Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been a head coach at three other programs. At each of his four stops Meyer has decided to retain the defensive coordinator. Each one of those first three defensive coordinators has gone on to become a head coach and Luke Fickell (who served as interim head coach last season) has a very bright future ahead of him.
The defensive coordinator he retained at Bowling Green, was Tim Beckman, at Utah it was Kyle Whittingham, and at Florida it was Charlie Strong. When Meyer was hired at Ohio State, he decided to keep Fickell on board to run the defense.
That's without mentioning the number of former offensive assistants now holding head coaching positions (Dan Mullen, Steve Addazio, Dan McCarney...etc.). Long story short, Coach Meyer can evaluate talent.
On Saturday, Luke Fickell's defensive game will play a huge role for the Buckeyes specifically their ability to control the Michigan State run game.
Michigan State is an impressive 20-1 (95%) under Mark Dantonio since 2010 when out rushing their opponent. When the Spartans rush for over 200 yards in a game they are 16-2 (89%) under Dantonio. So far this season, Michigan State has rushed for over 200 yards twice (Boise State - 232 yards rushing and Eastern Michigan - 276 yards rushing), winning both contests.
Ohio State is currently ranked 33rd nationally (118 ypg), and 7th in the Big Ten in stopping the run.
The two teams kickoff their Big Ten schedule at 3:30pm ET Saturday on ABC.