Ohio State Football: Biggest Improvements Buckeyes Must Make to Close Out Season

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches a reply while meeting with members of his defense during a timeout on September 1, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Miami 56-10. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Even if Ohio State loses its final two games of the regular season, the team's first year under the guidance of head coach Urban Meyer will have been a successful one.

Not even the staunchest Ohio State supporter could have predicted that the team would take to Meyer's system as quickly—and as well—as they have.

To be fair, the Buckeyes' record is a bit deceiving. Outside of No. 16 Nebraska, they haven't faced a ranked team all season long, and other than the Cornhuskers, only two other schools—Penn State and Central Florida—have winning records on the season.

With no postseason to look forward to, Ohio State is not only playing for perfection and pride, but it will continue to try and improve in all facets of the game, giving the Buckeyes an even better chance of repeating their success next season.


The Continued Evolution of Braxton Miller the Quarterback

Can we really call Braxton Miller a dual-threat quarterback when he really doesn't throw the ball as well as the elite quarterbacks in the nation?

His own coach, Urban Meyer, isn't happy with his quarterback's progress as a passer in 2012 (h/t Columbus Dispatch):

I hate to say it like this, but I am very disappointed in the progress of his throwing game. He could be better than he is.

He is a great player; he works hard. Mechanically, he can throw the ball very well.

We have to settle him down and work harder at developing his fundamentals. He has all the tools … the arm strength, the quick release, he has good vision, he finds guys that are open. So that area of the game, he can really continue to improve. You’re not seeing anything close to what the final product better be because he could be a fine passer.

Miller's ability to run with the ball is an explosive weapon to have, and an important part of his arsenal that he cannot—and should not—stop utilizing.

But Miller needs to force the opposition to respect his ability to throw the ball as well, something that will not only make him a better quarterback, but Ohio State a much more potent offensive unit than it is currently.


Improved Tackling on Defense

Part of the problem Ohio State's defense has had could be attributed to the fact that the offense has been striking quickly, giving the defense little time to catch its breath and rest on the sidelines before having to head back out onto the field.

Their tackling has been sloppy, though, whether it be players breaking off big runs against them or plays going for seven-or-eight yards when it should have been no more than a two-or-three-yard gain for the opposition.

It's not just one area of the defense, it's the entire unit that shares in the blame. It's a correctable issue, and one the Buckeyes will need to show improvement in not only over the last two games of the season, but heading into 2013 as well.