One of the best conversations in this year's college football scene is the big game, Ohio State vs. Miami. It makes a great early morning conversation if you need a little more than a cup of coffee to wake you up. Might as well add the creamer, along with national championship talk.
Last year, college football fans saw the rebirth of a team which looked like it had absolutely no ability to win a big time football game after the regular season. Sure, the Buckeyes boasted huge wins against Wisconsin, Penn State, and Iowa. However, before the Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks began, a brief, yet disastrous history of losing three consecutive B.C.S. bowls overshadowed the three big season victories. What made it worse is that two of the bowls were national championship games against the Florida Gators and the LSU Tigers. Talk about the never ending Ohio heartbreak. At least that seemed to be the case.
What lessons did the Rose Bowl provide us with? For one, it is very possible that Ohio State can contain any offensive threat in football. Now, that is not to say they will have similar success against Miami, but you never know. The second lesson is that Terrelle Pryor is finally comfortable with the playbook and being an aggressive quarterback. What does that mean? He passes longer, faster, and with touch on the ball when he needs to. Of course, any fan simply has to take into account that he can run like Vince Young. Buckeye fans in particular see this all the time. The third lesson is all the Ohio State opponents need to be on high alert when covering DeVier Posey. The stats prove that this guy is Pryor's main weapon on offense and that is expected to continue. This offense is ready to roll in 2010.
Jim Heacock, Ohio State Defensive Coordinator, is already boasting about the defense. He is saying flat out that this is the best defensive unit he's ever seen. Although Ohio State lost a few defensive players to the N.F.L. Draft and graduation, they still have some big names on the roster that can cause problems for almost every offense. In particular, opponents need to be aware of Cameron Heyward, Ross Homan, and Chimdi Chekwa. These three defensive monsters can take down any quarterback or drop back into pass coverage and intercept any pass that comes their way. They also have so much speed, that offensive players better be ready to tackle them, otherwise it's pick six. This defensive unit was feared by every quarterback because they were one of the nation's leaders in interceptions last year. They also were in the top ten in points scored against them per game, which was just over 10.
Ohio State's defensive unit is great at stopping the run, which became very evident in the Rose Bowl. They really bottled LaMichael James and they did a relatively nice job against LaGarrette Blount.
The Buckeyes face a stiff challenge early on as they face Miami on September 11. The big conference games are against Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan. Should the Buckeyes advance the B.C.S. National Championship in Glendale, Arizona, they will likely face the Alabama Crimson Tide. It will be very interesting to see what happens.