Ohio State vs. Western Michigan Week 2 Preview: Defensive Players to Watch

A stream of returning members of the Western Michigan secondary may give Ohio State a run for its money.
Aaron Wofford joins two returners in the Bronco secondary for 2024
Aaron Wofford joins two returners in the Bronco secondary for 2024 / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Buckeyes did not play a top-50-ranked defense was against Minnesota on Nov. 18, 2023.

This season, as they have the last couple of seasons, they will start with [what should be a lighter slate, including facing a Western Michigan defense in week 2 — one that allowed more than 31 points per game a season ago. Now down two of their top defensive players, they must face a Buckeye offense which put up 30.5 points per game in 2023.

Regardless, the Buckeyes should not have trouble getting past the Bronco defensive line — one which allowed just under 400 total yards per game.

SAF Tate Hallock

Western Michigan's top returner will likely be graduate Tate Hallock, a player who found himself in a starting role for the first time last season. The leading tackler for the Broncos, Hallock racked up 75 total — as a safety, funny enough. In fact, a newly acquired Buckeye did that for the Crimson Tide last season as well.…

Hallock's best showing was a lights-out individual performance against Toledo early last season — despite the loss, Hallock stuffed the stat sheet with seven tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.

CB Aaron Wofford

Although he didn't see the field much in either of his first two years, Aaron Wofford returns to the Broncos coming off an outstanding season. The redshirt junior cornerback finished second on the team with 72 total tackles and five pass breakups.

Wofford had almost identical stats to his safety counterpart in Hallock — including hauling in two interceptions and a forced fumble.

CB Bilhal Kone

After spending a year at Indiana State, Bilhal Kone showed out his sophomore year in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The young cornerback had a team-leading eight pass breakups, including one interception.

With Kone, Wofford and Hallock all returning to the Bronco secondary, the Buckeyes may have their work cut out for them Sept. 7.

Gaurav Law