What happens when you cross Kevin Wilson’s game planning on offense with Urban Meyer’s top-notch recruiting?
Nothing, if it doesn’t done correctly.
Wilson might be the spark and the Ohio State offense might be the fuse, but if the fuse isn’t connected properly, you’ve got yourself little more than a dollar-store sparkler.
Granted, you can still severely burn your fingers on those things, but they don’t do as much damage as their more explosive cousins.
The Buckeyes have no interest in a few superficial burns with their offense this year. They want to be explosive. The kind of explosive that they definitely were not last year.
Given the history of both Wilson and the players normally found in a Buckeye offense, the expectations this coming season are justifiably high. If the Ohio State offense doesn’t prepare properly, however, then they will fall well short of both their potential and the expectations.
That’s why when Wilson is asked if the OSU offense is guaranteed to be great in 2017, he shoots it down immediately.
“No,” he said, “because what you did in the past doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.”
One of the reasons Urban Meyer hired Wilson is because they are both on the same page when it comes to how to establish an offense.
“To me it starts with the ability to run the ball and be physical,” he said. “You’ve got to take care of the ball, you’ve got to take care of the quarterback. You’ve got to find ways to make those big plays and you’ve got to find ways to score. And then you’ve got to do it week after week in what’s getting to be probably the best bracket in college football.”
Meyer’s offenses at Ohio State have always been able to run the ball, and it’s unlikely that that’s about to change in 2017. The week-to-week unknown over his first five seasons, however, was whether or not the Buckeyes would be able to throw the football.
With the way the OSU passing game closed out last season — 337 total yards over the final three games, Meyer had to make a move, and the offense will be the better for it. It’s not just an automatic happening, however.
“To sit here and say we’ve got a lot of answers, we don’t,” Wilson said. “Our thing is to take what’s been the best offense in college football, bring in — I’m really just observing to see how we do things, and like Coach said it to me from the start, this is the Ohio State offense and how can we make it better? We don’t make it better with change. Change is change.”
So how do you fix something without changing it?
“It’s the ability as me as the leader of the coaches to get those guys on the same page, take it to the players and get those guys on the same page playing as a unit,” Wilson explained. “Playing week after week after week. And social media, where there’s so many comments and egos and parents, let’s just get away. How do you become a great team and a team player? How do you take all of this talent and flush the talent aside and become a team?”
These are the questions that Wilson and the rest of the team began working on this winter and won’t stop working on until all of the answers are known. When that happens, then you might want to watch for some explosions. Until it does, however, you’re just going to have to settle for a four-month-long fuse.