College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Ohio State football season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Keys To The Season
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Ohio State Football Schedule Analysis
– Ohio State Buckeyes Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Preview 2021: Offense
– The offense was fantastic, and now it’s about keeping it all going with a new quarterback and a few different parts up front. The Buckeyes averaged 519 yards and 41 points per game, the running game rolled, the turnovers were kept to a relative minimum, and there was a terrific combination of explosiveness and power to adapt when things weren’t smooth. But the main man who ran the thing is now – most likely – going to be the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback.
Justin Fields wasn’t everything to the Ohio State offense, but he was about as MVPish as it gets. It’s Ohio State, so the factory is about to crank out the next star who’ll take over, but it might take just a little while for everything to be smooth.
With a trip to Minnesota to start the season and the Oregon game to follow, there’s no time here for a warm-up, so …
– Game On, CJ Stroud … maybe. The star quarterback recruit of a few years ago should be the main man to pilot this thing, but redshirt freshman Jack Miller isn’t being counted out of the mix. They’re both big, they can both throw, and they both need time. But …
Welcome, Quinn Ewers. The superstar prospect ditched his senior year of high school to get to school early, and now this battle just got a whole lot more interesting. He’s got the pro-style skills to take over the gig right away, but obviously there would be a learning curve in every way if he was able to push up into the No. 1 spot. And there’s a reason why he might just do that.
One slight nitpicky negative from the way the short 2020 season went was the development of the young quarterbacks – there wasn’t really any in game action. Fields was the only Buckeye to throw a pass. Fortunately going forward, the new starting quarterback has a loaded receiving corps to work with.
– The Buckeyes caught a massive break when Chris Olave decided to return for his senior year. A dangerous deep threat, he turned into even more of a No. 1 target last season with a team-high 50 catches for 729 yards and seven scores.
Olave will be the main man again, but Garrett Wilson might be the more explosive playmaker on the outside X position. He averaged close to 17 yards per catch – finishing second on the team with 43 grabs for 723 yards and six scores – and there’s a whole lot of fast young talent ready to rise up.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba should take on a big role in the slot, and superstar recruit Emeka Egbuka should be ready from the moment he steps on campus. However, the Buckeyes lost Jameson Williams – who caught nine passes for 154 yards and two scores – to Alabama.
The tight end situation is set. Jeremy Ruckert only caught 13 passes, but he scored five times and should be an even bigger part of the attack as a safety-valve for Stroud.
– The offensive line loses a few guys, but it has its normal array of all-star talent. There will be some shifting around inside, but Thayer Munford is back for another year at one tackle job, and future NFL starter Nick Petit-Frere is a good one at left tackle.
The pass protection was a tad spotty – Fields was always tough while waiting for the downfield plays to develop – but the line was a steamroller for the ground game. It will be again.
Trey Sermon might be done after closing out – before getting hurt in the national title game – with an epic three-game stretch, but Master Teague is a solid, veteran back who ran for 514 yards and eight scores. He’s not the receiver that Sermon was, and on the way to push for time is star recruit TreVeyon Henderson to bring more explosiveness to the mix.