Location: Columbus, Ohio
2017 Record: 12-2 (9-1 Big Ten)
Head coach: Urban Meyer
2018 Record: 4-0 (1-0 Big Ten)
What has happened thus far in 2018:
Even without head coach Urban Meyer for the first three games, Ohio State has not had many issues to start the 2018 season. Winning each of their first four games, including one in conference play, the Buckeyes have scored no fewer than 40 points in each game this season, averaging 599 yards of offense per game — No. 1 in the Big Ten. After allowing 31 points to Oregon State in the season opener, the Ohio State defense has allowed nine points combined against Rutgers and Tulane, while giving up 28 points to then-No. 15 TCU on Sept. 15.
In his first four games as the starting quarterback for Ohio State, redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins has made a major impact on how the Buckeyes run their offense. Instead of the run-heavy, option-based offense the team ran with J.T. Barrett, Haskins leads an Ohio State offense that leads the Big Ten in passing, averaging 365.8 passing yards per game. He is doing it with high accuracy, completing 75.7 percent of his pass attempts, and with a high touchdown rate, throwing 16 touchdowns and only one interception in 115 pass attempts. Haskins, in four games, has redefined what the Ohio State offense is and will be for the rest of the 2018 season, something opponents have already seen in the first four games.
Offensively, a lot of areas have been clicking for Ohio State. With an offensive line that has done a good job of protecting Haskins, anchored in the middle by junior center Michael Jordan, the Buckeyes have allowed only 1.5 sacks per game. The Buckeyes also have had success with the veteran receiving corps, led by three redshirt senior captains in Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon and Parris Campbell. When not passing the ball, the Ohio State running backs — redshirt junior Mike Weber and sophomore J.K. Dobbins — have found some success, each averaging 5.8 yards per carry with five touchdowns combined.
Even with the loss of junior defensive end Nick Bosa to a core muscle injury, the Ohio State front line has continued to be the strength of the defense. With redshirt junior Dre’Mont Jones in the middle and sophomore Chase Young on the end, the Buckeyes are tied with Penn State as the conference leader with 15 sacks in four games.
Ohio State has had a bit of trouble in eliminating big plays when opposing backs get past the defensive line. After allowing two touchdown runs of at least 75 yards against Oregon State, the Buckeyes have struggled in rush defense. They have allowed at least a 30-yard run in three of the four total games this season, including a 93-yard touchdown run by TCU junior running back Darius Anderson on Sept. 15, the longest touchdown allowed in Ohio State history.