Bank Blog: Quick Thoughts Offense

Ohio State kept their dream of playing for the national title alive Saturday night with a 31-24 win over Wisconsin. How did the Buckeye offense fare against the Badgers?

- First off, when looking at the Ohio State offensive performance, I have to mention Chris Borland. He is a GREAT football player, and I respect his talent, effort and approach to the game. This was a man's football game and Borland is a Man.

- Secondly, people will probably be questioning the absence of both Kenny Guiton and Jordan Hall from action tonight. I totally get that, but also totally get why neither played. This was a game Ohio State could not lose, or everything would have been lost. A loss against Wisconsin and there would have been no Big Ten title appearance. A loss next week will be bad, but not fatal. You absolutely had to play your best on every possession, and those two don't make the list. They are great people, great teammates, great Buckeyes and great representatives of Ohio State football. There was no place for either in tonight's game, in my opinion.

- Braxton Miller was extremely sharp throwing the football, and probably should have been allowed to throw it even more. Forget the two-quarterback talk. Guiton does nothing close to what Miller does as a quarterback, so they're not playing both. Period. Kenny is a great insurance policy and will probably be needed again this year, but if Braxton is healthy he gets all the snaps. He is so much better throwing the football this year in every way. Better accuracy. Better touch. Better timing. Better reads. I don't think it will happen, but he would still be in my Heisman Trophy race. He is a great talent, and he played that way against Wisconsin. They played him like they played him last year, but he burned them this year throwing the ball. Had he gotten more throws and the drops eliminated, Miller would have put up monster numbers. As it was, Braxton did what he does best: Win football games.

- The receivers were a mixed bag, with a lot of good but some unacceptable bad. Throws should not be hitting guys in the face mask and blowing through their hands. Philly Brown had a few bad drops and Devin Smith had one. At some point that can cost you. Evan Spencer is a very reliable number-three wideout and has really improved as a player. His improvement put a red shirt on Corey Brown. Really think a lot of Jeff Heuerman and would like to see him get the ball more.

- Loved the running game and would have liked to see Carlos Hyde run it even more. I don't think 17 carries was nearly enough and would have liked to see 20-25. He runs the football inside the tackles so well and so violently, that more of him would open it up for others on the outside. Dontre Wilson on the edge is a beautiful thing to watch, and he is electric with the ball in his hands. Hyde on the inside, Wilson on the edge and Braxton everywhere makes for a potent ground game. Those would be my ball carriers the rest of the year in tight games.

- The offensive line was very good, and they were going up against pretty much the same group that owned them last year. Wisconsin has an experienced, veteran, front-seven, and they did not have the success they had last year against Ohio State. You hate to single anyone out without a film review, but I love the way Jack Mewhort plays the game. It wasn't a dominant performance by this group, but it was a winning one.

- Overall, I predicted Ohio State to score 31 points so no surprise to me they scored 31. I saw pretty much what I expected to see and liked what I saw. I thought Tom Herman buttoned it up too quickly in the fourth, and Ohio State should have looked to put the game away rather than play safe, but they got the W. I still think Hyde ramming the football between the guards opens up everything else for this offense, and would like to see him hammering it even more, but that might happen next week against Northwestern.

- I'm not real big on grades for position groups, but I would say this was a winning performance by the offense. The most encouraging aspect would be the play of Braxton Miller, because with more reps I think he plays even better next week. If they let him go a little more I believe he will give them a lot more production.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories