Bank Blog: Quick Thoughts Offense

Ohio State blew out Miami of Ohio 56-10 Saturday to begin the Urban Meyer era in exciting fashion. The offense was a total change from the past. Who stood out on this side of the football?

- It was thought, incorrectly, that the arrival of Urban Meyer would signify the end of power football at Ohio State. The Miami game showed that power is not only still in the plan, but tough, physical, football is priority one for Meyer. Controlling the middle of the defense, whether through Carlos Hyde or Tim Tebow, sets up everything they want to do with the spread. They will attack the box and force people to play them honestly, which sets up Braxton Miller and the playmakers. When Brionte Dunn was being recruited, people wondered where he fit in with Meyer's philosophy. Today answered that question. A power runner is required in this offense.

- How can there be enough touches in an offense for Braxton to run it, Hyde to run it, Jordan Hall to run it, passes to be caught by Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, Jake Stoneburner, Philly Brown, and others? Easy. Run 85 plays, not 60. The downside? You put your defense at FAR more risk. The upside? Players are happier and you put more points on the board.

- I felt all along that Devin and Philly were as good as what Urban had at Florida for the most part, but he only had film of them in the Covered Wagon of last year. Once he saw them over the course of a few months, I thought he might be more enamored with them and that is the case. Devin Smith's TD catch was a thing of beauty.

- Still not totally sold on the runningbacks, and that includes Jordan Hall. The Carlos Hyde run before the half is one that causes coaches to seek psychiatric help. Left his feet needlessly and lost power. Should have dropped his pads and sent that linebacker into "C" deck. Also, missed holes occasionally. BUT, repeat BUT, Carlos Hyde plays the game as hard as any player on this team, and he is a valuable runner. His strengths far out-number his weaknesses, and he's earned the number-one job. After today, it's also easier to see Hall's role in this offense, as opposed to the Covered Wagon. I doubt we will see Jordan running the ISO 15 times per game, but I can sure see a defined role for him on the edge. In time, Brionte Dunn, Warren Ball, Jalin Marshall and Ezekiel Elliott will fit this offense and be more effective than Hyde and/or Hall, but for now those two will be just fine.

- I don't think we saw the playbook today, but more the Cliff Notes version. In time, Nick Vannett and Stoneburner will have more varied roles, and playing in the slot, Jake is not really a wide receiver, but a glorified tight end. Watch for them in the coming weeks.

- The offensive line was better and took a huge step in the right direction, although pass protection could and will be better. Happy with Reid Fragel in his first start at tackle, and also thought Jack Mewhort was really good. Very nice first game for this group, and there's no reason not to expect them to continually improve week by week. Are they ready to dominate Michigan State today? No, and they won't have to for another month.

- If you can't see Tom Herman's stamp on Braxton and this offense, you need to see the eye doctor tomorrow. And remember, they ran a scaled back version against Miami. The offense will add more on a weekly basis, and I think people will be very happy with what they put out on the field. Herman is a stud, in my opinion, and will leave Ohio State for a head coaching position one day.

- Braxton Miller is so much better from last year, and the scary thing is he has a lot of ceiling left to reach for. The touchdown run was unbelievable, and I don't know how you top that. He is not going to ever be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, sitting in the pocket reading the field. Never will be. He is the new breed of quarterback, and he is EXACTLY what Meyer/Herman want from the position. A year from now we won't recognize Braxton, and I have a feeling he takes the Heisman Trophy next year. His running is so great, because with the ball in his hands Ohio State has ten blockers on the field, a huge advantage to a running quarterback. His throwing is fine, and will continue to get better. He is behind where he might be from a technique standpoint, and he was hurt the most by Jim Tressel leaving, but Herman will coach him up to where he needs to be.

- Overall, the numbers were spectacular today, but they played a bad team. This offense is not ready to roll up on Michigan State just yet. But, there are so many encouraging signs and much reason for optimism. I truly think this offense is a year away from reaching maximum production, but there's no reason they can't be very good this season.

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