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Ohio State Football: Will Urban Meyer Continue Second-Year Surge at OSU?

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Ohio State Football: Will Urban Meyer Continue Second-Year Surge at OSU?
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

When Urban Meyer capped his first year at Ohio State with a 26-21 victory over Michigan last November, he secured just the sixth undefeated season in school history and sent Buckeyes fans into a frenzied celebration.

If history really does repeat itself, that was just a preview of the brilliance to come.

Throughout Meyer's coaching career, his teams have consistently performed at a higher level during the second year of his tenure. This wasn't just true at Florida, where he took a 9-3 team in 2005 and turned it into a national champion a year later. Bowling Green and Utah also fielded more successful teams in Meyer's second year, both statistically and in victories.

Will the Buckeyes experience similar growth? 

Naturally, this question won't be answered until the end of the season. Oddly enough, though, Meyer has the pieces in place to improve on the perfection Ohio State achieved last year.

There are certain similarities that link the teams Meyer has coached over the years. They're typically mad about something, consistently score a ton of points and are almost always led by outstanding quarterbacks.

Meyer won't struggle getting the Buckeyes angry. In a rare look inside Ohio State's fall camp last year, Meyer delivered this message to his team (via news-herald.com):

I want an angry team. I want a pissed-off football team. I want a team that has a chip on their shoulders. Maybe something's been taken from you. Are you a team that's gonna go get it? You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You have an angry football team. You have an angry staff.

Ohio State, of course, went on to win all of its games, but the Buckeyes couldn't compete for a championship while serving a postseason ban due to NCAA violations.

It's not hard to imagine Meyer using that to get his team riled up.

The Buckeyes also return nine starters to an offense that led the Big Ten in scoring (37.2 points per game). Ohio State gets four of its five offensive linemen back, its entire backfield and last year's top two receivers.

That experience will only help an already explosive offense. At his previous coaching stops, Meyer's second-year teams have averaged almost 10 points per game more than they did the year before.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
If Ohio State gets any better in 2013, they could be hoisting a crystal trophy at the end of the season.

Does that mean Ohio State will average nearly 50 points per game? Not necessarily, but Meyer's teams have never taken a step back in their second years together.

Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller should keep the Buckeyes moving forward.

The dual-threat quarterback dazzled spectators with his tailor-made ability to orchestrate Meyer's spread offense, and with another offseason to perfect his craft, Ohio State should be even more lethal offensively.

And just as his teams improve, Meyer's quarterbacks also show a tremendous amount of growth. Miller showed flashes of that during Ohio State's spring game, completing 64 percent of his passes and throwing two touchdowns against no interceptions.

Again, none of this guarantees that the Buckeyes will be better than they were last year.

But if the past is an indicator for what's to come, Ohio State could be on the verge of a special season.

 

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412

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