The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the top programs in all of college football. That's undeniable. Every season, the expectations are high yet simple:national championship or bust. Unfortunately, for Buckeye Nation, their eleven warriors have not seen a national title in Columbus since the 2014-15 season. The Buckeyes have had plenty of chances, as they have made the College Football Playoff four times since their national title win over Oregon and have made it to one national title game in 2020. So, what exactly is the issue for the Buckeyes and how do they get over the hump? From the looks of things in the Ohio State spring game, the Buckeyes have some ideas.
First off, after dominating their rival, the Michigan Wolverines, for two decades, the Buckeyes have now lost two straight rivalry games, preventing them from winning a Big Ten championship and missing out on an appearance in the College Football Playoff in 2021. And last season, despite losing to Michigan, the Buckeyes made the Playoff but a missed field goal at the stroke of midnight on New Year Eve had Ohio State going home empty-handed.
So, heading into their annual spring game, are the expectations any different? No, of course not. Following a 40 to 31 game that saw the Gray Team beat the Scarlet Team, there was plenty to look at regarding the Ohio State Buckeyes' 2023 season.
QB1 Spot is Kyle McCord's To Lose
It has never been an issue for Ohio State to replace their starting quarterback when their Buckeye career is over. After Justin Fields left for the NFL, in came CJ Stroud, and with Stroud, a future top-five draft pick heading off to the NFL, it is Kyle McCord's turn to step in. McCord went 18 of 34 and threw for 184 yards and one score during Ohio State's spring game. With his competition, Devin Brown, out with a finger injury, McCord had an extra opportunity to put himself in the pole position for QB1 and he took advantage of it and then some.
Defense Shows Improvement
The biggest issue the Ohio State Buckeyes had over the last two seasons is the inconsistent play of their defense. From getting run over by Michigan to playing down to lesser opponents' level, defense has been the Buckeyes' Achilles heel. But with five players recording at least one sack, four players recording six or more tackles, and having eight players total 10 pass break-ups, it is evident that the Buckeyes are addressing their biggest concern for 2023.
Marvin Harrison Jr. Could Win the Heisman
Marvin Harrison Jr saw limited action on Saturday and rightfully so. The best player on the Ohio State Buckeyes' roster has an argument for the best player in all of college football and the last thing you would want is to see him sit out for any duration of the season. But when he did see the field, Harrison caught three passes for 62 yards, all from McCord, and did so lining up in the slot position as opposed to lining up out wide. With his route tree and ability to line up anywhere on the field, Harrison could be in for another huge season in 2023 and possibly a Heisman Trophy.
MORE: Marvin Harrison Jr: Ohio State's Next Legit Receiver is the Son of NFL Hall of Famer
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