Ohio State Buckeyes Season Preview: Defense Loaded With Talent

Ohio State Buckeyes Football

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes football season was one of the more interesting seasons you’ll ever see in college football.

Following punishment from an illegal player benefit scandal, first year head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were faced with a 2012 bowl ban, so they had nothing to play for. That didn’t stop the Buckeyes from dominating their competition and going undefeated, capping it off with a win over arch-rival Michigan.

If there is one thing that needs to improve for the Buckeyes to have a shot at going undefeated in the Big Ten in 2012, it is the defense, although the defense was still pretty good last season.

The Buckeyes defense did struggle at times to stop teams last season and found themselves in a couple shootouts, and no team wants to be in those kinds of situations. They finished eighth in the conference in scoring defense, giving up 25.6 points per game on the season. They finished fifth in total defense, giving up 342 yards per game last year.

There is definitely room for improvement, and Ohio State certainly has the players to boost that defensive production. On the defensive line, the Buckeyes will start two of the brightest young defensive ends in all of college football with Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence, two former five-star recruits.

At linebacker, Ryan Shazier will be the leader of the group and is one of the most athletic linebackers in the conference. He currently has the attention of every NFL scout.

The secondary is the most loaded positional group for the Buckeyes, led by All-American corner Bradley Roby who might be the best defensive back in the entire country. Safeties Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett have tons of experience and will be leaders of the defense.

With all the returning talent on defense, it’s hard to imagine the Buckeyes won’t improve their defensive numbers from 2012. If they are capable of doing so and matching the production of their offense, they might not lose a game again.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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