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College Football Preview 2024: Ohio State Buckeyes win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2X0TYAP COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 13: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day addresses his team after the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on April 13, 2024. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Ohio State failed to beat Michigan and win the Big Ten championship in 2023 for a third straight year. Expectations are high for the Buckeyes in 2024 to not only take down the Wolverines and win the conference but also win the national championship.

The Buckeyes brought back most of their key contributors from last year’s team and added serious talent through the transfer portal, namely Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins, Alabama safety Caleb Downs and Kansas State quarterback Will Howard. And UCLA head coach Chip Kelly also stepped down from his post to be Ohio State’s offensive coordinator.

This is the year for Ryan Day to finally get over the hump and deliver the Buckeyes their first national title since 2014.

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Biggest Strength: Arguably the best roster in the country

Ohio State and Georgia are the only two schools in college football to place inside the top 10 of every PFF position unit ranking. The Buckeyes are loaded.

Biggest Weakness: Do they have a capable quarterback?

While the quarterback room has plenty of intriguing options, the Buckeyes don’t have a proven star under center. Kansas State transfer Will Howard is the favorite to start and has been solid in his career, posting a 73.4 PFF passing grade over the past two seasons.

2023 Team Overview

EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
0.124 6.4 37.7% 11.6% 19.4%
23rd T-23rd 41st 124th 13th
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
-0.228 4.2 28.6% 10.9% 10.2%
12th 9th 18th 28th 20th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • QB Kyle McCord (Syracuse): 76.4 PFF grade
  • WR Julian Fleming (Penn State): 61.2 PFF grade
  • RB Chip Trayanum (Kentucky): 73.8 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Will Howard

2023 Grade: 78.1
Key Stat: 90.7 play-action passing grade over past two years (fourth best in Power Five)


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