Urban Meyer enters his seventh season at Ohio State with the same expectations as usual. The defending Big Ten champions will be right back in the hunt for the College Football Playoff after being the first team left out in 2017. Meyer is 73-8 since arriving in Columbus in 2012, and the Buckeyes are always in the national title conversation. That should be no different this season with an offense that will have a three-way quarterback battle in the spring and a defense built around All-American defensive lineman Nick Bosa. This is a team capable of returning to the national championship heights reached in 2014 — and the Buckeyes found out last year what it will take to get there.
Ohio State Football is ranked No. 4 in Sporting News’ updated way-too-early top 25. Here’s an early look at the Buckeyes:
Ohio State schedule 2018
|April 14||LifeSports Spring Game||Columbus, Ohio|
|Sept. 1||Oregon State||Columbus, Ohio|
|Sept. 8||Rutgers||Columbus, Ohio|
|Sept. 15||No. 18 TCU||Arlington, Texas|
|Sept. 22||Tulane||Columbus, Ohio|
|Sept. 29||at No. 10 Penn State||University Park, Pa.|
|Oct. 6||Indiana||Columbus, Ohio|
|Oct. 13||Minnesota||Columbus, Ohio|
|Oct. 20||at Purdue||West Lafayette, Ind.|
|Nov. 3||Nebraska||Columbus, Ohio|
|Nov. 10||at No. 16 Michigan State||East Lansing, Mich.|
|Nov. 17||at Maryland||College Park, Md.|
|Nov. 24||No. 17 Michigan||Columbus, Ohio|
|Dec. 1||Big Ten championship||Indianapolis|
Ohio State football recruiting 2018
Ohio State had the No. 2 recruiting class in 2018, according to 247Sports’ Composite team rankings. Meyer continues to stockpile elite blue-chip talent, and this class added five-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (Berkeley Prep, Tampa, Fla.) on Signing Day to a class that already had five stars in defensive tackle Taron Vincent (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.) and safety Tyreke Johnson (Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.). It’s a loaded class.
What to watch in 2018
1. Who is the starting QB?
With four-year starter J.T. Barrett gone, the spring quarterback race among Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow and Tate Martell — who all have familiarity with co-offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day — should be intense. Haskins is the early favorite, given how well he played in relief of an injured Barrett in the 31-20 victory against Michigan. That will be the No. 1 storyline in Columbus until Meyer names a starter, and it will be interesting to see how that affects the plans of the two quarterbacks who don’t win the starting job.
2. What’s next for dynamic duo?
J.K. Dobbins enjoyed an impressive freshman campaign in which he compiled 1,403 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. That’s more impressive when you consider he averaged 7.2 yards per carry. Mike Weber, who rushed for 626 yards and 10 touchdowns, also returned to school. It will be interesting to see how Wilson, Day and Meyer manage the carries between these two talented running backs.
3. Who’s the next great cornerback?
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano returns for the 2018 season, and the biggest coaching change marked defensive coach Kerry Coombs leaving for the same position with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The Buckeyes brought back Taver Johnson, who coached the defensive backs from 2007-11, from Temple. Denzel Ward left for the NFL, and will join Marshon Lattimore (2017), Eli Apple (2016) and Bradley Roby (2014) as first-round cornerbacks. Who’s left at Ohio State? Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield are veterans, but keep an eye on Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade, both five-star cornerbacks from the 2017 class. Their time is coming.