Rebuilt defense makes loud early statement

Matt BuckeyeInsider

One of the biggest question marks for Ohio State coming into the season revolved around the task of replacing eight talented starters from one of the country’s top defenses last year.

Of the departed defensive players, six of them were selected in the first four rounds of the NFL draft. That type of a talent depletion was expected to take a big toll on the 2016 OSU defense.

But through five games, a young and hungry rebuilt defense is statistically better than last year’s standout unit.

The Buckeyes currently rank second nationally in scoring defense, second in defensive touchdowns, fourth in total defense and fourth in interceptions.

In addition, Ohio State’s defense has yet to give up a rushing touchdown.

First-year defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who built a reputation for building strong defenses while a longtime head coach at Rutgers, believes his first-time starters were prepared well by the time they spent on special teams earlier in their careers.

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