Bank Blog: Quick Thoughts Offense

Ohio State pulled out an amazing, come from behind, win over Northwestern Saturday night in Chicago. What was Ohio State doing offensively in the 40-30 win?

- First off, speaking as a recovered former addicted gambler, if you won that bet with Ohio State -6 you need to be on your knees thanking The Man upstairs for your gift. If you lost that bet, you have the right to go Michael Vick on all your pets. I remember those games from days gone by, mostly on the losing end.

- From an offensive standpoint, I don't think it's incorrect to list Urban Meyer and Tom Herman as the architects for what happens on that side of the football. In the first half, they were as awful as they could be. If Herman reads this I think he would be mad, but definitely agree. I have thought Meyer is the best coach in college football for years and nothing I saw last night will change my mind. But he was clueless in the first half, from the foolish fake punt throughout the horrible clock management when Northwestern had the ball at the end of the half, and continuing throughout the comedy of something resembling Ohio State's two-minute drill. But Urban Meyer didn't forget he is Urban Meyer, and we saw that on display in the second half.

- At the half, I was texting with Derek Young and it's interesting to go back and look at the conversation. Basically, we both agreed that OSU needed to establish Hyde on the inside and run it over and over until Northwestern didn't want him anymore. Then and only then, would things open up outside and in the passing game. My final text to Derek was "They will be OK in the second half." I did not envision Meyer/Herman having a second half that would resemble the first, and they didn't. And it helped win the game.

- I don't want to get into too much player specific evaluations, mainly because Ohio State did not play well and everyone saw what I saw. I do want to post what else I saw that others might not have. For me to post that Braxton Miller missed Chris Fields on a pass my daughter could have completed, or saying his fumbles hurt the cause should be understood by now.

- I DO want to mention Carlos Hyde and how much respect I have for that guy. Is he a great tailback? No. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Have I seen many players in recent Ohio State history that play as hard, and want to win as much as that guy? I don't think so. He is a leader. And by leader I don't mean someone who gets in people's faces and screams, because that stuff is all media BS anyways. I mean a guy that when things are not going well, lifts his team up and puts them on his back. Carlos Hyde will be missed when he's gone. I love his game.

- I would put Braxton in the same category in some ways, but it's not as consistent as with Hyde. But Braxton has the one attribute I look for in a quarterback, and without it you are worthless to me. Even in his freshman season, Miller has shown the ability to be able to make plays when things aren't going well for him and the team. More often than not, he is at his best when Ohio State needs him the most. He does things that drive you crazy and I understand Meyer considering going to Kenny Guiton, but I'm sure the head coach is glad he didn't. Did Miller play great yesterday? Certainly not. Did he do what he needed to do to secure a win? Absolutely.

- The offensive line is really good and these guys play so hard week after week. We have seen some soft offensive line play from Ohio State in the past, but not these guys. These are road graders excelling in a spread offense, and that is pretty rare in today's college football world. Appreciate these guys before they leave.

- I also want to mention style. And I'm now convinced Ohio State has the "style" of play offensively to win a national championship. I haven't felt that way until the past two weeks, but I'm now sold. The Oregon way is pretty and it sure impresses folks. But I've seen the Oregon way roll up 68 points per game against the patsies, only to be stoned by Auburn, Ohio State or Stanford in a big game. To be a champion, you need to be able to win when you aren't at your best. You need to be able to win when you're trailing. You need to be able to win when you need to drive the length of the field to score. And then have to do it again. And maybe even one more time. Alabama did that last year when things looked bleak. USC under Pete Carroll was rarely able to do that. You either have it or you don't. I think Ohio State does. To me, that trumps Oregon or Baylor scoring 80 against the girls week after week.

- I know people love their coaching staff when they are killing people week after week because they have a talent gap wider than the Grand Canyon. That might be recruiting, but to me that isn't coaching. Offensively, the Ohio State staff has proven they can win shootouts, they can win coming from behind, they can win grind-it-out games, they can win throwing the football, and they can win mashing it down people's throats to protect a lead. And MOST OF ALL, you HAVE to be able to win when you aren't playing at your best. I believe this team can do all of that. This will bode well going forward.

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