Bank Blog: Week-Three Offense

Even though Ohio State escaped with a 20-13 win over Northern Illinois Saturday, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the offense, right? Maybe not.

- First off, all the message board cliches apply right now to the Ohio State offense, so I won't use "hot garbage", "pitiful", "worthless", or "dumpster fire." Things are pretty bad, obviously, but there are quality players being led by quality coaches, so I believe they will get things figured out in time.

- I do think this offense will get things figured out and return to being a feared unit in time. When things don't go as expected, you either overrated your talent, or things are just not being done properly. I'm going with the latter. WHY? Because this is basically the same group that rolled up yards and points last year, and I'm not about to think Evan Spencer, Devin Smith and Darryl Baldwin are irreplaceable parts. More importantly, I saw this same offense put up 600 yards on a pretty good Virginia Tech defense only a few weeks ago, so there's no doubt they can do it.

- What is going wrong right now? It has to start at the top, and just as Urban Meyer deserved all the praise for last year's march to the title, he has to shoulder the blame for things going sideways. They are committing too many penalties, having way too many blown assignments and turnovers, and just playing poorly, so this falls on him and he has to fix it. Period.

- From Meyer, things flow to both Ed Warinner and Tim Beck, and how they're handling their roles in replacing Tom Herman. The easy answer is to just blame these two and say Herman is the greatest offensive mind in the game and be done with it, but that's simply not true. Right now, this offense looks very similar to Herman's first year at OSU when they couldn't throw the football worth a darn and struggled to establish Carlos Hyde as an inside threat. When those two things occurred, Ohio State struggled offensively against Michigan State, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan. That's how it looks right now to me.

- Everyone, including myself, can see Ohio State needs to pound the football with Ezekiel Elliott. Even Urban Meyer said so at halftime. But when your center and both guards cannot block either Hawaiians or MAC players, you got yourself some issues my friends. It's hard to establish the run when your blockers are getting mauled. We saw this early with these guys last year against Navy and Virginia Tech as well. So Yes, Ohio State is playing way too much horizontally, but Zeke cannot establish himself when Boren, Price and Elflein don't help out a little bit. This is on Warinner to get fixed. Can it be fixed? I say Yes, only because I've seen these three knock Alabama and Oregon all across the field less than a year ago.

- Then there are the QB's, ahh the QB's, supposedly the cream of the crop in America. And now they can't run the option and can't throw the football to the right colored jerseys? What's going on, to quote Marvin Gaye? If Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett are going to stink, and the last two weeks they have certainly stunk, then Ohio State will not be the team people think they can be. The position is just too important to overcome cruddy play. Again, it's just not as easy as saying "Pick one and go with him come hell or high water." They need good QB play, period, whoever that is and one of these two needs to step and claim the job. Both have been given opportunities, and both are failing right now. Can they turn it around? Without question they can. Why do I think that? Because each guy has done it before, so they can do it again. This is Beck's job, and Urban's job, to get fixed.

- Hard to speak about the wide receivers when you have no passing game to speak of. Are they getting open? Are they running the right routes? That's too tough to say right now, but they could sure use a few impact players outside of Mike Thomas. Corey Smith, Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall just have to step up and deliver as complementary players.

- This is just not a well coached group right now, and you just watch the mistakes and shake your head. Run the clock out with a slot receiver, Curtis Samuel? Anyone surprised he fumbled? Why not run the clock out with a bigger back, one who has proven to be a closer in the past? I think his name is Zeke, or something like that. Snap the football with 20 seconds left on the play clock to protect a lead? Mind boggling. This shows the confusion on this side of the ball right now, and it explains why there are struggles currently. With execution and playcalling.

- Can all this mess be cleaned up and the ship righted very soon? Of course it can and I think it will. You need coaches that are very highly thought of to coach the way they can and have in the past. You need linemen who have played really well in the past to do so again. You need two quarterbacks to come close to resembling who they were last year. You need receivers who all have made big plays in the past to get back to being themselves again. In short, all of this was accomplished three weeks ago against the best opponent Ohio State has played to date. So now we are to believe it can't be done again this season? No intelligent person would think that.

- Personally, I believe it's way too soon to push the panic button after only three games. Are there concerns? Without question. Does Ohio State have people in positions where they've succeeded in the past, including a legendary head coach? Without question. I refuse to believe this offense will continue in this manner much longer, so I'm not all that concerned for the long-term prospectus of this team.


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