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Spring Practice Primer: Ohio State

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at the Ohio StateBuckeyes.


Spring Practice Begins
: Wednesday, March 28

Spring Game: Saturday, April 21

Returning Starters: Seven on offense, nine on defense, both specialists

Three Things To Watch For:

1. Urban Renewal. I promise, that will be the only time this season I use Urban Meyer's name as a pun. Still, it fits here as Ohio State football begins a new era under Meyer. Ohio State has already seen the impact Meyer has had on the fanbase following a down season in 2011, and his work on the recruiting trail only helped things further. Spring practice, though, is Meyer's first chance to get on the field with his new players, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of attitude he has after taking a year off from coaching. Of course, there's a lot of work to do. The offense Meyer has used wherever he's been is quite a bit different than the one Ohio State is used to under Jim Tressel and Luke Fickell last season. The players will get their first taste of the differences this week.

2. Braxton Miller in the new offense. While Ohio State adapted its offense to quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller a bit the last few years, both players seem made for the type of offense the Buckeyes will run now under Meyer. When Urban first took the job he mentioned Braxton Miller as a reason why he found the job so intriguing, and now Miller will begin running the new offense for the first time. How successful the Buckeyes and Meyer are in 2012 will be largely due to Miller's ability to learn and run the offense, so it will be interesting to see how Braxton feels in the system this spring.

3. Defensive improvement . Ohio State's defense was not bad in 2011, but at the same time, it wasn't up to the same standard college football fans have grown accustomed to when it comes to Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished in the middle of the Big Ten in categories like yards against and points against, when they usually finish at the top. There's plenty of reason to believe that the unit will improve in 2012 with nine starters back. There's also Luke Fickell, who remains on staff and will be the defensive playcaller this season, and Fickell is joined by former North Carolina defensive coordinator Everett Whithers.

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