Ohio State finished last season with a record of 12-2 and a top 5 finish in the polls. Ohio State lost to an Oklahoma team led by future Heisman winner and number one NFL draft pick Baker Mayfield. The Buckeyes also lost to an Iowa team that had one of their best seasons in recent years and produced a couple of high NFL draft picks. Ohio State also lost a few of their leaders from last season, namely JT Barrett, Denzel Ward, and Billy Price.
Ohio State enters 2018 with one of the best defenses in the nation. Players like Nick Bosa, Kendall Sheffield, and Isaiah Pryor will help lead the defense and provide support to an offense that is welcoming a new quarterback to the starting lineup. JK Dobbins and Mike Weber will be very important and will have to carry most of the running load. Dwayne Haskins will also need to take care of the ball for the 2018 season to be a successful campaign.
Ohio State’s schedule will be a tough one in 2018. Three major tests standout for the Buckeyes. If Ohio State is able to win the easier games on their schedule and take care of business in the three major tests below, they should have a strong case for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
at TCU – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX, September 15
Ohio State will return to the site of their 2017 Fiesta Bowl victory to play TCU. The Horned Frogs and Buckeyes meet during week 3 and it will be Ohio State’s first test of the season. TCU always has a solid team and after likely wins against Oregon State and Rutgers, TCU will present Ohio State with their first big challenge.
Gary Patterson is one of the most successful coaches of the last decade and always has his team ready to make a run towards a featured bowl game. Urban Meyer and Gary Patterson dueling on the sidelines will be interesting and Ohio State should be ready for a tough and hard fought contest.
at Penn State – Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA, September 29
Ohio State defeated Penn State 39-38 last year in a classic game. While Penn State lost star running back Saquan Barkley, the Nittany Lions should have another great team in 2018. Trace McSorley is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and should be able to carry Penn State to another succesful year.
Penn State is ranked in the top 10 in preseason polls and many analysts believe that they could win the Big 10 title this season. The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes always have tough outings against each other and 2018 should be no different. The winner of this game will most likely make the Big 10 title game and will have a strong case for the College Football Playoff.
vs Michigan – Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH, November 24
Can Ohio State have a successful season without beating the team up north? As always, “The Game” will be a huge test for the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer is undefeated against the Wolverines and he will look to continue that streak in 2018. If Ohio State is able to defeat Michigan and take care of business against their other Big 10 foes, Ohio State should be bound for another berth in the College Football Playoff.