense a chance to be potent. With the help of Urban’s classic Florida Gators trickery, the Buckeyes will be dangerous with Miller as QB in 2012.
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