Year Two: Watch out!

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Last updated: 12/03/2012 1:34 AM
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Football
Year Two: What Does Urban Meyer's History Tell Us?
By Tony Gerdeman

It is said that a player improves more between his freshman and sophomore year than at any other time in his career. If that same rule of thumb holds true for Urban Meyer's offense, then the Buckeyes will be looking at a very special 2013.

Urban Meyer
Photo by Jim Davidson
Urban Meyer

This being Meyer's fourth head-coaching gig, we can now look back on "Year Two" from his first three jobs, and then rightly or wrongly project those numbers onto the 2013 Ohio State offense.

There is an obvious learning curve to Meyer's offense, which lends itself to an improvement in the second season, but with the Buckeye offense already having the fourth-best scoring average (37.2 ppg) in school history this past season, next season has the makings of the school's best ever (1969's 42.6 ppg is the current best).

As you look at these numbers, keep in mind that in the year of the smallest improvement, Meyer won a BCS National Championship, which isn't a bad consolation.

Bowling Green 2001 (Year One)
30.3 points per game
166.9 yards rushing
217.0 yards passing
383.9 yards total offense
46 touchdowns scored
4.2 touchdowns per game

Bowling Green 2002 (Year Two)
40.8 points per game (+10.5 ppg)
219.1 yards rushing (+52.2 ypg)
229.8 yards passing (+12.8 ypg)
448.9 yards total offense (+65.0 ypg)
65 touchdowns scored (+19)
5.4 touchdowns per game (+1.2 tdpg)

Utah 2003 (Year One)
28.7 points per game
160.5 yards rushing
214 yards passing
374.5 yards total offense
45 touchdowns scored
3.8 touchdowns per game

Utah 2004 (Year Two)
45.3 points per game (+16.6 ppg)
236.1 yards rushing (+75.6 ypg)
263.7 yards passing (+49.7 ypg)
499.8 yards total offense (+125.3 ypg)
75 touchdowns scored (+30)
6.3 touchdowns per game (+2.5 tdpg)

Florida 2005 (Year One)
28.6 points per game
146.8 yards rushing
226.7 yards passing
373.5 yards total offense
43 touchdowns scored
3.6 touchdowns per game

Florida 2006 (Year Two)
29.7 points per game (+1.1 ppg)
160.0 yards rushing (+13.2 ypg)
236.1 yards passing (+9.4 ypg)
396.1 yards total offense (+22.6 ypg)
57 touchdowns (+14)
4.1 touchdowns per game (+0.5 tdpg)

I know, that's a lot of plus signs to keep track of. In order to make things a little more clear, here is the average improvement in each area through Meyer's three editions of Year Two.

Points per game (+9.4 ppg)
Rushing yards per game (+47.0 ypg)
Passing yards per game (+24.0 ypg)
Total offense yards per game (+71.0 ypg)
Touchdowns (+21)
Touchdowns per game (+1.7 tdpg)

Now, with that in mind, let's take a look at Meyer's Year One at Ohio State.

37.2 points per game
242.2 yards rushing
181.5 yards passing
423.7 yards total offense
60 touchdowns
5.0 touchdowns per game

So when we plug in the Year Two averages, what does 2013 look like for the Buckeye offense?

46.6 points per game
289.2 yards rushing
205.5 yards passing
494.7 yards total offense
81 touchdowns

Before you scoff at these numbers, remember that in each of Meyer's three second seasons, he had a returning starter at quarterback, and either a returning starter at running back or receiver. In 2013, he will have the entire combination, including 80% of the best offensive line in the Big Ten.

The best number for Buckeye fans, however, hasn't even been mentioned yet. In each Year Two, Meyer's teams have won an average of two more games than they did the year before.

An improvement like that would put the Buckeyes at 14-0 next season, if that sort of thing interests you.

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