2019 Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team Preview

After taking the keys to the program from Urban Meyer, coach Ryan Day will look to keep the Ohio State Buckeyes on top in the Big Ten and push for a College Football Playoff berth.

2018 Season in Review

Meyer's last season in Columbus was a roller coaster to say the least, as the Buckeyes survived close shaves against Penn State (27-26) and Maryland (52-51), while blowing out Big Ten opponent Rutgers 52-3 and hated rival Michigan 62-39.

Unfortunately, their playoff hopes got wiped out by their single loss at the hands of Purdue on October 20th, as the Boilermakers abused Ohio State 49-20 in West Lafayette. The Buckeyes would later redeem themselves by beating Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship before taking down Washington in the Rose Bowl to give coach Meyer a proper sendoff.

Although the Buckeyes were able to blow by the opposition with the eighth ranked offense in the nation, their 52nd ranked defensive unit gave up 25.5 points per game, which allowed mediocre opponents like Maryland and Nebraska to apply more pressure.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • RB J.K. Dobbins (Junior) - 1,053 Rush Yards | 12 Total TD | 26 Receptions
  • WR K.J. Hill (Redshirt Senior) - 70 Receptions | 885 Rec Yards | 6 Rec TD
  • DE Chase Young (Junior) - 33 Total Tackles | 14.5 TFL | 9.5 Sacks
  • S Jordan Fuller (Senior) - 81 Total Tackles | 4 Pass Def | 2 Fumble Rec

Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields comes to Columbus with a plethora of weapons by his side, with junior running back J.K. Dobbins headlining the group. Although Fields may not quite be the passer Dwyane Haskins was, he will still have plenty of receiving targets to throw to such as K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, and Austin Mack. The biggest question for Ohio State will be their inexperienced offensive line and how they protect the run-happy Fields.

The defense should see some improvement from last year, as several key pieces return for another season in scarlet and gray. The linebacking unit returns with plenty of depth as Baron Browning is expected to man the middle with Malik Harrison at his side and Tuf Borland backing him up.

Leading pass rusher Chase Young will look to be a boogeyman for Big Ten quarterbacks once again, while senior tackles Davon Hamilton and Robert Landers should serve as strong run stoppers up front. Lastly, the secondary will be in good hands with co-leading tackler Jordan Fuller at strong safety, while interception leader Shaun Wade will likely partner with junior corner, Jeffrey Okudah on the outside.

Key Departures

  • QB Dwyane Haskins (NFL Draft)
  • DE Nick Bosa (NFL Draft)
  • WR Parris Campbell (Graduation)
  • DT Dre'mont Jones (NFL Draft)

Coach Day's first full year on the job will not be easy given his team's attrition due to graduation, transfers, and the NFL Draft. Nine former Buckeyes were selected in April's draft, including five in the first three rounds. That group includes Haskins who put up video game numbers in his lone season as a starter, and second overall pick Nick Bosa. Receivers Parris Campbell, Terry Mclaurin, and Johnnie Dixon are also gone, along with offensive line starters Mike Jordan and Isaiah Prince.

Two key defections could also hurt Ohio State should anything happen to Fields, as quarterbacks Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin elected to transfer to Miami and TCU respectively, opting not to compete with Fields for the starting gig.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • DE Zach Harrison - 5 Star | 6-5, 245lb | Olentangy Orange HS | Lewis Center, OH
  • OG Harry Miller - 4 Star | 6-4, 310lb | Buford HS | Buford, GA
  • WR Garrett Wilson - 4 Star | 6-1, 175lb | Lake Travis HS | Austin, TX
  • OLB Cade Stover - 4 Star | 6-3, 215lb | Lexington HS | Lexington, OH

Although their recruiting class is on the small side with 17 commitments, Ohio State's coaching staff made the most of recruiting season by bringing in ten four-star recruits. Topping the class is OSU's lone five star prospect in Zach Harrison, the top recruit in the state of Ohio, who could see some action in 2019. The Buckeyes added a pair of solid offensive line recruits in Harry Miller and Enokk Vimahi, while also locking up receiving threats Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams.

2019 Schedule

Date Opponent
August 31st Florida Atlantic
September 7th Cincinnati
September 14th @ Indiana
September 21st Miami (Ohio)
September 28th @ Nebraska
October 5th Michigan State
October 18th @ Northwestern
October 26th Wisconsin
November 9th Maryland
November 16th @ Rutgers
November 23rd Penn State
November 30th @ Michigan

Looking at their 2019 schedule, Ohio State should not face much resistance on their path towards another Big Ten title. As a result, one slip up could have them on the outside looking in just like last season with the Purdue loss, as the selection committee will use OSU's schedule against the Buckeyes. Who that lone loss comes against is completely up in the air. An improving Nebraska squad could be the answer, as is the case with Northwestern. If all else fails, this could be the year Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines finally beat the Buckeyes.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Playoff Odds in New Jersey

New Jersey residents can log on to 888Sport to wager on Ohio State's odds to reach the College Football Playoff as well as their win total. With an over/under of 10 wins, expectations are high in Columbus.

To Make the Playoffs

Sportsbook Yes No Link
888Sport NJ +140 -175

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won - Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 10 Under 10 Link
888Sport NJ -125 +105

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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