By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on August 14, 2014
Heading into the 2014 season, the Ohio State Buckeyes have high expectations yet again under head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer enters his third season at the helm having gone undefeated in the regular season and like last year, the Buckeyes are expected to play for a national championship. But questions still loom for Ohio State; here are five questions for the Buckeyes entering into the 2014 season.
For the past two seasons, the Buckeyes have had the luxury of Kenny Guiton backing up Braxton Miller at QB. Guiton would've been a starter on most FBS teams, and he showed it when Miller was down due to injury. With Guiton gone, the Buckeyes must now rely on either Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett, both of whom have limited playing experience. If Miller goes down, the offense may go down with him unless Jones or Barrett pose as suitable backups.
The Ohio State offensive line lost four out of its five starters from a year ago, but that may not be a bad omen for the Buckeyes. For one, the Buckeyes' linemen were mainly all guards playing the three line positions, so to have naturals at each position is something Buckeye fans haven't seen in a while. The Buckeyes also boast two quality options at center and the lone returning starter, Taylor Decker, moving from right tackle to the left side.
Last season the Buckeyes' defense was bad by OSU standards and the defensive secondary was a big part of the problem. Urban Meyer has taken some of the blame for the issues, stating that he should've given younger players a chance rather than continue to redshirt them. The Buckeyes have lost three out of four starters at defensive back, with cornerback Doran Grant returning. Sophomore safety Vonn Bell will play a big role in 2014.
One of the biggest concerns for Ohio State will be the health of Heisman trophy hopeful Braxton Miller. Last season, Miller was sidelined due to injuries but Kenny Guiton was able to fill the void. This year, there is no guarantee that his backups will be able to do the same. Ohio State's team success will greatly hinge on Miller's health, and if he's able to stay healthy the Buckeyes very well could find themselves in the inaugural FBS playoffs.
In the perfect scenario of the team staying relatively healthy, including Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes are favorites to win the Big Ten East as well as the Big Ten Conference Championship. If OSU is able to escape the season undefeated, they will surely find themselves in the top four teams headed to the FBS playoffs. The Buckeyes will be fun to watch in 2014 due to their numerous offensive weapons and an extremely imposing defensive line.
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