Meyer Era About To Get Under Way At OSU

Tomorrow will be like Christmas Day from Ohio State football fans. Not only does the program's 123rd season kick off in the Horseshoe, it marks the debut of the Urban Meyer era. We have some thoughts on that as well as the regular weekly features: OSU-Miami Tidbits, news and notes from Around The Country and the often imitated but never duplicated Fearless Forecast.

To say Ohio State football fans are giddy with anticipation for a glimpse at the new-look Buckeyes under Urban Meyer would classify as the understatement of the year. From some of the comments I have heard these past few months, university officials might as well get the paperwork started on renaming Ohio Stadium in the new coach's honor.

What most fans tend to forget, of course, is that Meyer is not only overhauling a team that finished 6-7 last season, he is attempting to change an offensive mind-set that dates back several generations.

Woody Hayes was credited with the program's three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust mentality, but the truth is that Ohio State has been a run-oriented team for much of its 122-season history. Even during the high-octane seasons of 1998 (when Joe Germaine set the single-season passing record) and 2006 (when Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy), the Buckeyes still ran the ball and ran it a lot – respectively 54.9 and 58.5 percent of the time to be exact.

I am guessing the 2012 edition of the team will also be run-oriented despite the fact most fans think (or hope) quarterback Braxton Miller will be chucking the football all over the lot in Meyer's attacking style of the spread offense. Unfortunately, while the talented Miller has improved greatly from his freshman season, he remains a bit raw when it comes to the passing game. Meanwhile, the QB continues to learn a complex and entirely new offensive system, and no bona fide go-to receiver upon which he can rely has stepped into the spotlight – at least not yet.

What will set this year's Ohio State offense apart – and indeed set it apart from last year's squad and most of the ones in program history – is the mobility of the offensive line. Gone with longtime assistant Jim Bollman to his new assignment at Boston College is the old drop-step-and-retreat mentality. Rather than letting the opponent come to them, OSU linemen are actually being tasked with initiating contact.

Additionally, some of the excess baggage those on the offensive line used to carry around their midsection has disappeared. Meyer apparently favors quality over quantity.

Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Say Blog: Aug. 31.

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