Well, it must not have been the four days of rest.
When Ohio State struggled moving the ball on offense vs. Hawaii last Saturday, the fact that the game came five days after the previous win at Virginia Tech -- a very good, if not quite consistent, offensive showing -- was a common point made in the aftermath.
It seemed things had to be better Saturday in the Horseshoe vs. Northern Illinois, but that was not the case as Ohio State sputtered to a 20-13 win. That was the second lowest point output of the Urban Meyer era, and the offensive output of 13 points was in fact the lowest (seven points came on a pick-six by Darron Lee).
One week after the Buckeyes saw a 24-game streak of games with a touchdown pass come to an end, the team's two-year run TD streak was ended, and the offense turned the ball over five times.
So, what happened?
For Taylor Decker a lot of the problem had to do with the Norhern Illinois offensive front. The Huskies were a 4-3 team on film but played a 3-4 for most of the game, the same defensive, blitz-heavy scheme Hawaii used to stifle the Buckeyes one week prior.
"Obviously everyone is going to play odd against us now," Decker said. "We've showed that we struggled against it. That takes away our double teams and what we like to do, run the ball up the middle. It creates problems for us. We just have it iron out those wrinkles. We just have to get better. We're not where we want to be. But we'll get this figured out. We definitely will get it figured out.
"They just have a nose, two ends and a walkup 'Buck' to the boundary usually, and they can blitz from all over. They can blitz from the field and disguise it really well. And like I said, our big thing as an offensive line is vertical runs, tight zones, A-gap powers, because we like to be able to double team because when we can do that, we can move people. We can displace them. In an odd defense, we just have to prepare better for it and have some better answers and just execute."
For Meyer, there were issues with all the players being on the same page with the word "discombobulated" coming up a few times.
"You can say the offensive line is not blocking well, we're not coaching well on the offensive line," he said. "Then all of a sudden the receivers have some issues and the quarterbacks have some issues. It's discombobulated right now. And offense, it's a play. Easiest way to think it's 11 people doing the right things at the right time. And we're having some issues with that. It's not happening, obviously.
"So we'll go back to work and get it fixed and get it fixed fast. I have not lost confidence in our staff and our players. Obviously we have very good players, and we'll get it worked out."
Decker, however, expects better things ahead.
"No disrespect to our opponents but I think we should be winning bigger just because we have the players for it," he said. "We just have the capability to play better than we are. Underacheiving is not fun. You always want to enjoy a win and appreciate a win becuase Northern Illinois is obviously a very good team. They've proved that over the last few years. They play a high level of football, but I think we can play at a higher level of football than we have been
"We knew that coming into the season, the way we finished last year and coming in as a preseason No. 1, we knew teams and media out there, whatever it may be, would nitpick at us, and there's a lot ot nitpick at us right now. But there's also good things on our team. The Silver Bullets are back. They're playing out of hteir mind and also we're doing some good things on special teams. We just have to bring it together and be a complete team."