After losing in last season's College Football Playoff National Championship last season, the Ohio State football program is poised to make another run at the Playoff in 2021.
Unlike 2020, the Buckeyes and the rest of the Big Ten are scheduled to play a full 12-game regular season in 2021. Head coach Ryan Day will be entering his third full season at the helm, hoping to lead his squad to their fifth consecutive Big Ten title.
Here is the complete 2021 Ohio State football schedule, including opponents, results and players to watch.
2021 Ohio State football schedule: Dates, times, opponents, results
Here is the full, detailed schedule for Ohio State's 2021 football season.
|at Minnesota||W, 45-31||Thursday, Sept. 02||8 p.m||Fox||Minneapolis, MN|
|vs. No. 12 Oregon||L, 35-28||Saturday, Sept. 11||12 p.m.||Fox||Columbus, OH|
|vs. Tulsa||W, 41-20||Saturday, Sept. 18||3:30 p.m.||FS1||Columbus, OH|
|vs Akron||W, 59-7||Saturday, Sept. 25||7:30 p.m.||Big Ten||Columbus, OH|
|at Rutgers||W, 52-13||Saturday, Oct. 2||3:30 p.m.||Big Ten||Piscataway, NJ|
|vs. Maryland||W, 66-17||Saturday, Oct. 9||12 p.m.||FOX||Columbus, OH|
|at Indiana||W, 54-7||Saturday, Oct. 23||7:30 p.m.||ABC||Bloomington, IN|
|vs. No. 20 Penn State||W, 33-24||Saturday, Oct. 30||7:30 p.m.||ABC||Columbus, OH|
|at Nebraska||W, 26-17||Saturday, Nov. 6||12 p.m.||FOX||Lincoln, NE|
|vs. No. 19 Purdue||W, 59-31||Saturday, Nov. 13||3:30 p.m.||ABC||Columbus, OH|
|vs. No. 7 Michigan State||W, 56-7||Saturday, Nov. 20||12 p.m.||ABC||Columbus, OH|
|at No. 5 Michigan||L, 42-27||Saturday, Nov. 27||12 p.m.||FOX||Ann Arbor, MI|
Big Ten football standings
View the latest college football rankings
2021-22 College Football Playoff schedule
Ohio State has made the College Football Playoff four times since its inception in the 2014-15 season. They have made it to the CFP Championship twice (2015, 2021).
Here's the schedule for the 2022 College Football Playoff.
|Semifinal||Cotton Bowl||Dec. 31, 2021||Arlington, TX||AT&T Stadium|
|Semifinal||Orange Bowl||Dec. 31, 2021||Miami Gardens, FL||Hard Rock Stadium|
|Championship||CFP National Championship||Jan. 10, 2022||Indianapolis, IN||Lucas Oil Stadium|
The Buckeyes went 7-1 last season, they finished with an appearance in the CFP Championship Game where they suffered their only loss of 2020.
Here’s what happened in every game of Ohio State’s 2020 schedule:
|Nebraska||Saturday, Oct. 24||12 p.m.||Columbus, OH||W||52-17|
|Penn State||Saturday, Oct. 31||7:30 p.m.||State College, PA||W||38-25|
|Rutgers||Saturday, Nov. 7||7:30 p.m.||Columbus, OH||W||49-27|
|Indiana||Saturday, Nov. 21||12 p.m.||Columbus, OH||W||42-35|
|Michigan State||Saturday, Dec. 5||12 p.m.||East Lansing, MI||W||52-12|
|Northwestern (Big Ten Championship)||Saturday, Dec. 19||12 p.m.||Indianapolis, IN||W||22-10|
|Clemson (Sugar Bowl-CFP Semifinal)||Friday, Jan. 1||8 p.m.||New Orleans, LA||W||49-28|
|Alabama (CFP National Championship)||Monday, Jan. 11||8 p.m.||Miami, FL||L||52-24|
CFP National Championship history
|YEAR (OF GAME)||GAME|
|2015||No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20|
|2016||No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40|
|2017||No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31|
|2018||No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23 (OT)|
|2019||No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16|
|2020||No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25|
|2021||No. 1 Alabama 52, No. 3 Ohio State 24|
Top returning players
Ohio State was the only team in the last two NFL Drafts to have 10 players be selected. QB Justin Fields (11th overall), RB Trey Sermon (88th overall) and DT Tommy Togiai 132nd (overall) are just a few that have moved onto the next level. The Buckeyes will not be strapped for talent though, replacing Fields will prove the embarrassment of riches Day has at his disposal. Two front runners for the quarterback job will be redshirt freshmen C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller III going into the 2021 season.
The receiving core will remain the same as the Buckeyes’ top-three receivers will all be coming back to Columbus. Their leading receiver, Chris Olave will be returning for his senior year, while Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams will be back for their junior year. The three combined for 1,606 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns en route to a CFP Championship appearance. When it comes to rushing, junior RB Master Teague III will take on the workload Trey Sermon left behind. Last year, Teague carried the ball for 514 yards and led the team in rushing touchdowns with eight.
Defensively, OSU will be bringing back a lot of experience even if they all didn’t start in 2020. Senior DT Haskell Garrett will be one to continue to keep an eye on this year. Last season, he recorded 20 total tackles along with four tackles for a loss and two sacks. Another player who will be able to make an impact for the Buckeyes is senior DE Tyreke Smith, as the combination of Garrett and Smith should be able to give opposing offensive lines headaches all year.