Ryan Day and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff are working extra hard to prepare this 2021 Buckeye football team. In an interview, Day has used words like competition and camaraderie, which is a good sign. It means the team, with all the offseason changes and newcomers are coming together as a unit, and peaking at the right time we all hope. Well, us Buckeye fans anyway. Coach Day has also talked about physical and mental preparation and toughness.
He encourages his team to visualize, and visualization is no doubt important. You prepare for something, you visualize yourself doing it, and then you go out and execute. This season, coach Day will expect his team to prepare, visualize, and execute for the entire season-a 12-game season that ends in Ann Arbor on November 27th with a rivalry game against the Michigan Wolverines.
Ohio State didn’t play Michigan last season, and they didn’t play twelve games either. With all the real world issues going on that cut into my beloved football season, the Buckeyes only played five regular season games before meeting Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship.
In the regular season finale, OSU beat Michigan State 52-12. They beat Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game 22-10, and those two wins basically set the stage for the Sugar Bowl showdown against #2 Clemson. The Buckeyes won 49-28.
Ohio State’s 2020 season ended on January 11th with a 52-24 loss to Alabama in the 2021 CFP National Championship game.
Winning is now an expectation at Ohio State so you can bet Coach Day and company are preparing with their eyes on the prize….and Michigan too. Like I said, there has been some changes and newcomers this offseason, but things seem to be coming together.
There’s a 3-way competition going on at the quarterback position, but it looks like redshirt freshman CJ Stroud is the frontrunner. Kyle McCord and Jack Miller are battling for playing time. Stroud’s redshirt should prove to be worth it now as the 6’3″ 220 pound Quarterback has four years to play!
Whoever gets the starting job at QB will definitely have help from the wide receiver position. Senior Chris Olave provides leadership, experience, and clutch-play-making ability, and junior Garrett Wilson can be just as good. Both are up for preseason awards. Senior TE Jeremy Ruckert is big, fast, and a real threat in the seams. He’s 6″5″ 250 and a preseason candidate for the Mackey Award.
Center Harry Miller anchors an impressive offensive line. Miller and OT Thayer Munford, a 6’6″ 320 pound senior, will provide plenty of push for a productive ground game.
Three names come up often when you start talking defense are Sevyn Banks, Haskell Garrett, and Zach Harrison.
Junior DE Zach Harrison is 6’6″ 272. That’s a big man! Outland Trophy candidate, Haskell Garrett, is next to him at tackle. CB Sevyn Banks is a senior and a leader on defense. He has the speed, and at 6’1″, he has the height to compete with those big receivers we often see. Banks is up for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award.
The 2021 Ohio State Buckeye Football season opener is on Thursday, September 2nd. They’re on the road travelling to Minnesota to play the Golden Gophers. Kickoff is at 8:00 PM.
I’m looking forward to a full 12-game season, and I know every other Ohio State fan is as well!