The 2012 season was a bittersweet one for Ohio State and its fans. On one hand, the team finished 12-0, finished atop the Leaders Division and watch Braxton Miller develop into a true star who finished fifth in the Heisman voting.
On the other hand, the team wasn't eligible to play in the Big Ten championship game or postseason play stemming from NCAA violations, meaning the perfect season was cut short.
But this year the Buckeyes will be eligible to play January football, and that will once again be the expectation. Ohio State should once again have one of the most dangerous offenses in the Big Ten, and how the defense responds to a lot of turnover will be the main factor to watch.
We'll start watching this Saturday at the team's spring day. Below, you'll find all you'll need to watch or listen to all of the action, along with a preview of the game.
When: Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Listen: WBNS 97.1 FM The Fan; WDJO AM-1480 (Cincinnati)
Ohio State should once again be prolific on offense, with Miller returning to helm the ship and Carlos Hyde bringing his bruising style of running to the backfield again in 2013. Four seniors return on the offensive line, while H-back Jordan Hall will return to the team after injury forced him to redshirt last season.
Corey Brown and Devin Smith will once again be looked upon to make big plays down the field at wide receiver as well.
But the real question is how the defense will recover after losing seven starters, including all four starting defensive linemen. Defensive end Noah Spence is having an excellent spring, however, and is a player to watch at this year's spring game.
One area the team still retains a lot of experience is in the secondary, as cornerback Bradley Roby and safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant will be expected to remain sturdy against the pass. With a lot of turnover in the front seven, however, those position battles will remain some of the most intriguing for the Buckeyes.
Senior to Watch: Carlos Hyde, RB
Hyde was a solid contributor for the Buckeyes last season, rushing for 970 yards and scoring 17 total touchdowns. The 242-pound back is an absolute mauler, and in Urban Meyer's run-heavy scheme, he'll be expected to carry the load once again this season.
While Rod Smith and Bri'onte Dunn could push him for time, Hyde has a unique blend of size, speed and power, and could be one of the Big Ten's breakout performers this season. Keep an eye on No. 34.
Underclassman to Watch: Braxton Miller, QB
He might not seem like an underclassman, seeing as he's been the team's starter since his freshman year, but Miller enters 2013 with Heisman hopes and the expectations that he'll lead Ohio State to a Big Ten title.
No pressure or anything.
It's no secret that Miller can make plays with his feet, but one thing to watch in the spring game will be if he's making better reads and showing improved accuracy in the passing game. Teams are going to once again try to take away Ohio State's rushing attack, so Miller has to be able to make plays down the field.
Obviously, all eyes will probably be glued to Miller during the spring game anyway—he's fun to watch. But look for the subtle nuances and differences in his game, namely when he steps back to pass. If he continues to improve as a passer, Ohio State's offense is going to be nasty this season.