What About Ohio State’s Tenth Unit?

Urban Meyer K.J. Hill Carmen Ohio Oklahoma

One of the most common phrases and battle cries of the Urban Meyer Era is the term, “Nine Units Strong”.

This of course refers to each position on the field: defensive linemen, offensive linemen, running backs, corners, safeties, linebackers, quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. This term emphasizes the goal of being a complete team and doing your respective job in order to help the player next to you do theirs.

For some reason, after Saturday night’s performance, I think it is time to include a new unit to this mantra — the tenth unit, also known as the coaches.

After the infamous 31-0 loss at the hands of Clemson in last season’s Fiesta Bowl, Urban Meyer and other coaches stood up, admitted defeat and promised there would be changes to the offense.

A new quarterbacks coach was brought in with Ryan Day, and Kevin Wilson was hired to change the culture of the OSU offense.

We expected an imaginative, fast-paced, pedal-to-the-metal offense that will leave Ohio State’s opponents shaking their head in disbelief. Against Oklahoma, we got the exact opposite.

It seemed as if no progress was made from January 1st to September 9th. The same play calls, the same dropped passes, and the same over/under thrown balls. It was shocking, especially since Meyer has such a strong record when he has an entire offseason to get things righted.

So why has there been no change? To me, it looks as if the Tenth Unit isn’t playing as a team.

It is clear this isn’t Kevin Wilson’s offense because it is the same mundane offensive approach we saw last year with Tim Beck and Ed Warinner. Meyer is known for doing things his way at Ohio State. Meyer wants Wilson to run Meyer’s offense, but we know that offense isn’t working right now.

Meyer preached of change and apparently he thought it would come just because he shook up his coaching staff.

He has been pampered with amazing players. I believe he thought everything would fall back in line and simply work itself out. Sadly, those players have been held back by poor coaching decisions and strategies. It has been a recurring theme of this offense. 

Perhaps instead of promising change yet again, they should enact on it.

Even as I write of my doubts, however, I am confident that positive changes can occur.

Ohio State under Meyer has been in this position before. The 2014 season was over before it began after the Virginia Tech loss. We know how things turned out there.

And like that 2014 team, this team needs to embrace the adversity and find a way through it. To make sure this happens, the coaching staff needs to get on the same page, have a plan, and act like the Tenth Unit.

Hopefully this was a wake up call for Urban Meyer.

It’s just too bad he had to hit snooze after the Clemson game came calling last season.

10 Responses

  1. I thought it was said that there was going to be quick starts on offense. Only saw that once or twice. I get so aggravated when it looks like the offense is ready to start a play when all of a sudden everybody stands up looking over at the sidline for a signal. Not only does that give the defense time to get ready, but that runs off time on the clock. Wanting to so something and actually doing that, doesn’t seem to be the montra for the Buckeye team and/or the coaching staff! Don’t understand that! How many times did you see Oklahoma do that? Rarely! They got up to the line and ran their play without wasting time! If they are going to run the quick game, then for goodness sake run it! Pass routes by the receivers seem to be lacking as in most all cases, the Sooners had someone Covering all Buckeye receivers. Either better pass routes have to be taught or better receivers have to be in the game. Listen, this team is good enough to beat any other team in the NCAA but each player has to do his part to the best of his ability! As I watched the game, one difference between Mayfield and J T, was that Mayfield got rid of the ball quicker on most playes while J T would hold on too long resulting in a hurried, inaccurate pass or having to scramble for his life. He also ran the ball too much and not utilized his to super good running backs in Dobbins and Weber. Oh well, who am I to say what should be and what shouldn’t be! Coach Meyer has one of the best winning records in collegiate history and will win many more this year and the years to follow. I hope he remains at OSU for many years and for as many as he is able. I also hope he never goes to the Pro’s. I really enjoyed his short stay at my al matre, BGSU, but surely understand why he moved on to higher ground, where he belonged. Go Buckeyes and remember the year when you lost one game and still won a National Championship. Get your act together and you have the ability to do the same this year!

    1. Amen brother…I just don’t know why it is that we have to lose in such a monstrous way to “wake up”….isn’t that what the whole year has been for up till now?

  2. I am not entirely sure this article isn’t letting the whole squad off the hook. Noone played well, and the offense looked like the same offense for the past two years. Urban Meyers offense. O line coach needs to pick it up or move on. Same for Zach Smith. What is the use of getting 5 star WRs if you can’t teach and develop them. And Urban needs to let Wilson install HIS offense, not mend Meyers.

  3. Urban Meyer is 62-8 at OSU with one Nat Champ and two final four appearances. You are the type of folks that create programs like Texas. I’m glad you don’t have enough clout to do anything about it but to whine on these message boards.

  4. The one bright spot is that Michigan quarterback, Speight, appears to be worse than Barrett so we may beat Michigan but other good defensive teams with a good quarterback will be tough for us to beat.

  5. Is Joe Burrow ready to play? The main problem is the quarterback. He can’t throw deep and is not accurate on most short passes.

  6. Tim Weaver, Spot on about MI, I thought that the MI win was more about heart than scheme or game plan. Clemson, now OK and I believe that even MD can wreak havoc on this exposed weakness.

  7. This article makes an aweful lost of sense and the rest of CFB has found the recipe that shuts down OSU. Urban can run over some inferior teams with raw talent. Urban is running a Jim Bohlmann type of bland vanilla O. And if a D doesn’t get to defend a dynamic O in practice, then it can’t defend it in a real game….hence the OK butt kicking. Urban has hitched his horse to JTB, that will look wise until we play at team that has a bit of talent and can shut down our vanilla O. However, with this article, I foresee OSU looking for another head coach in a a year or two as the wheels come off the wagon.

  8. Great article and possibly right on the money. Urban is a great coach with a great record and like all the greats he has a huge ego and its very hard for him to admit he is wrong? I’m guessing this to be true as I don’t know the man. Is it possible Urban is getting a bit complacent and isn’t as hungry as he used to be? Life is good for him. He makes in one month what it takes the average American 10 years to make. Again I don’t know this but something is obviously very wrong. Right now, we cannot compete with the top programs in the country as evident by our last two top 10 opponents who pretty much dominated us for the entire game. And even though we beat Michigan, they controlled the game for three quarters and minus two interceptions, we lose that game also. I don’t expect perfection but I do expect us to be able to compete with any program in the nation. We’re not going to win them all, but right now it doesn’t appear we can win any of them. Hopefully this is 2014 all over again.

  9. This was a thoughtful and accurate piece. Although the writer didn’t explicitly state it- at least I don’t believe the author did- it all comes down to Urban Meyer’s ego. Lots of these high profile guys truly feel they just can’t be the problem- it MUST be somebody else, for heaven’s sake! This head coach needs to exchange his dial up Internet for high speed, and PDQ.

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