Buckeyes' defense shreds preseason perception

Updated: November 15, 2006, 12:14 PM ET
By Pat Forde | ESPN.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- On paper, they were a problem.

They were the kink in the grand Ohio State plan, these nine new starters on defense. The offense was championship caliber, everyone agreed. The question was whether the unfamiliar faces in charge of tackling and covering could compensate for one of the great talent drains in recent college football history.

They were all replacing multiyear lettermen, and three were stepping in for first-round NFL draft picks. It was up to this callow ...

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