Turnover margin is something that is very important in football. It’s something that can decide the outcome of games. The Ohio State football team knows that and the Penn State game last season is a perfect example of that. They forced four turnovers in that game and it’s what made the difference.
But the Penn State game was an anomaly. In fact, Ohio State forced 10 turnovers combined playing against Penn State and Iowa. In the other 11 games they played, they forced just 8. That inconsistency is something that needs to be improved this season.
In fact, the Buckeyes didn’t force a turnover until three games into the 2022 season. It took a long time for the defense to feel comfortable in the new system and start making plays. By the end of the season, Ohio State had forced 18 turnovers, which was good enough for just tied for 69th in the country.
This iteration of the Ohio State football team will have a new quarterback and an almost completely new offensive line. They won’t have a bunch of experience to overcome a lack of turnover forced on the defensive side. Finishing 69th is not going to cut it.
Knowles is confident that his team will force more turnovers this year now that they have another year in the system. It’s good that the Buckeyes don’t turn the ball over much on offense because their turnover margin was decent last year. That could change with a new quarterback though.
I’d like to see the Buckeyes force at least 24 turnovers this season. That would be an improvement of six from last season. It gives them a margin of error for the offense as well. Scoring touchdowns on defense is also never a bad thing!
I’m really excited to see what this defense will be this year. We will find out for sure whether or not Jim Knowles can coach his defense in big games.