2014 Ohio State Season Outlook

7/25/14 in NCAAF   |   tyquedens   |   1 respect

Blog Photo - 2014 Ohio State Season OutlookComing off of a disappointing end to the 2013-14 season, the Ohio State Buckeyes will be looking to reach the first ever College Football Playoff. It is hard to tell if they will be able to accomplish this as they have lost a few key players and are facing a much tougher schedule this year compared to last. Braxton Miller is now a senior, which means that the quarterback should be much more experienced and comfortable when it comes time for the big games. Even with Miller's experience, the offense could be a little shaky to start the season as Coach Meyer has had to replace most of the offensive line, as well as star running back Carlos Hyde. As far as defense is concerned, it will be interesting to see who steps up as leaders. The Buckeyes lost defensive leaders such as Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby to the NFL, but I think they are very capable of replacing them.

     The Buckeyes start off the 2014-15 season with a decent non-conference schedule. The one game I believe could be troublesome is the Virginia Tech game in Columbus. The Hokies aren't the most dangerous team out there, but I believe they are the most powerful team the Buckeyes will face in non-conference play. If Ohio State doesn't come to play that night, the Hokies have a chance to slip out of Columbus with a win. I don't expect the Buckeyes to lose in non-conference play, but it is important that they don't take any of these games too lightly.

     Ohio State will start off B1G play with games against the newest members of the conference, Maryland and Rutgers.
These should be easy wins and should start the Buckeyes off well in conference play. The trouble comes with the three games after that. In their most likely toughest game of the season, the Buckeyes will head to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans in a rematch of last years B1G title game. This game could easily be a problem for Ohio State's offense as it was in the conference title game, and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff plans on attacking the Spartan defense. The two games prior to the MSU game will be tough as well. First, the Buckeyes will go on the road to take on Penn State in Happy Valley. This game won't be easy, but I believe OSU will prevail by a slim margin. Next, they come home to take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois. The Illini are always a threat for the Buckeyes and I expect this to be a very close game with the Buckeyes winning. To finish the regular season, the Buckeyes will take on  That Team Up North at home in The 'Shoe. As always, this will be a very intense and action packed game, but I expect the Buckeyes to win, improving Urban Meyer's record against TTUN to 3-0.

     Below is my game-by-game prediction, including postseason predictions:

1. Navy - W  38-14
2. Virginia Tech - W  27-17
3. Kent State - W  41-9
4. Cincinnati - W  34-13
5. Maryland - W  45-14
6. Rutgers - W  28-6
7. Penn State - W  30-17
8. Illinois - W  24-16
9. Michigan State - L  20-24
10. Minnesota - W  38-10
11. Indiana - W  48-21
12. TTUN - W  34-20

Big Ten Championship: The Buckeyes will find a way to sneak in to the Championship game even with a loss against MSU. I believe they will go on to defeat the Wisconsin Badgers from the B1G West.

Postseason: It's hard to tell now, but I believe Ohio State will not get into the playoffs this year because of the loss to MSU. I think the only way the Buckeyes can get in is by going undefeated, including the B1G Championship Game.

     My opinions may be a tad biased or inaccurate, but I believe that the Buckeyes have a legitimate chance of having  a great 2014-15 season. They may not make the playoffs, but they have they ability to be a very dangerous team throughout the year.
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