Bank Blog: What I'm Looking For

What are some things to look for out of Ohio State this season? Let's take a look.

- From an overall outlook on Urban Meyer, I believe his approach will be MUCH different this season. For all the blowouts last season, there really wasn't a lot of subbing going on, and starters played late into those games. Why? After the loss to Virginia Tech, Meyer never gave up on trying to get Ohio State into the tournament but knew he needed to impress the committee. Just winning out was not going to be enough, and he knew even if he went unbeaten the rest of the way he needed more than just being a one-loss team. Hence, the beatdowns came fast and furious.

- What about this year? Ohio State is going to get the benefit of the doubt this season, even a loss to Virginia Tech won't be all that critical. Winning the Big Ten championship game puts Ohio State into the playoffs, even with two losses. There will not be a repeat of Jimbo Fisher/Jameis Winston for Ohio State, bank that. People will want to see if Ohio State can repeat, and they will win any vote that's close. Win the Big Ten and OSU is IN. That's the mantra.

- There WILL be blowouts, count on that. Too much of a talent gap to not have a lot of butt-whippings. But, with so many young guys looking at the NFL, combined with some senior starters, I believe Meyer has to sub more this season. And earlier. He needs to have people ready to go next year at key spots, especially the O-line. Taylor Decker, Jacoby Boren and Chase Farris are gone, and they could be replacing Pat Elflein as well. Billy Price too? Not likely, but always possible. Ed Warriner has a ton of guys to choose from to get ready for next year, so look for Jamarco Jones, Demetrius Knox, Isaiah Prince, Brandon Bowen, Evan Lisle, Kyle Trout and Brady Taylor to form a second line that gets more minutes than we might expect.

- For the defensive line, more rotating not only let's you look at next year, but you see who's ready right now. Tyquan Lewis, Jaylen Holmes and Sam Hubbard are in battles for time at defensive end. Look for Ohio State to try to see what they have early in Michael Hill and Donovan Munger, but if Robert Landers and/or DaVon Hamilton show themselves to be physically ready, then throw them out there. Dante Booker and Erick Smith are two players that would benefit from playing time with the regulars, not just garbage time. Darron Lee and Vonn Bell are both on my "GONE" list.

- At wide receiver, the moving of Torrance Gibson probably happened the minute Ohio State received his fax and it's the absolute right move for both parties. I've had him as a future NFL receiver since his junior year of high school, and there's no reason to change that. He plays against Virginia Tech, and probably scores a touchdown on a long pass too. With Austin Mack coming in to play next year as a freshman, it's also time for guys like Johnnie Dixon, Noah Brown, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill to show what they have, or head to the back of the line. There is so much talent coming, that guys are going to get pushed aside. It's inevitable.

- Another key question is "What are they going to do if Ezekiel Elliott goes down?" Brionte Dunn had a good spring, but has been up and down so far this fall. Does he get the call? Do they switch Curtis Samuel back to RB? Has Mike Weber shown them he's ready to go right now? My feeling is to watch out for Weber emerging as the true number-two back, but I would love to see Dunn land the spot. Of course, nobody wants to see Zeke miss a play, but you have to have a plan.

- One of my yearly favorites is Marcus Baugh, but with three potential tight ends showing up next year, it's time to fish or cut bait on Baugh. If Nick Vannett goes down, Baugh better be ready, something he has not been yet in his career. His clock is ticking.

- Last, but not least at all, is the QB spot. What will they do? I think they're going to play two of them, and and there are going to be so many blowouts that it won't matter. But who gets the call against Virginia Tech? Who gets all the snaps in the fourth quarter of a tight game? Nothing has been decided yet, but I'm hearing J.T. Barrett has their trust, while Cardale Jones "almost" has their trust. In crunch time, I think J.T. is The Guy.


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