Expect the Ohio State football team to be led by defense again in 2024

The Ohio State football team will have an elite defense again in 2024. They are going to have to lean on that defense to win games.
Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (10) celebrates a
Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (10) celebrates a / Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA

The Ohio State football team was led by its defense in 2024. That unit is the reason why they won 12 games. It wasn't because the offense was outscoring teams all of the time. The defense was grinding out victories by suffocating opponents on offense.

Part of the reason for that style of play was because the offense just wasn't elite like it had been in years past. The quarterback play wasn't great and the offensive line was poor. The Buckeyes are hoping to fix that issue by substituting Will Howard at quarterback for Kyle McCord.

While that should help things, the offensive line is still going to be the worst unit on the team. The right side is still a problem. Adding Quinshon Judkins should help the offense have more firepower too, but I don't see it being elite like it was in 2022.

This Ohio State football team is still going to lean on its fantastic defense. All of those guys who were on that elite defense a year ago are back this season and ready for a big run. They certainly won't be any worse. In fact, they will be better with the addition of Caleb Downs.

There will still be games this season that will be grind-it-out affairs. The defense is going to have to make sure that they win those games. Ohio State wants to get into those scenarios, especially against the best teams on their schedule. Teams like Oregon, Michigan, and Penn State are teams they want to suffocate offensively.


Ohio State might not be able to win shootouts yet, but they can win close, defensive struggles. That might be where this team is comfortable operating for the second straight year. Ohio State football fans have to be ready for that for at least one more season.