Urban Meyer finds Ohio State defense ahead of offense thus far

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The first Ohio State Buckeyes spring football season of Urban Meyer is about 1/3 way through. Much like last season, in which the defense was rather superior to the offense, Meyer expects the d have an advantage over the o in the early spring practice sessions.

“This early, the defense better win,” Meyer told about 35 assembled members of the media after practice. “They are playing well. The defense has two guys – John Simon and Johnathan Hankins – who are disrupting everything.”

Look for John Simon to be one of the most dominatnt defensive players on both the Buckeyes and in the Big Ten this year.

On the other side of the ball, expect a learning curve for awhile as Meyer and the staff implementing a new-to-Ohio State spread offense, plus there are four new offensive assistants. Expect these issues to be more glaring as they scrimmage against a defense that returns nine starters.

“We’re not where we need to be, but I’m not upset,” Meyer said. “I wish we’d just get there faster. The offense came back in the scrimmage today. It got the score close.”

The offensive line returns just two starters from last season, and the one who could make the most noise in the fall is Jack Mewhort. “He is probably our best lineman and he is our most consistent lineman. We don’t have a lot of tackles right now, but Jack can play tackle.”

Meyer also talked about Simon, and the defensive line “We’ve got some depth. Simon [John] is playing lights out. I don’t know who our other pass rushers are, though. Steve Miller has made a big jump.”

Coach Meyer said he hopes the 2012 Spring Game will be an actual game – as opposed to an offense vs. defense scrimmage – with two teams of drafted players. Every school does it different, and scores it differently, but Ohio State is famous for drawing the biggest crowds for their game among schools in the region. An actual game would make it much more fan-friendly, as fans would also know what’s going on. Many schools use an incoherent to anyone but the team itself scoring system for their spring games.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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