Ohio State returning starters: Seven starters on offense, four on defense, one specialist
QB Terrelle Pryor: 65.0 completion percentage, 27 TDs passing vs. 11 INT; 754 yards rushing, 4 TDs
DE Cameron Heyward: 48 tackles, 13 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR; first-round draft pick (Steelers)
MLB Brian Rolle: Team-best 76 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 INT, FF, FR, blocked kick
C Michael Brewster (senior): A sure choice as a 2011 captain, Brewster is the heart and soul of the OSU offense and a likely All-Big Ten and All-America choice.
DL Johnny Simon (junior): Coming off a season in which he made 41 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries, Simon seems ready for a breakout year and can play numerous spots along the OSU line.
LB/S Tyler Moeller (senior): The sixth-year player was a crucial part of OSU’s defense last year, making 20 tackles, 4.5 TFL, a sack, two forced fumbles and an interception before suffering a season-ending chest injury in the fifth game at Illinois. The defense’s best playmaker, he is a key cog in shutting down opposing attacks.
Hosting Wisconsin in Ohio Stadium under the lights Oct. 29
Projected finish: 10-3
Ohio State must replace a lot – head coach Jim Tressel, quarterback Terrelle Pryor - and off-field star wideout Dane Sanzenbacher and seven defensive starters are all gone, and that’s not mentioning the five-game, season-opening suspensions to three starters, running back Dan Herron, wideout DeVier Posey and left tackle Mike Adams. Throw in a tough schedule – with early games at Miami (Fla.), home vs. Michigan State and at Nebraska and late-season showdowns with Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan – and OSU has a lot to overcome. There are bright spots, though. Five-star freshman QB Braxton Miller has talent, the Buckeyes are loaded at running back, the offensive line has some nasty to it and Jim Heacock’s defense should be dominating as usual.
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