Three New Names You Need to Know for Ohio State's 2020 College Football Season

By David Regimbal on April 9, 2020 at 10:10 am
Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey
© Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State's 2019 football season ended a step too early as the Buckeyes were left on the doorstep of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Head coach Ryan Day and quarterback Justin Fields will be back in 2020 for a repeat run at the title, but 12 new starters on offense and defense need to be identified before the season-opener against Bowling Green.

The Buckeyes will also have to familiarize themselves with new faces on their opponents as well.

Roster turnover at rival schools, new coaches at divisional contenders and unfamiliar out-of-conference opponents have Day and his coaching staff doing research this offseason. Here are four new names you can familiarize yourself with before kickoff this September.

Mario Cristobal, Oregon Head Coach

When Ohio State last faced off against Oregon in the first-ever college football playoff title game, Mark Helfrich was at the helm of the football program. Helfrich coached just two more seasons before his termination at the end of a 4-8 season in 2016, and his replacement (Willie Taggart) stayed just one season before bolting for the open Florida State job.

That's what landed Mario Cristobal in Eugene. His football career started at the University, where we won two national championships as an offensive tackle between 1988-92. His coaching career started where he played as a graduate assistant and wound from Rutgers, back to Miami, then to FIU as a head coach before serving as an ace recruiter and offensive line coach for Nick Saban at Alabama.

Cristobal took over at Oregon in 2018 and elevated the program that went 7-6 the previous year to 9-4 in his first season. Last year, the Ducks went 12-2 and capped their season with a thrilling 28-27 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Tyler Goodson, Iowa Running Back

The last time Ohio State faced off against Iowa in 2017, the Hawkeyes used a balanced attack to hand Urban Meyer's Buckeyes a stunning 55-24 loss.

This year's game takes place in Ohio Stadium, and the Hawkeyes attack will have a new quarterback behind center after the graduation of Nate Stanley (who threw five touchdowns in that '17 win). 

The focus isn't on Stanley's replacement, but rather Tyler Goodson, who'll be the driving force in Iowa's offense this September.

As a true freshman last season, Goodson led a crowded running back room with a team-high 638 rushing yards and five touchdowns. With Stanley's departure and a new quarterback behind center, Goodson will be the focal point of the offense, particularly on the road.

Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan Quarterback

The Shea Patterson era came to an unceremonious end as Ohio State handed him and the Wolverines a 56-27 loss in his final regular season game before Alabama ended his collegiate career with a 35-16 loss in the Citrus Bowl.

Patterson's graduation set the stage for an offseason position battle between quarterbacks Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton.

McCaffrey, who was slotted as Patterson's backup during the 2019 season, has the inside track for the starting gig. He's a former high 4-star recruit and the younger brother of Christian McCaffrey, the all-star running back for the Carolina Panthers.

McCaffrey has little live experience for the Wolverines as he's thrown just 35 collegiate passes. But the redshirt junior is entering his fourth year in the program, and if he stays healthy, he'll have plenty of reps under his belt when Michigan visits Ohio Stadium on November 28.

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