Expect Buckeyes' D to make adjustments

Updated: September 5, 2006, 1:11 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | Special to ESPN.com
Defense has been a staple at Ohio State during the Jim Tressel era. Last season, the Buckeyes owned the nation's top-ranked unit against the run, allowing only 73.4 yards per game. But that was last season. Although Ohio State enters its big rematch with Texas on Saturday night (ABC, 8 ET) ranked No. 1 in the polls, questions remain about its defense. Can a unit featuring nine new starters develop into a championship-caliber defense?

Garrett Wolfe
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesGarrett Wolfe ran for 171 yards against the Buckeyes' defense.
The results were mixed in OSU's season-opening 35-12 win over Northern Illinois. Although the Buckeyes gave up only 12 points, Garrett Wolfe, NIU's 5-foot-7, 170-pound spark plug, ran through and around them for 171 yards. Wolfe also caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. That's not championship-caliber defense.

Can the Buckeyes improve their run defense enough to beat Texas? Absolutely.


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Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.