But it’s also fair to say that much of the Buckeyes’ 37.2 points per game were because of Miller, who threw for 15 touchdowns and ran for 13 more while accounting for 275.8 yards of offense per game.
The offensive line wasn’t yet known as the steamrolling unit that wunderkind coach Ed Warinner would become known for. Hyde wasn’t yet the dominating back who would carry Ohio State though the 2013 season. Smith wasn’t yet the dependable deep threat who would become a second-round draft pick. And while Brown was solid, he also wasn’t quite the dynamic “H” player the Buckeyes were looking for.
And perhaps most importantly, the depth of playmakers just wasn’t there. After Hyde and Miller, backs Jordan Hall and Rod Smith combined for three touchdowns on the ground. After Brown and Smith, the No. 3 receiver was Jake Stoneburner and his 16 catches.
Now, the Buckeyes appear to have a plethora of options, as our recent playmaker series has shown. Meyer has said finding 10 playmakers is always the goal, and he spent much of this spring trying to bring along the depth of the Buckeyes’ skill positions.
Now, it appears the Buckeyes have so many options that the real challenge will be getting enough touches for each of the talented options that made our post-spring countdown of the top 10 playmakers on the Ohio State roster.
Our list included players of all ilks – star running backs, big-play receivers, shifty H-backs and seam-busting tight ends – brought in by Meyer and his staff, but it didn’t even include some players who could work their way into the playmaking rotation, including Bri’onte Dunn (who served as the top back this spring with Ezekiel Elliott out) and Terry McLaurin (who caught a TD in the spring game).
Also not on the list were such incoming recruits as running back Mike Weber and quarterback Torrance Gibson, who many feel could find a spot for the Buckeyes with the ball in his hands even if that spot is not under center this year.
And it also didn’t include Ohio State’s riches at quarterback. Playmakers are guys who the staff designs plays to get the ball in their hands, and the quarterback has the ball in his hands from the start. Still, the fact our list doesn’t even mention Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett just shows how much talent there is at OSU – and it doesn’t even include the possibility that Miller might end up changing positions if his shoulder rehab doesn’t go according to plan.
So Buckeye fans should be excited. Despite some changes to the coaching staff, there shouldn’t be any lack of points on the board this year. Having so many playmakers makes it so.
OSU's Top 10 Playmakers For 2015
No. 10: Parris Campbell
No. 9 Johnnie Dixon
No. 8 Nick Vannett
No. 7 Noah Brown
No. 6 Corey Smith
No. 5 Dontre Wilson
No. 4 Curtis Samuel
No. 3 Jalin Marshall
No. 2 Michael Thomas
No. 1 Ezekiel Elliott