Ohio St Buckeyes 2023 College Football Preview
July 26, 2023
Record – 11-2
ATS – 6-7
“It would kill some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it.” <Ray Kinsella> <Field of Dreams>
What a wild ride. The Buckeyes rattled off 11 wins in a row to start the season and looked unbeatable in the process. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the Wolverines demolished them for the 2nd straight season (L 45-23) and it looked like their playoff dreams were over. But wait! USC barfed away their shot by losing to Utah and the Buckeyes were off to the big dance. They played a fantastic game vs Georgia in the semi-final and led by 14-points heading into the 4th quarter, but alas, the Bulldogs escaped with a one-point win in a total DREAM CRUSHER for Ohio St. Oh, what could have been.
Ohio St Buckeyes 2023 Outlook
Ohio St had a supremely devastating attack LY (44.2 PPG, #2 FBS) led by their great QB CJ Stroud (41-6 TD to INT) but they’ll be without him this season as he’s off to dominate in the NFL (#1 DC, Texas Houstons). It’ll be up to one of a pair of inexperienced youngsters to take over the starting gig and it’s unclear as we approach press time whether it will be Kyle McCord or Devin Brown. We’ll monitor the situation over the rest of the summer. The offensive weaponry is comically incredible. They’ve got a pair (!) of 1,000-yard WRs back for duty that combined for 24 TDs LY (Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka) and one of the best receiving TEs in the Big Ten in Cade Stover. Oh ya, and the depth is excellent. The RB room is loaded as they bring back the top-four (!) including an absolute beast in Miyan Williams (825, 14 TD, 6.4!). The offensive line is very talented but keep in mind that the unit lost three (!) players to the NFL Draft. The offense will still be one of the best in the Big Ten but down a notch from LY’s crazy numbers.
The Buckeyes defense improved LY under new DC Jim Knowles but we haven’t seen a KILLER Ohio St stop unit since 2019. We expect good things this season as they retain seven starters including their top-three tacklers. The DL has a lot of star power and they just need an elite pass rusher to step forward in order for the unit to be dominant. In fact, nobody on the Buckeyes’ defense LY was able to tally five sacks. The LB corps is elite and is led by the excellent combo of Tommy Eichenberg (#1 tackler, 12 TFL) and Steele Chambers (#2 tackler). We expect the secondary to be improved this year as the unit retains three starters and they added a pair of talented pieces via the transfer portal. Ohio St hasn’t recorded more than 37 sacks since 2019 (54) and if they can turn up the heat just a wee bit more, this stop unit will be a true force.
This appears to be one of the better groups in the Big Ten. They’ve got continuity at PR/KR and a fine punter in Jesse Mirco (45.4). Also note that they scooped up PK Parker Lewis from USC and he did a good job whilst with the Trojans (26-35 FG, 46-47 XP).
Overall – It’s not easy. They’ll start 3-0 without breaking a sweat but then they have to travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in what should be an epic match-up. They’ve also got road games with Wisconsin and Michigan and it won’t be easy to navigate those treacherous waters with young QBs.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Rutgers (Nov 4)
This will be a difficult situation for the road favorite as they’ll be coming off yuuuge games with Penn St (H) and Wisconsin (A). Rutgers figures to be a scrappy bunch this year.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 26
Over 10.5 -125
Under 10.5 +105
Slight LEANAGE to the ‘under’ based on the difficult road docket and the inexperience at QB. It’s not a PREMIUM POUNDER LOCK given that Ohio St doesn’t make a habit of losing two regular season games very often.
Ryan Day has only dropped three regular season games in five seasons as HC of the Buckeyes (Oregon, 2 X Michigan).
Yes, sir. This will be another edition of Ohio St football that’s capable of rolling into the College Football Playoff. The defense appears to be championship-caliber but they’ve got a question mark at the most important position on the field. It’s not gonna be easy navigating that schedule but there’s a good chance that the battle with Michigan will decide the winner of the Big Ten East. They’ve obviously got the raw talent to run the table but we’ll call for ten wins and a trip to a New Year’s Six bowl game. Good luck, Buckeyes!