The biggest obstacle to Ohio State winning the national football title in 2013 is the team’s inexperienced defensive front seven.
The Buckeyes shouldn’t have any trouble putting points on the scoreboard with Braxton Miller and company running Urban Meyer’s spread offense.
However, wins aren’t predicated on offensive prowess alone.
As the old adage goes, “defense wins championships,” and the best defenses begin and end with men who dominate the line of scrimmage and overwhelm their opponents in the trenches.
When asked about how he felt about his team heading into fall camp, Meyer didn’t hold back his concern regarding his young defense, as noted by Rusty Miller of the Associated Press:
Offensively, I feel very strong about where we could be if we have a solid training camp. Defense is where the issues are.
To this point, it remains to be seen whether or not Ohio State’s newest batch of front-seven defenders are capable of subjugating their opponents. The only returning starter from last year’s group is linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is a phenomenal athlete and likely first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
But after Shazier, there are six other positions to fill in the front seven—the foundation upon which every great defense is founded.