Blueprint for How Ohio State Can Survive Braxton Miller’s Injury in 2014

Ohio State senior quarterback Braxton Miller reinjured his throwing shoulder during practice Monday afternoon—a setback that will reportedly sideline him for the entire season and deals a heavy blow to the Buckeyes’ title hopes.

The No. 5-ranked Buckeyes were one of a handful of teams expected to make a run at the inaugural College Football Playoff. Miller, the reigning two-time Big Ten MVP and Heisman Trophy hopeful, fueled those expectations because of his nearly irreplaceable playmaking ability.

Can Ohio State bounce back without the centerpiece of its offense?

That’s a question that won’t be answered until the team takes the field, but here are three things the Buckeyes must do to survive without Miller in the fold.

Get Defensive

Even before Miller’s injury, the Buckeyes’ title hopes hinged on co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash’s ability to rebuild a beleaguered defense. That unit, which opponents gashed regularly a season ago, is fueled by top-end talent and loads of potential.

If Ohio State wants to maintain its status as a Big Ten contender, the defense will need to step up and realize that potential.

Stocked with 5-star talent across the board, the Buckeyes boast one of the country’s strongest defensive lines. Joey Bosa and Noah Spence are terrors coming off the edge, and Michael Bennett, Adolphus Washington and Tommy Schutt are the kind of run-stuffing/pass-rushing combination that offenses hate to deal with.

The Buckeyes lost their most…

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