Bank Blog: Week-One Offense

The Ohio State offense started fast, then took the second quarter off Monday night, but returned to dominate the second half against Virginia Tech. Who played well on this side of the ball.

- In terms of the offense, things were pretty good Monday night against Virginia Tech, but the total output of 42 points is going to be one of the lowest outputs this season. Think about that for a minute. Props to Urban Meyer for the halftime adjustment to run more power and emphasize getting the football to Braxton Miller. Props to Ed Warinner and Tim Beck for putting together a game plan that succeeded against Bud Foster this time around.

- In terms of the players, this was a great night for a great Buckeye, Braxton Miller. Playing the H for Meyer just might be what Miller was born to do on a football field. His NFL stock was raised last night, not because of the speed and moves, which everyone knows about. No, it was because of how easily and how naturally he caught the football. After having to sit out last year, it was nice to see Miller back in his place as one of college football's best playmakers.

- Mike Thomas also came up huge even though he was only targeted a few times, because he showed he could take an All-American CB in Kendall Fuller anytime he wanted. He was there whenever Ohio State needed him, which turned out to not be that much when Miller and the running game got off in the second half. The fill-ins also played well, but that being said, Meyer will welcome Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith and Dontre Wilson back into the fold.

- Ohio State obviously has Zeke Elliott on a pitch count, and they only ran 56 offensive plays, so his touches were way down Monday night. He caught the football well and as usual, blocked like a man on a mission. That being said, being a punt returner is not smart. He's not going to catch the ball any better than a number of others, and the potential for injury is very high in that role. Put James Clark, Johnnie Dixon or Terry McLaurin the role, although Marshall returns this week. Or even Braxton Miller could fill that role, but enough of Elliott as a punt returner.

- Cardale Jones got the start, which was slightly surprising to me, and his play was pure Cardale. He is more street-baller than finished QB right now. He is the classic "high-risk, high-reward" playmaker, and he certainly made some amazing plays against the Hokies. Some of the throws are beyond belief, while others make you scratch your head. He isn't good running the speed option, but as the primary ballcarrier behind Elliott, Jones is devastating. One thing to keep in mind is that he has now played in four college football games, so his ceiling is still very high.

- The offensive line had some breakdowns, especially it seemed like Billy Price had a rough night, but that is as good a defensive line as they will see this season. They rolled up nearly 600 yards of offense, so somebody was doing something right. This is a good group, and there are no concerns about the front-line talent. Do they have the depth to withstand injuries? We do not know that answer.

- All in all, that was a good opening win. It was also good to see Ohio State trailing at the half, as that's not going to happen much this season. They came out and dominated the second half, which is what's expected from a championship squad. I would not be too critical of any facet of the team right now. They were short-handed against Virginia Tech from a talent standpoint. There were two coaches in new roles on offense. They had a brand new receiver corps out there. There are no perfect teams, and there are no perfect games. Don't nitpick every play, or every series. Understand this is a very, very talented football team, and they seem to love to compete and love to win. To me, I saw what I wanted to see in Week-One from a potential national championship team.


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