Ohio State Buckeyes: Ohio State 2013 record resolutions

Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

[+] EnlargeBraxton Miller
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireBraxton Miller could become Ohio State's leading career passer by the time he leaves Columbus.
CAREER QUARTERBACK RECORDS

  • Who owns it: The various names are already well established in Ohio State history -- from Art Schlichter to Troy Smith, Bobby Hoying to Joe Germaine. But their respective career passing records could wind up under assault from a quarterback who's currently better known for his legs than his arm. A few of them might take two more seasons for Braxton Miller to chase down, but even if he simply maintains his current pace and doesn't take another step forward throwing the ball as he did as a sophomore, hallowed marks such as passing yardage, touchdowns and total yardage could go down as well as a pile of others that require steady contributions over a long period of time.
  • Who wants it: Miller's passing statistics after getting thrown into the lineup as a true freshman didn't turn many heads, but they did give him a head start and sent him on his way to potentially leading the Ohio State attack for four seasons. That's a significant boost in a bid to set career passing marks, even if that's not Miller's motivation. If he merely duplicated his dynamic sophomore campaign twice more, Miller would finish his career with more than 7,000 passing yards, 500 completions and 58 touchdowns -- enough to clinch the last two categories and a legitimate threat to the first even without boosting his numbers in Urban Meyer's spread offense.
  • Relevant number: The conversation for quarterbacks invariably comes back around to a much more simple category, and Miller is well on his way to piling up enough victories to make his case as one of the school's most decorated signal-callers. Even after getting tossed into the mix before he was truly ready as a freshman and then missing out on two more chances to win games due to NCAA sanctions as a sophomore, Miller officially has 16 victories through two seasons. He would need 20 wins over the next two seasons to tie Schlichter's 36 from 1978-81, and Miller could potentially have 29 games to match or surpass it taking possible postseason games into consideration.
Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

EXTRA POINTS IN A SINGLE SEASON
[+] EnlargeDrew Basil
Kirk Irwin/Getty ImagesDrew Basil made 56 extra points in 2012, the third-most in Ohio State history.

  • Who owns it: A prolific attack in 2010 gave Devin Barclay plenty of chip shots to convert, and the Ohio State kicker converted every single one of them -- putting his name in the school record book an extra point at a time. That record obviously is much more of a reflection of a dynamic offense than an indicator of how good or bad Barclay was that season, but it's well worth nothing that he is the only kicker in the single-season top 10 for 1-pointers who made every attempt.
  • Who wants it: Just three seasons after Barclay took over the top spot, the Buckeyes are primed to put an even more explosive offense on the field in Urban Meyer's second year with the program. Drew Basil should be in line to capitalize heading into his senior campaign. As a junior, Basil perhaps didn't get as many chances to try field goals as he might have hoped, a combination of Meyer's aggressiveness and a red-zone offense that ranked among the best in the nation at turning those chances into touchdowns, doing so 76 percent of the time. That proficiency still gave Basil work to do, and he banged through 56 extra points, in all in the third-best individual season in school history in that category.
  • Relevant number: The Buckeyes were a perfect 3-of-3 when they had to dial up a two-point conversion instead, and considering how effective the offense was near the goal line thanks to the versatile backfield tandem of battering ram Carlos Hyde and elusive quarterback Braxton Miller, Meyer could conceivably think about trying to double up after a touchdown more often next season. Had those three tries been extra points last year, Basil would already own the No. 2 spot on the single-season list -- though the Buckeyes would obviously much rather be undefeated.
  • Offseason checklist: There's not much preparation Basil really needs to do to convert his simplest chances as a kicker, leaving the work that could carry him to a personal record to all those teammates on offense. Another year of development for Miller as he readies for a third season as the starting quarterback should take the spread offense to another level, and there is no shortage of weapons around him. Aside from the loss of Reid Fragel at right tackle and Jake Stoneburner at wide receiver, every other starter returns for an offense that led the Big Ten in scoring last season and still has room to grow.
  • Attainable goal: All signs point to even more scoring for the Buckeyes in 2013, and given the track record already established by Meyer with the program, that means touchdowns and not field goals. While that could keep Basil from piling up a personal point total that could challenge Barclay's overall mark of 122 set during that same 2010 season thanks to 20 field goals, the extra point mark could be in serious jeopardy.

 
Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

CAREER INTERCEPTION RETURNS FOR TOUCHDOWNS

  • [+] EnlargeBradley Roby
    Andrew Weber/US PresswireCornerback Bradley Roby is returning to OSU for his junior season with an eye on turning some of his pass breakups into interceptions.
    Who owns it: There's a tie at the top between seven players, but Malcolm Jenkins was the last Ohio State defender to turn a couple interceptions into touchdowns. Nobody has ever done it three times for the Buckeyes, despite the long list of productive, elite defensive backs who have come through the program. There's a cornerback still on the roster who has made it well known he wants to be included on that conversation, and he's halfway to tying Jenkins and Co.
  • Who wants it: Bradley Roby isn't really returning to set records, but he certainly had an eye on his legacy when he decided to return for his redshirt junior campaign after flirting with the idea of leaving for the NFL draft. The dynamic playmaker turned in one of the best coverage seasons in the country in helping the Buckeyes go undefeated, but he can still boost his professional stock. He hasn't yet had a chance to play for the championship he craves and will be a hungry player heading into the offseason.
  • Relevant number: If the discussion included fumble returns or trips to the end zone, Roby's knack for putting points on the board from multiple spots on the field already makes him one of the most versatile scorers the Buckeyes have had in a while. Along with his interception return against Nebraska that leaves him just one short of tying that career mark for Ohio State. As a sophomore Roby tacked on two more touchdowns on special teams -- pouncing on an errant snap for a score and recovering a blocked punt for another.
  • Offseason checklist: Urban Meyer threw down the challenge for Roby to compete on every snap and fight off complacency during training camp last season, and he answered the bell by making a point to establish his dominance regardless of any perceived talent disparity throughout the year. The next step is continuing to improve technically and building himself into a more consistent fundamental player in coverage. Roby's athleticism allows for him to erase most of his mistakes, using his incredible accelerating and closing speed to disrupt passes even on the rare occasion he gets beat. But if he cuts down on just that relatively small number, all those breakups he racked up last season could turn into picks.
  • Attainable goal: Opponents couldn't just avoid Roby last season with Travis Howard raising his level of play and making either side of the field dangerous for quarterbacks, and part of the formula for Roby to tie or break the scoring record will depend on the amount of chances he gets to make a play on the football. One thing he can control, though, is making sure he stays focused as a student of the game, searching out tendencies and weaknesses of both the receivers and passers he'll face each week -- something he's already done, with the results to prove it against Nebraska last year.
Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

Devin Smith
Greg Bartram/US PresswireWhat's next for wide receiver Devin Smith? His speed and hands led to a breakout sophomore season.
AVERAGE YARDS PER CATCH

  • Who owns it: What Cedric Anderson might have lacked in terms of total catches, he more than made up for by turning seemingly each and every one of them into huge gains for the Buckeyes. The big-play threat averaged a staggering 27.6 yards per reception in 1982, and that mark has rarely been seriously challenged in a category that requires at least 20 grabs just to qualify. Brian Hartline came closest with a productive season in 2008, but even his 22.8-yard average came up well short of taking over the top spot.
  • Who wants it: The bar is obviously set pretty high, but that's also exactly how the freakishly athletic Devin Smith likes it. He's put his ability to get behind coverage and rack up huge gains on display a handful of times already though two seasons with the Buckeyes, and he and quarterback Braxton Miller seem to have developed a lot of trust that has produced some massive plays in critical moments thanks to the unique talents both bring to the spread offense. Both of them, though, still have strides to be made that could lead to even bigger things down the road for the Ohio State passing attack.
  • Relevant number: Smith already broke into the single-season top-10 list with his breakout sophomore campaign, checking in at No. 6 in school history with his 20.6-yard average while helping the Buckeyes go undefeated. It was his knack for turning bombs into points that helped make him so invaluable to Miller, as the two hooked up four times for touchdowns that covered at least 46 yards -- three of them going for more than 60 as he established himself as a threat to find the end zone from anywhere on the field.
  • Offseason checklist: Consistency remains the top priority for Smith, and it wasn't difficult to see where he could improve heading into his junior campaign. While he turned heads with his ability to fill the highlight reels by coming down with some ridiculously difficult throws, at times he also caused them to drop for the Ohio State coaching staff when relatively easy completions would hit the turf. If Smith develops a more reliable set of hands over the offseason and continues to show improvement as a route-runner that's already been on display, more large numbers could be on the way as the passing attack tries to catch up with the powerful rushing game.
  • Attainable goal: There's a reason Anderson's record has stood so long and by such a wide margin, since passing attacks have evolved well beyond using the occasional deep bomb to complement a ground game and coverage schemes in the secondary have become increasingly more complex along the way to keep up. And if Smith becomes the more complete receiver the Buckeyes are expecting him to be, he figures to be running more short and intermediate routes as his game expands, something that was starting to happen by the end of his sophomore year. But one thing doesn't figure to change -- Smith can sneak behind a secondary at any moment, and he's not going to get caught if Miller can find his favorite deep threat down the field.
Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

[+] EnlargeRyan Shazier
David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty ImagesRyan Shazier's ability to make tackles in the open field might put Ohio State's single-game solo tackles record in jeopardy next season.
SOLO TACKLES IN A GAME

  • Who owns it: The combination of a one-man wrecking crew and an abundance of chances to deliver hits has popped up a few times in Ohio State's decorated history, though Tom Cousineau's busy afternoon against SMU in 1978 still stands alone in the record books. The relentless, athletic linebacker chased down 28 overall tackles that day, but it was his 16 solo takedowns that established a new standard for the Buckeyes that have followed behind him.
  • Who wants it: A season like Cousineau delivered in 1978 with more than 200 tackles might be out of reach, but on a single-game basis, Ryan Shazier might be more than capable of threatening a record that hasn't had anybody come within two tackles of tying it in nearly 20 years. But the rising junior has made it well known that there's no ballcarrier he won't or can't run down with his blend of elite speed and strength, and he broke into double-figures in solo tackles twice as a sophomore. His personal best is 11, set this season against Illinois, but there will plenty of opportunites to top that next season.
  • Relevant number: Only one player in the Big Ten worked better alone on defense than Shazier last season, with his 70 solo tackles ranking No. 2 in the conference. The Buckeyes were obviously relying on Shazier to pick up the slack for a thin position group and stay on the field as much as possible, and he emerged as both durable and reliable at the second level -- finishing with at least 10 total tackles in half of the games during the perfect campaign.

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Corey BrownRob Leifheit/US PresswireCorey "Philly" Brown could take aim at the Ohio State receptions record set by David Boston in 1998.

Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

PASS RECEPTIONS

  • Who owns it: Like most marks for wide receivers, it's a safe bet to throw out the name of David Boston -- and his 1998 season easily stands out as one of the most impressive statistical campaigns Ohio State has had at any position. His 85 catches that year are 12 more than any other target has ever snagged with the Buckeyes, and the next-closest total belongs to Boston as well. However, with a 12-game season and potentially two chances in the postseason to track him down, that record could be vulnerable down the road as Ohio State continues to expand its spread offense under Urban Meyer.
  • Who wants it: Corey "Philly" Brown endured his share of jokes about failing to make tacklers miss early in the season and was obviously a part of a group that took more serious criticism before that from the coaching staff during spring practice and the offseason after struggling to make any impact in 2011. But the rising senior steadily became the kind of playmaker Meyer could trust on the perimeter and started piling up catches in big games, with his 12-reception outing against Michigan State providing strong hints of what Brown could offer after another year to develop.
  • Relevant number: Boston's impressive 7.1 receptions per game might wind up being safe, though Brown could potentially give that mark a run for its money as well, depending on how the run-to-pass ratio is tweaked in Meyer's second season with the program. Brown finished up at an even five catches per contest after finishing the season with eight catches in the win over Michigan, and his total of 60 was the sixth-highest in school history. With two more opportunities potentially at his disposal than Boston had in his record-setting season, Brown would need to average about six receptions per game to claim the top spot in the record books -- a figure he hit or exceeded five times as a junior.
  • Offseason checklist: The Buckeyes were rarely shy about getting Brown involved in the offense, establishing right from the opener that he would be a featured weapon by throwing to him seven times in the win over Miami (Ohio). But as the staff gained confidence in his ability to break tackles and tack on extra yardage in the open field, it seemed to expand the package of plays designed to get him the football with everything from quick-hitting throws on the perimeter to touch passes as he came in motion through the formation. Typically the Buckeyes got him the ball near the line of scrimmage, though, and if he and Miller can develop their chemistry even more during the offseason and Brown takes another step forward as a route-runner, his reliable hands should see even more use.
  • Attainable goal: The variety of ways the Buckeyes can get Brown involved puts the record in reach for him, though the number of weapons returning on offense could possibly be a factor in keeping his numbers in check even if he returns as a much more dangerous option next fall. Devin Smith should be a more consistent factor at the other receiver spot, Michael Thomas and Evan Spencer figure to play more prominent roles -- and then there's the running game to consider with Carlos Hyde teaming up with Miller again in the backfield. But it wouldn't take too dramatic of a jump in production for Brown to challenge one of Boston's top records, and he should be prepared for it after seeing what the spread offense can do for him during Ohio State's perfect debut season with it.
Braxton Miller Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/Getty ImagesBraxton Miller already has the title for single-season yards, but the real total compiled by Terrelle Pryor has been wiped out of the record books.

Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.

TOTAL OFFENSE

  • Who owns it: Braxton Miller already has officially taken the crown after putting up 3,310 yards as a sophomore, sneaking past Bobby Hoying's single-season mark of 3,290 despite not getting the chance to play in the Big Ten title game or a bowl. The true bar Miller has to clear, though, no longer shows up in the record book for the Buckeyes -- and there's still some work to be done to surpass the 3,526 yards Terrelle Pryor rolled up in 2010 that have since been erased from existence.
  • Who wants it: Might be pretty obvious, but Miller will be chasing down this record and plenty more heading into his third season as the starting quarterback. Individual numbers and awards don't seem to matter much to the humble leader of the Ohio State offense, but he should be in line to post more video-game statistics as he continues to develop his game and get more comfortable in Urban Meyer's system.
  • Relevant number: Miller just barely topped 2,000 passing yards last season, and while that represented marked improvement for the Buckeyes through the air, Meyer is clearly expecting that total to go up next fall. Miller only would have needed to throw for 18 more yards per game to tie Pryor, a reasonable amount that could come fairly easily if improved mechanics and ability to read defenses bumps up his completion percentage a few more points from the 58.3 he turned in as a sophomore.
  • Offseason checklist: The Buckeyes clearly had no problem getting production out of Miller during the perfect season, and at times he looked like the only consistent threat on the field. But there have also been regular reminders from Meyer and the coaching staff that the multitalented star has only scratched the surface as a quarterback, with his footwork on top of the list of things to focus on during offseason throwing sessions, spring practice and training camp. Everything starts from the ground up with Miller, and while his happy feet make him electrifying as a rusher, they can throw off his delivery as a passer in the pocket and mask his arm strength, making them a top priority over the next few months.
  • Attainable goal: The record is officially already his, so there's not much question Miller is capable of reaching it. But with the possibility of two more games next season and an offense loaded with experienced playmakers around him, from an offensive line with four returning starters to two established targets at wide receiver and a full stable of running backs, Miller and the Buckeyes should have no problem piling up offense.

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