Ohio State Football: Breaking Down Where Buckeyes Can Improve in 2013

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes controls the ball against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Even though Ohio State finished the season with an undefeated record, the Buckeyes have room for improvement looking ahead to 2013. The sign of a good team is finding ways to get better regardless of what happened the previous season.

It all starts at the top with quarterback Braxton Miller. The team's most explosive player made strides during his sophomore season, racking up over 3,300 total yards of offense and 28 touchdowns.

Miller still has to improve as a pure passer in order for the Buckeyes' offense to reach maximum efficiency, though. Fans are sometimes blinded by his terrific athleticism and dual-threat ability, and lose sight on how much better he could become.

He completed just 58 percent of his passes. By comparison, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel connected on 68 percent of his throws. While the systems are different, it all comes down to identifying the best route against the coverage.

It's those finer points that Miller must try to master during the offseason. If he can improve his completion rate by even five percent, it will have a significant impact on bringing more balance to the Ohio State offense.

He needs help to do that, of course. It starts with his receivers. Corey Brown led the team with 60 catches, but doesn't have the ability to stretch the field. Nobody else reeled in more than 30 passes, illustrating the lack of depth.

Devin Smith did show some game-breaking ability on the outside. He still need to become more consistent before the Buckeyes can rely on him heavily. It's also important add some receivers to the class for depth.

On defense, the biggest area of need for Ohio State will be linebacker. Beyond Ryan Shazier, who should provide some stability in the middle, the group will have several question marks to address heading into spring ball.

The other concern is pass defense. The Buckeyes ranked 11th in the Big Ten during the regular season against the pass, giving up over 240 yards per game. Only Northwestern allowed more.

It wasn't as much a lack of talent as it was a lack of execution. Ohio State must find a way to clean up the mental errors fans seen quite a bit throughout the season, and it should move at least into the middle of the pack, which is all it really needs.

All told, the areas where the Buckeyes need improvement are pretty obvious. That being said, they don't need a complete overhaul at any one position. It just comes down to adding more depth through recruiting and then fixing the common mistakes from this season.

If they do that, they'll be in line for another terrific season next fall.