Ohio State offense says "It's about us getting better"

After looking at the film to see what went wrong vs. Northern Illinois, the Ohio State offense just needs to get back to being itself, members said today.

The Ohio State offense did not perform up to par on Saturday against Northern Illinois in a 20-13 win, and the poor showing seemed even worse as Urban Meyer addressed the media Monday.

Meyer announced that not one offensive player graded as a weekly champion and called the offensive output “one of the worst-executed performances since we've been here.”

As with most poor offensive performances on any football team, the eyes go directly to the man catching the snap. And for Meyer, he still isn’t ready to name a solidified starter.

Meyer said Monday that he has heard people complain about both quarterbacks looking over their shoulder, with some suggesting that's a reason to name one signal caller and move forward, but Ohio State’s head coach isn’t buying that excuse.

“If you think you're going to play at the next level, there is going to be probably one better than you stand right next to you, so get used to it. You are going to look,” Meyer said. “That doesn't mean you get hooked. If you have a bad day, you get replaced. That might not be everyone's philosophy and that's okay.”

Neither Cardale Jones nor J.T. Barrett has done enough to separate from the other, and from a stats perspective, that much is obvious. Jones is the leader of the two in passing yards with 334 to Barrett’s 193, but Jones has also attempted 11 more passes than Barrett, who has just one interception to Jones’ three. When it comes to college football's passing efficiency stat, Jones' mark of 118.82 barely edges Barrett's 116.61. 

But after an explosive end to the 2014 season, the beginning of the 2015 season has been less than stellar for the Buckeye offense, and much of that could be a result of the turnover on the offensive staff.

Former running backs coach Stan Drayton bolted for the NFL, while Tom Herman is now the head man at the University of Houston, leaving offensive line coach Ed Warinner with the offensive play-calling duties.

Unlike Herman was last year, Warinner has been on the field for the first three games of the season for Ohio State, but after Saturday’s showing Meyer said he is “looking into” changing that.

“If we go jet tempo, that's got to be from upstairs, because you can't see anything from down there,” Meyer said. “So those are all things we're going to get cleaned up.”

One criticism of the Buckeye offense has been its inability to adapt to different defensive alignments, something Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash said is hit or miss for defenses.

“It's not easy to (change)," Ash said. "It's like going to a casino and gambling a little bit. You're hoping it works out. If it does, then hat's off to you. If it doesn't, then it will be a bad day for you.

“But when you're facing an offense like ours, they're loaded with a talented group of offensive linemen ask skilled players and quarterbacks, a lot of these teams feel like they probably have to do something different.”

For running backs coach Tony Alford, he feels as though the Buckeyes need to focus more on executing their own offense rather than worrying about outside adjustments.

“The biggest thing for us right now, to be quite frank with you, is we got to go and do what we do. We have to get better and not really worry about our opponents,” Alford said. “It’s about us and getting better every single day.

“Why are we struggling? That's something we just have to continue to go back and really play fast and go and let our guys go, and not so much thinking."

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