Urban Meyer’s offenses have set school records wherever he has been.
As a head coach since 2001, yards and points have rarely been an issue for his teams.
Fast-forward 16 years and much is again being expected of Meyer’s offense, despite some struggles a season ago.
When you look at the makeup of the Ohio State football players and coaching staff, however, it is easy to see why.
The offensive coordinators during the 2015 and 2016 seasons — Ed Warinner and Tim Beck — are now gone, and in their respective places are Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day. Wilson has a long history as an offensive coordinator and head coach, producing numbers wherever he has been. Day, meanwhile, has spent much of his career under the broad-leafed canopies of the Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer coaching trees.
For Meyer, however, hiring somebody the caliber of Wilson as his offensive coordinator was a first.
“Kevin Wilson is the first established offensive coordinator I’ve ever hired,” he said on Monday. “If you go through the history, (it was) either guys promoted on my staff or a young up-and-comer like a Tom Herman. But this is a veteran coach that’s led some of the top offenses in America. Very well respected in our profession.
“It’s still going to be the Ohio State offense. However, we had some weaknesses a year ago, and I’d like to see some improvement. And I think Kevin will have a major impact.”
Day comes to Ohio State from the NFL, but he’s not unfamiliar to Meyer, who had him on his Florida staff in 2005 as a graduate assistant.
“Ryan Day is a guy I’ve tried to get before, but he wasn’t available. He was with Chip Kelly,” Meyer said. “I’ve had conversations with him several times. I’ve known Ryan. He worked for me in 2005, so I’ve watched him and kept in touch. He’s already part of the tree, really.”
The simple answer as to why Wilson and Day are now at Ohio State is so that the Buckeyes never get shutout again. The more accurate answer is because they bring exactly what the OSU offense has been missing since Tom Herman left for Houston.
That is one of the reasons why Meyer is giving Wilson so much room to operate.
“I think that’s earned,” he said of Wilson’s freedom. “That comes with a pretty impressive track record. He’s good for what we were lacking, and that’s back to the tempo that Tom was so good at. That’s Kevin’s world. It’s also Ryan Day’s world. When we were the best over the last 16 years is when I had two guys just feed off each other and go. I feel very good with Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson right now.”
Simply going was one of the problems over the previous two seasons, as hurry-up-and-wait was more the speed of operations.
The timing of Ohio State’s offense has now picked up, and it is thanks to some very fortunate timing on the coaching front for the Buckeyes.
“I think it was remarkable” Meyer said of Wilson’s availability. “I didn’t anticipate that one. Obviously I’ve admired from afar his ability. So the timing worked out pretty good.”
What exactly has he admired about Wilson’s abilities?
As for Day, the Chip Kelly influence is readily apparent.
“Oh yeah,” Meyer said. “Just his philosophical approach.”
Together, Wilson and Day are bouncing ideas and philosophies off of each other like each staff meeting is a lightning round where the point values are doubled.
And if all goes as planned for the Ohio State offense this season, some of those point values will be doubled.