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Ohio State Defense Talking Buckeye Offense: "Sky's the Limit"
By Patrick Murphy
No one knows the Buckeye offense better than the Silver Bullets
Photo by Jim Davidson

COLUMBUS – Last season was a big year for the Ohio State offense. In the third season under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes finally had the weapons needed to run the offense in its full capacity. Nationally, OSU finished in the top 10 in total offense (ninth), rushing offense (eighth), and scoring offense (fifth).

In 2015, the Scarlet and Gray are set to take another step in offensive evolution with another year under Meyer and an added talented recruiting class.

With the majority of Ohio State’s Fall Camp closed to the media and no preseason games to speak of in college football, who better to analyze this high-powered offense than those on the opposite side of the ball?

The OSU defense goes against this offense every day and because of the talent on one side of the ball, the defensive coaches use this as a benchmark in practice.

I can tell you this, the training ground that we have for every day, every day is second to none,” cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said recently. “You have phenomenal arms on the other side of the ball and as talented a group of receivers as you’re going to see anywhere in the country, and they stress you. The offense stresses you. Every day. And so it is completely to our benefit to have the opportunity to go against that quality every day.”

Throughout 2014, fans saw the Buckeye defense get better as the year progressed. Confidence began to build as the defense got used to the schemes and that led to the success seen in the College Football Playoff. In training camp, that confidence is back as the defense takes on potentially the best offense they will see all year.

Yeah, we’re going to go against a great offensive line every single day. Obviously we’re going to go against great quarterbacks, great wide outs,” co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said. “I think that’s one of those things, it’s a test for us. It builds our confidence.

It was something that was important to us to be able to play against our own offense because we have to build confidence. In order for our guys to go out there and gain confidence in what it is that we’re doing, we’ve got to have some success. So we’re going to continue to do that, play against the best every single day, and it’s going to help us build our confidence even more.”

Confidence is only built in success, so has the Ohio State defense been able to slow down this dynamic offense?

Oh man, the defense has been shutting it down,” junior safety Tyvis Powell said with emphasis. “I don’t know what you all heard, but when we went against the offense on Saturday we whooped them. So the defense is starting to click on all cylinders.”

We always going to shut them down now,” redshirt sophomore cornerback Eli Apple said with a smile. “That’s never a question, but they’ve had their moments and we’ve had a little bit more.”

Ultimately, the goal is to make the team the best it can be. If the Buckeyes want to win another Big Ten Championship and return to the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year, Meyer will need all groups playing well, nine units strong. But even the defensive guys have to admit the potential for this offense in 2015 is off the charts.

I see sky’s the limit for them,” Apple said seriously. “They have a lot weapons, a lot of athletes, a lot of fast guys on there. So you guys are gonna see that soon. They definitely going to do some big things.”

Return to this week for more from the defense talking offense.

Player profiles relevant to story:
13 - Apple, Eli | 23 - Powell, Tyvis | Coach - Coombs, Kerry | Coach - Fickell, Luke
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