Following an extremely sloppy offensive performance against Northern Illinois in their 20-13 win, there were plenty of opinions flying all over social media in regards to who Ohio State should start at quarterback. With both quarterbacks both playing underwhelming at best, legitimate concern seemed to be seeping into what seemed like a dream team of sorts. The defense has been phenomenal, but the offense has been bad enough to question some decisions for certain personnel. This week's depth chart doesn't change much, as it looks like head coach Urban Meyer is going to give the offensive line and beyond another chance against Western Michigan.
Just one week after coach Meyer emphasized that Cardale Jones was Ohio State's starting quarterback, there were questions raised about the quarterback situation yet again. After the release of the depth chart, it appears that Jones will remain the starter with J.T. Barrett listed as the OR yet again.
Ezekiel Elliott remains the starting running back after carrying the ball 23 times for 108 yards and no touchdowns. The star back continued his streak of 100-yard rushing games, currently at eight consecutive games, and should have no problem against the Western Michigan Broncos. Backing Elliott up is Bri'onte Dunn, followed up by Warren Ball, neither of which had any carries against the Huskies.
After Parris Campbell headed towards the locker room with an apparent limp, Dontre Wilson stepped in as the starter for the rest of the game. The rest of the receiving core remains the same, with Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall at the other two starting spots. Thomas caught the only offensive touchdown of the game for the Buckeyes on an excellent pitch and catch from J.T. Barrett for 23 yards in the endzone. Curtis Samuel, however, replaces Campbell as the starting receiver instead of Wilson and Wilson moves to H-back. Via Lori Schmidt on Twitter, Marty Bannister reported that Campbell suffered a bruised knee.
Braxton Miller remains the starter at H-back, though saw limited action against Northern Illinois. Miller only touched the ball four times and all came from in the backfield with no receptions. I'd expect a lot of that was due to the Buckeyes never getting things going on the offensive side of the ball and just fed Elliott for much of the second half. Dontre Wilson returns to his original H-back position as the backup to Miller.
The tight end spot is firmly locked down by Nick Vannett, with Marcus Baugh listed as the backup once again. No change there, nor would I expect one for the remainder of the season, barring injury.
The offensive line stays the same up front, with Taylor Decker, Billy Price, Jacoby Boren, Pat Elflein, and Chase Farris (from left to right). This unit in particular has received quite a bit of criticism over the past two weeks and will look to improve their play against Western Michigan.
Switching to defense, from one end to the other, the starters on the defensive line are listed as Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, and Tyquan Lewis. Sam Hubbard is the backup to Bosa, while Donovan Munger OR Tracy Sprinkle backs up Washington. Joel Hale OR Michael Hill back up Schutt, while Jayln Holmes backs up Lewis with Darius Slade closing that side of the line out.
The linebackers remain the same after great performances from Joshua Perry at weak outside linebacker, Raekwon McMillan in at middle linebacker, and Darron Lee finishing at strong outside linebacker.
At cornerback things stay the same, as Gareon Conley and Eli Apple man the outside edges with Marshon Lattimore replacing the suspended Damon Webb for backup along with Denzel Ward. For safeties, the starters are still Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell. Erick Smith is listed as the backup to Bell, while Cam Burrows is under Powell. It is interesting to note that Webb was suspended for this game.
Jalin Marshall remains the starter at punt returner. Ezekiel Elliott makes a return to the punt returner spot as the backup, which I find a bit odd. Braxton Miller isn't listed on the depth chart as a punt returner.
Jack Willoughby and Sean Nuernberger are still listed as starters with OR in between them for place kicking. Willoughby, however, seems to be the lone starter based off the opportunities and him being on the field for the entirety of the games this season thus far. Cameron Johnston is still the starting punter and that won't change for the foreseeable future. It seems Curtis Samuel and Warren Ball have locked up kick returner spots as this hasn't changed so far this season.