Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) September 21, 2013
The college football season is already nearly a month old, and coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes still have all their goals within their grasp.
Ohio State has rolled to a 3-0 record, with victories over Buffalo, San Diego State and Cal under their belt. The average margin of victory in the three wins was over 24 points per game, and the Buckeyes have broken in a number of young, inexperienced players.
However, September has not been without its challenges. Injuries have started to take their toll on the squad, and the defense has needed time to come together as a unit as well.
“The beginning of the season hasn’t gone as smoothly as most people expected it to,” said Choice 1 Tickets marketing manager Brent Larsen. “At the end of the day, they’re still undefeated with a chance at the national title, and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
They’ve managed to avoid the loss column despite the loss of early Heisman favorite Braxton Miller. The star QB injured his left knee early against San Diego State, forcing the Buckeyes to turn to senior backup Kenny Guiton for most of the last two games, including the start at Cal.
“Obviously Braxton Miller is a huge star, and people want to see him on the field,” Larsen said. “But the most important thing to fans with Buckeyes tickets is that the team is winning, and so far Kenny Guiton hasn’t had a problem doing that.”
Guiton has proven to be a more than capable replacement for Miller, passing for 449 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for an additional 181 yards and a score. While Miller will return to the starting job as soon as he is healthy, Meyer knows that he has a great alternative should Miller be forced to miss any more time.
In fact, the entire offense has been nearly unstoppable through the first three games. Ohio State is averaging over 285 rushing yards per game, as the combination of Miller, Guiton, RB Jordan Hall and slotback Dontre Wilson have carved up opposing defenses on the ground.
While the defense has not performed on the same level as the offense, it was largely expected after having to replace seven starters from a season ago. The unit is showing signs of life though, with Big Ten defensive player of the year candidate Ryan Shazier providing steady leadership, while new starters Curtis Grant and Noah Spence look like future stars as well.
The Buckeyes schedule starts to pick up considerably at the end of September, with a visit from the Wisconsin Badgers providing Ohio State with their biggest test of the year so far. The Badgers have been one of the Big Ten’s most dominant teams over the last three seasons, and will not be an easy opponent for Meyer and Co.
A trip to Evanston, IL on October 5 could be just as treacherous for Ohio State, as Northwestern appears to have its best squad in a number of years. The Wildcats have a balanced, explosive offensive, so the Buckeyes cannot afford another defensive performance like they had against Cal.
There is still a ton of time left in the season, and the road to the Big Ten title game will not be easy for Ohio State. But if the first month of the season has proven anything, it is that this team can overcome adversity, and fans with Buckeyes tickets can expect their team to battle hard no matter who is on the field.
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