Record: 12-2 overall, 8-0 in Big Ten (first in Leaders Division; lost in conference championship)
Postseason: Seventh in final Bowl Championship Series rankings; received at-large spot to face Clemson in Orange Bowl
Final poll rankings: 10th in coaches, 12th in AP
Aug. 31: No. 2 OSU 40, Buffalo 20
Sept. 7: No. 2 OSU 42, San Diego State 7
Sept. 14: No. 3 OSU 52, California 34
Sept. 21: No. 3 OSU 76, Florida A&M 0
Sept. 28: No. 3 OSU 31, No. 23 Wisconsin 24
Oct. 5: No. 3 OSU 40, No. 15 Northwestern 30
Oct. 19: No. 3 OSU 34, Iowa 24
Oct. 26: No. 3 OSU 63, Penn State 14
Nov. 2: No. 4 OSU 56, Purdue 0
Nov. 16: No. 3 OSU 60, Illinois 35
Nov. 23: No. 3 OSU 42, Indiana 14
Nov. 30: No. 3 OSU 42, Michigan 41
Dec. 7: No. 10 Michigan State 34, No. 2 OSU 24
Jan. 3: No. 12 Clemson 40, No. 7 OSU 35
Season in brief
The skinny: Meyer and the Buckeyes picked up where they had left off in 2012 by skating undefeated through the 2013 regular season. But it wasn't without drama, starting with running back Carlos Hyde being suspended the first three games because of an incident with a woman in a Downtown bar. Quarterback Braxton Miller missed a couple of early-season games because of injury, giving rise to the smooth stylings of Kenny Guiton’s eminent backup work. But just when it appeared that Meyer might never lose at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were upset in their first Big Ten title game by Michigan State and then by Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
High points: Guiton gained his first career start in the romp at California, outdueling freshman upstart Jared Goff. The next week, he became the first OSU quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a game — all in the first half — in a bushwhacking of outmanned Florida A&M, which came north without its renowned, but suspended, band. Eventually, the Buckeyes became Miller’s team again as they rammed their way through the rest of the regular season before their flagging defense almost caught up with them at Michigan. But safety Tyvis Powell’s interception of a two-point pass try by the Wolverines saved that one-point victory, the second of seven by Meyer over the team he routinely refers to as “our rival.”
Turning point: On fourth-and-1 with 6 minutes to play and trailing Michigan State 27-24 in the Big Ten title game, Miller was stopped a yard short as he tried to skirt right end. Thus ended the longest winning streak in OSU history at 24 games. The loss also kept the Buckeyes out of the last Bowl Championship Series national title game. They had gone in ranked No. 2 behind No. 1 Florida State, which went on to beat Auburn for the title.
Low point: It came in the Orange Bowl, and not just because of the wild loss to a surging Clemson program. Miller suffered a shoulder injury during the game but kept playing when the more prudent move would have been to insert Guiton. Miller’s right shoulder required surgery in the offseason, and when he tried to go full throttle in 2014 preseason camp, the shoulder let go again. He never started another game at quarterback for the Buckeyes.
Quotable: “Is this what we expect? No. We expect top 10 defense at Ohio State, top 10 offense, and top 10 special teams, and I don’t believe we accomplished any of those.” — Meyer, after the Orange Bowl loss
— Tim May