Over/Unders for the OSU Offense
By Rob Ogden
Ever since Ohio State ended last season 12-0, Buckeye fans have been speculating about how many wins Ohio State can be counted on for this season. Las Vegas put the over/under at 11. Here are five over/unders for the Buckeye offense in 2013. The numbers are for the regular season only, and do not take into account a Big Ten championship game or bowl game.
So make your picks. Over or under?
Total yards from scrimmage for Dontre Wilson:
Photo by Dan Harker
Under. The freshman running back is going to have a role in the offense this year, coach Urban Meyer has made that clear. Just how big of a role, we're not quite sure. The biggest question lies not in Wilson's ability – we know he's fast – but in opportunity. The Buckeyes' backfield is exceptionally deep, even with Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith due to serve early-season suspensions.
As a reference point, receiver Ted Ginn Jr. recorded 326 regular-season yards from scrimmage as a freshman in 2004. Running back Beanie Wells had 567 yards from scrimmage during his freshman season of 2006.
I'm going to take the under on this one. I think Wilson gets somewhat close, but Ohio State has too many weapons on offense to rely that much on a freshman.
Completion percentage for Braxton Miller:
Over/under: 65 percent
Photo by Jim Davidson
Under. Miller completed 54 percent of his passes as a freshman and 58 percent last season. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman said he expects Miller to complete around 70 percent of his balls this season, but 65 percent seems more realistic.
Miller's coaches and teammates have praised his improved passing mechanics all off-season, so it will be interesting to see how that translates into numbers. An experienced offensive line and talented group of receivers provide Miller with all the tools he needs to accomplish this task, but I'm still going to take the under on this one.
During his Heisman-winning season of 2006, Troy Smith completed just above 65 percent of his passes. I'll predict Braxton falls just short at around 64 percent.
Field goals made by Drew Basil
Photo by Jim Davidson
Over. After making 16 of his 19 field-goal attempts in 2011, Basil was limited to only 11 attempts under Meyer in 2012, converting on eight. Basil finished the season ranked 103rd in field goals made among all FBS kickers.
With such limited attempts, one might conclude that the Buckeyes commonly looked past the kicker, and instead went for it on fourth down. However, that's not the case. Ohio State only attempted nine plays on fourth down last season, which ranked 116th in the FBS in that category.
It seems to be somewhat of an anomaly that Basil had so few attempts in 2012. I'm banking on double-digit makes for the senior this fall.
Total yards fromm scrimmage for Miller:
Under. Miller set the school's single-season record for total offense in 2012 when he recorded 3,310 yards from scrimmage – and according to Miller, that was with only about 75 percent of the offense available.
Miller will surly play a pivotal role in the offense once again this season. He might even get over 3,000 yards again, but the influx of talented skill-position players on this team leads me to believe that he'll finish under his 2012 total.
A times last year, Miller seemed to be Ohio State's only viable option on offense. If all goes according to Meyer's plan, that should change in 2013. Of course, a higher completion percentage from Miller will lead to more yards from scrimmage, but quarterback counter plays shouldn't be as prevalent with a more capable offense.
In 2006, Smith completed three percent more of his passes than he did in 2005, but his total yards from scrimmage decreased from 2,893 to 2,746.
Receptions for Corey Brown:
Photo by Jim Davidson
Under. Brown has been the Buckeyes' leading receiver for the past two seasons, grabbing a team-leading 60 passes a year ago. The next closest to Brown was Devin Smith, with 30 receptions. Back for his senior year, there's no reason to believe Brown won't again be the team's leading receiver in 2013, but the 60 catches might be hard to match.
No Ohio State receiver has recorded more than 60 receptions in a single season since Michael Jenkins caught 61 passes in 2002, and he did that in 14 games. In fact, Jenkins is the only Buckeye to go over 60 since David Boston recorded back-to-back seasons with more than 60 receptions in 1997 and 1998.
It's not that Brown doesn't have the ability to catch 60 passes – coaches have been raving about his offseason improvement – but that Miller now has more options than he ever has, and might choose to spread the ball around.
Related Article - Over/Unders for the OSU defense
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