Change isn’t always easy, but it becomes less difficult when the positive results begin to roll in. For Ohio State running back Mike Weber, change could have been an issue for him given that he is the Buckeyes’ starting tailback, but everything that he has seen from new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has only made him happier.
After all, any time an offensive coordinator who has directed a pair of 2,000-yard rushers in the Big Ten comes on board, a running back’s ears and eyes have to perk up.
While the Buckeyes were winning a national title in 2014, Wilson and his Indiana Hoosiers were saddled with even more quarterback injuries than the Buckeyes. Wilson did the only thing he could do — he turned to running back Tevin Coleman to lead the offense. Coleman — with very little passing game to help him — rushed for 2,036 yards on 270 carries in just 12 games, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Weber and Antonio Williams watched film of Coleman from 2014 just to see what they were getting in Kevin Wilson. What they have experienced this spring has confirmed Weber’s suspicions.
“I feel like he runs the ball more, and he finds different ways and different schemes to run the ball because he’s more of a grit guy,” Weber said of Wilson on Thursday. “He’s coached a lot of great backs in the past and that’s something we as running backs appreciate.”
Perhaps the biggest change has been the pace of play, which is just one of the areas that has the Buckeyes headed in the proper direction according to Weber.
“I feel like it gets us in the game more,” he said of the renewed focus on tempo. “Last year it was just a few plays that we had which limited us a little bit. Curtis Samuel had certain plays, I had certain plays, J.T. had certain plays, but now I feel like this year it’s more mixed up and the defense is not going to know what to expect.”
And it’s not just the change in tempo that has Weber fired up.
“He has put in a few plays that I was asking for last year,” he said. “I appreciate the plays that he brought in. We’ve been executing a lot of deep balls and it’s been pretty good so far.”
Looking back, it’s easy to point out the issues, but moving forward with Wilson, a maturing Mike Weber is expecting more success when the Buckeyes have the ball. Based on what he has seen so far, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he is as excited as he is.
“Last year I felt like we were a little predictable when it came to our play calling, but this year it’s more creative,” he said. “It’s different. It’s what the defense hasn’t seen from us and that’s what I’m excited about.”