Ohio State again is going to have one of the most high-powered offenses in college football. The offense is going to be left in the hands of senior quarterback Braxton Miller who skipped out on the NFL draft to play one more year in Columbus. “I want to help this team win a Big Ten championship next year.” Braxton has been the starter since mid way through his freshman season. I don’t think Buckeye fans are going to settle with Big Ten Championship. They are certainly thinking big picture. Miller will be the key to success for the Buckeyes in 2014. Miller is coming off a season with over 3,000 yards in only 11 games including 1,068 on the ground. But in 2014, look for Miller to try to be more of a pocket quarterback and not just an athlete at quarterback.
The Buckeyes will be without their workhorse Carlos Hyde who rushed for over 1,500 yards in 2013. Hyde will be replaced by sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot rushed for 262 yards in only 30 attempts last season with two touchdowns. When asked about replacing Hyde, Elliot responded “We’re going to compete and just have to work hard through spring practice.” A typical answer for a young player. Not wanting to seem to cocky or act like the position is his. But the fact is the job is his. Elliot was the 11th best running back in the 2013 recruiting class and looks to make a big splash in the offense.
Ohio State returns a few key members of their receiving core. Devin Smith, who collected over 600 yards and caught eight touchdowns in 2013, will be number one on the depth chart for the Bucks. Smith will be joined by senior receiver Evan Spencer, who claimed that Ohio State could wipe the floor with any team that they faced last season. All we can say about that is at least he has faith in himself and in his teammates. Spencer only caught 22 passes, with three touchdowns, in 2013. Limited time has caused Spencer’s numbers to drop but the kid can still play. Ohio State also returns 6’6 tight end Jeff Heuerman. Heuerman played a huge role in the passing game in 2013 catching 26 balls, with four touchdowns. But his run blocking ability is what made him stand out. Heuerman was able to open up holes for the backs and Miller to take off. Although after suffering a mid-foot injury which required surgery, Huerman is expected to sideline him from workouts until early June. Dontre Wilson will be a name you want to remember. Wilson a 5’10 wide receiver who has been used like Urban used to use Percy Harvin back at Florida. Wilson rushed for over 200 yards last season and had collected 200 yards through the air. Only a freshman, Wilson’s role was somewhat limited in 2013. Look for him to have a breakout year in 2014.
The Buckeyes offensive line in 2013 had three all-conference members, who happen to all graduate. The young offensive line is going to be one of the biggest keys for Ohio State in 2014. Tyler Decker is the sole returning starter from last years offensive line. The battle to gain the other four spots is up for grabs with everyone on the roster. That will defiantly be something to keep in eye out for in 2014.
Look for Ohio State’s offense to once again be one of the premier ones in the country. With Braxton Miller and Ezekiel Elliot leading the way, the Bucks will surely be one of the contenders to win the Big Ten Championship.