Ohio State Football: Biggest Problems for Urban Meyer to Sort out This Summer
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After a fantastic 2012 campaign, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football team have under 12 weeks to prepare for the new season.
But, not all's well in Buckeye nation as the team has many questions still unanswered from spring football.
With 80 days and counting down, here's Urban Meyer's biggest problems to sort out as he heads into the heat of the Ohio summer.
Who will start at right tackle?
Returning four of five offensive linemen from an undefeated season sounds good on paper, but not good enough for Meyer.
The spring game left Meyer questioning who will take over the right tackle position.
"You can’t play with four linemen. One of those young players has got to step up and they haven’t this spring." Meyer said after the spring game. "To be the best offense in the Big Ten, you have to have five guys up front, which we had last year."
Meyer also went on to say that the guards were not All-Big Ten and need to mechanically get better.
Meyer will need one of his sophomores to step up this summer: Taylor Decker or Chase Farris.
Can the defensive line gel?
In 2012, the Buckeyes finished 14th in the nation at stopping the run. Credit, Super Bowl champion and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel. However, six of the front seven are not returning, including all four defensive lineman.
Luckily, Meyer has already appointed a new front. Highly touted sophomore defensive ends Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington and untested, veteran interior defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Joel Hale are all set to take over.
But, this line will need to find a leader and an anchor this summer to prepare them for any adversity in the fall.
Can Braxton Miller continue to develop into a passing quarterback?
Can Braxton Miller win games with his arm? Last season, they were ranked No. 105 in passing yards per game with Miller under center. Miller bailed out the Buckeyes in several games with his legs.
But, teams in 2013 will better game plan knowing how deadly Miller is on the ground. Big 10 teams could bait Miller into throwing. This summer, with Miller's legs firmly under him, he can develop into the passing quarterback that Heisman trophy winners are sought out to be, a la Troy Smith.
Smith rushed for 11 touchdowns the year before he threw for 30.
How will the freshmen fit in?
This summer, the Buckeyes will be faced with the task of molding together a diverse group of freshmen. Much like every year, recruits hail from all over the country.
With the No. 2 recruiting class joining a previously undefeated squad, it will be interesting to see what roles these talented stars will mesh into. Meyer will be tasked with deciding who will redshirt, who will play on special teams, who will contribute, and who will make the biggest impact come fall.
The 2013 Season
The Buckeyes will need to figure out the right tackle position fast. Urban Meyer doesn't want to stay up all night over summer.
Hopefully, competition between sophomores Taylor Decker and Chase Farris will result in the best tackle option.
Then, as the Buckeyes head into the first game of the season with all the questions answered, expect Braxton Miller to use the pocket to his advantage. When the Buckeyes open up against the Buffalo Bulls on August 31, Miller will sky-rocket himself into the head of the Heisman discussion, using nothing but his arm.
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