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Jonathan Knight

0001 ohio-state-football-players1For weeks I’ve been dying to ask an Ohio State fan - any Ohio State fan - one burning question:

Why are you excited about this season?

For good reason, lovers of college football always get a little twitchy this time of year. The game they love emerges out of the ether like a monarch butterfly after an eight-month chrysalis stage. It’s fun and exciting and I get that.

But that only goes so far. Usually to the end of the first weekend.

So why would an OSU fan’s excitement last longer than that?

To be sure, the Buckeyes are talented, and that always warrants some excitement. Indeed, lack of talent is a big reason most sports fans have a hard time getting riled up for the start of a new season. When your team of choice isn’t capable of winning more than a third of its contests, there’s no sports Viagra out there to - ahem - supplement your excitement.


Dan Wismar

JordanHall BuffThe Buckeyes bolted to a 23-0 first quarter lead, and then battled a Buffalo Bulls’ comeback and the oppressive heat on the way to a 40-20 win in their season opener Saturday at the Horseshoe. Braxton Miller threw touchdown passes on the first two OSU possessions, and senior tailback Jordan Hall rushed for two long TD’s on his way to a career-best 159-yard day.

The Buckeyes apparently found the answer to the slow starts that plagued them last year. But two big OSU turnovers let Buffalo back into the game in the second quarter. “First quarter was script,” said Urban Meyer in his postgame remarks. ”You can’t play much better than our guys did. We're pushing the ball down the field, guys making plays.”


Dan Wismar

- Saturday, August 31, 2013

- 12:00 p.m. ET

- Buffalo at Ohio State

- Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

- TV: ESPN2 

Shazier3Urban Meyer and his Ohio State Buckeyes will put their 12-game winning streak on the line when they kick off the 2013 season Saturday, hosting the Bulls of the University of Buffalo at the Horseshoe. It’s customary to look ahead rather than back at this time of year, but that zero in the loss column was the consolation prize for Meyer and the Buckeyes a year ago, and the winning streak is the nation’s longest coming into the new season..

The Buckeyes are a 34.5-point favorite to dispose of the Bulls, a 4-8 team a year ago, although they have improved steadily under 4th-year head coach Jeff Quinn. Without presuming to look past the Bulls in what will be a real live football game, we can still acknowledge that the opponents this Saturday might as well be the Cows. Because this day is about the unveiling of Urban Meyer’s OSU 2.0  

Almost, anyway. Starting running back Carlos Hyde won’t be on hand, nor will his first backup Rod Smith.  All-Big Ten cornerback Bradley Roby will be sitting this one out as well, as all three are suspended for one misdeed or another, (Hyde for three games)  None of that should matter too much this week. Running back is probably the team’s deepest position group. In fact, everywhere you look there is a talented young player ready to make a name in Scarlet and Gray.


Dan Wismar

urban12Urban Meyer hasn’t lost a game yet as the head coach at Ohio State, and many observers of this team think it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2 in the initial AP Poll of the 2013 season, and figure to be favored in every game, unless and until they stumble somewhere along the line.

I’m on record as predicting the streak will end sometime in 2013...just because it’s so hard to win them all, as 125 of the 126 FBS teams discovered a year ago. But until the streak is over...the streak lives. And it’s worth a quick look back at how Meyer and his Buckeyes got to this point.  Since the streak is alive and ongoing, we’ll call this section…

The First 12


Dan Wismar

Wilson1The Buckeyes are in their first week of August camp in Columbus, and the consensus is that they have already identified The Next Big Thing. Urban Meyer spent a few minutes answering questions from the media Tuesday, and one particular true freshman has clearly grabbed his attention. “He’s gonna play...’cause he just goes really hard,” said Meyer of running back/receiver Dontre Wilson. “And he’s got something we just didn’t have last year...and that’s jets...”

Not every member of the incoming freshman class has the “electric speed” Meyer sees in the 18-year old Texan, but overall, speed could be the defining feature of the nation’s 2nd-ranked recruiting class. Meyer singled out Wilson, but he might just as easily have talked about a dozen other guys.

The 2013 Buckeyes are a veteran team for the most part, especially on offense, so the freshman speed injection will be noticed gradually, and perhaps most markedly on special teams. But it is already apparent that at least a couple of the freshmen will be used in Meyer’s offense right away, especially in the 4 and 5-receiver sets.


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