Ohio State Buckeyes
11-2, 10-3 ATS, 1st Place in Big Ten
Odds to Win 2010 BCS Championship: +600 at Bookmaker Sportsbook
The Buckeyes have appeared in BCS bowls seven of the last eight years, including five straight. OSU also has five consecutive Big Ten titles and is certainly the early favorite to make it six.
Offensive Outlook: Now a junior, quarterback Terrelle Pryor will lead the Buckeyes into battle. Last year’s team averaged 173.1 passing yards per game, ranking them 103rd in the nation. Pryor threw for 2,094 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 11 picks. Yet as we all know Pryor is a huge dual threat. He was the team’s leading rusher, gaining 779 yards and scoring seven times on 162 carries. Junior wide receiver DeVier Posey was Pryor’s top target, catching 60 balls for 828 yards and eight scores. Dane Sanzenbacher added 570 yards and six touchdowns on 36 catches. Brandon Saine and Daniel Herron are also back to enhance the nation’s 18th ranked ground attack from a year ago. Saine averaged 5.1 yards per carry and scored four times on 145 carries. Herron scored seven times and amassed 600 yards on 153 attempts. The Buckeyes’ offensive attack will again be among the strongest in the nation.
Defensive Outlook: The Buckeye defense surrendered just 262.3 yards per game and 90.8 ground yards per game last season. Opponents scored just 12.5 points on average and converted only 31.6% of third downs. The squad loses defensive back Kurt Coleman, who led the team with five interceptions. Also gone are DE Thaddeus Gibson and linebacker Austin Spitler. Returning is the leader of the defensive line, Cameron Heyward. The team enjoys great depth at linebacker and defensive back, so replacing the few losses won’t be difficult.
The Final Word: The Buckeyes are going to be a factor once again on the national stage. Both sides of the ball are overflowing with talent and an unbeaten season isn’t out of the question completely. The downside is another early tough non-conference game with the Miami Hurricanes. Last year’ OSU dropped an early season game to USC. Also, the team will be on the road to face fellow conference title contenders Iowa and Wisconsin. With these three and Penn State beating up on each other, the Buckeyes could win the Big Ten with two losses.
2010 Ohio State Buckeyes Prediction: 10-2, 1st place in Big Ten
2010 Ohio State Buckeyes Schedule
9/25 Eastern Michigan
10/2 @ Illinois
10/16 @ Wisconsin
10/30 @ Minnesota
11/13 Penn State
11/20 @ Iowa