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Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is aware of and wary of Reynolds.

“The Navy coaches and some people I’ve talked to think that he’s the best that they’ve ever had,” he said. “That takes your breath away a little bit.”

The Buckeyes defense has a bit of a chip on its shoulder.

Many considered Ohio State a strong contender to make the initial College Football Playoffs this fall. Then quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a shoulder injury that will cost him the season.

Now, with freshman J.T. Barrett in command of the offense, there are a lot of people saying the Buckeyes no longer belong in the title discussion.

The defense believes it has to dominate - even against a volatile offense like Navy’s option - in order to give its own offense time to adapt to Barrett.

“Oh yes, we’ve got to,” linebacker Curtis Grant said. “Defense wins championships. We’re going to come out each and every day, high energy and just do what we need to do to keep moving forward.”

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Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP