Is OSU’s Current Offensive Outburst Different Than Last Year’s?

J.K. Dobbins Ohio State Football

Big blowout wins over Nebraska and Maryland are nothing new for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The last two weeks for OSU have seen them defeat Maryland and Nebraska by a collective score of 118-28. With so many concerns about the Ohio State offense this season, this is a pretty good sign that things are fixed, right?

Not necessarily.

As last year showed us, never base your beliefs off of what you see the Buckeyes do against the Huskers and the Terps.

Eleven months ago, Ohio State beat Nebraska and Maryland by consecutive 62-3 scores, which relieved a lot of stress for an offense that spent most of the season answering questions about any number of issues.

The scores were impressive, but they were indicative of nothing. Over the next — and final — three games of the 2016 season, the Buckeyes scored just 47 total points, and needed two overtimes to get there.

So how is this year different than last year?

“Interesting question,” center Billy Price said. “I really, truly think that the dynamics of the offensive staff really have been the reason why guys are flying around so much.”

Part of those dynamics have involved getting the players on the same page, but right now offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day are running a very tight and swift-moving ship.

“I’ve done this for so long, and I’ve had several different coordinators and it’s very smooth,” Urban Meyer said. “I think they feed off each other, and they’re excellent coaches and they’re very familiar with our personnel now.”

There was an initial learning process for everyone involved at the start of the season, and as Meyer has said for a while, games are much different than practice. It took the Buckeyes a little bit of time to get their gameplay up to speed, but they seem to be in a very good place right now.

Ohio State has tied a school record by scoring 50 or more points four games in a row, and a new school record was set with OSU’s fifth-consecutive 500-yard offensive day of the season. They have reached 500 yards of total offense in six of their seven games this season. The Buckeyes had eight such days total in 2015 and 2016 combined.

And by my count, with five-consecutive 300-yard passing performances, the Buckeyes have topped their school record of four from 1998. In four of those games this season, they have also rushed for over 270 yards. That’s the kind of balance that makes everybody look good.

It also gives everyone confidence, especially the offensive line. And when the guys up front are playing with confidence, the points and yards will follow.

Compared to last year, this is an offense that is more versatile and more aggressive, but more than anything else, the combination of Wilson and Day is the biggest difference.

“I think the biggest thing is making sure that we’re aggressive, we’re playing fast, and just the philosophies and the ideas that our offensive coaching staff believes in,” Price said. “I think that’s probably the biggest difference.”

4 Responses

  1. “Compared to last year, this is an offense that is more versatile and more aggressive, but more than anything else, the combination of Wilson and Day is the biggest difference.”

    And it’s about freakin’ time…

    I’m still bitter about the previous 2 seasons’ worth of offensive ineptitude and predictable play-calling.

  2. We’ll know if they are who they have appeared to be over the last couple weeks. Sorry, Rutgers, UNLV and Army are no test at all. Penn State is a whole different level of competition. They are better than Oklahoma across every stage of the game EXCEPT offensive line. PSU’s offensive line just isn’t very good, BUT, the Penn State offensive playmakers are light years ahead of anything the Buckeyes have faced this year. But it’s not the PSU offense we need to be most concerned about. It’s that defense. While I don’t expect to see JT Barrett light up that defense like he has to the last 5 opponents, I think as fans we have a right to want to see a rock solid performance against what amounts to the best opponent on the entire schedule…………BY FAR. The key for JT and the Buckeye offense is red zone execution and finishing in the endzone. Settling for FG “attempts” isn’t going to get the job done.

    The Buckeye defense has to get better than that craptastic 4th quarter in Sappy Valley last year. They had dominated the kitty cats for 3 quarters before folding their cards late. They cannot afford that same garbage and expect to beat PSU this year.

    It’s about EXECUTION on the 28th. If they do that it’s going to send shock waves through College Football because the Buckeyes will roll on in a big way. Finishing in the red zone with the same amount of offensive output as last year will make this game a blowout win.

  3. Tempo has been the biggest improvement over the last two years. We haven’t seen this type of up tempo since Herman left and I think its even faster now. How many times in 2015 and 2016 did we barely get the ball snapped before the play clock expired? It drove you crazy to watch. An obvious sign the playcallers in 15 and 16 didn’t have a clue what they were trying to do because they couldn’t get the plays called in time to avoid a delay of game much less any type of really fast tempo. We’ll find out on the 28th if this offense is for real.

  4. Here’s hoping the off week – I always hate it when the Buckeyes schedule BYE – is a chance to rest up, heal up and prep for Penn State. Hopefully they won’t lose the momentum of recent weeks. It does seem that players and coaches are meshing well and making steady improvement. Keep it up, Bucks!

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