When Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day were brought in to run the Ohio State offense, there was a belief that the passing game would be drastically different on every down. Instead, the offense is still an “Urban Meyer offense” that relies on a power running game, but there are brilliant flashes of what the offense will eventually become.
Wilson and Day have installed a passing scheme that stretches the defense horizontally, creating openings in the deep third of the field.
Bubble screens have been a huge part of the offense’s success this season, and the win over Wisconsin was no different.
Parris Campbell broke a long touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 14-7, but as stated in the past, whether the play goes for minus one yards or 54 yards for a touchdown the future results are the same. Defenses will crash down on the bubble, either to tally another tackle for loss, or to rectify their error on the long score.
On the particular play below, Mike Weber ran a bubble to the wide side of the field. Bear in mind this is a first down play early in the game, so the defense was likely keying on the safe throw to the flat. Parris Campbell lined up at H-Back but almost as if he was hiding behind Isaiah Prince. Campbell then runs wide on pre-snap motion that draws both the Safety and Outside Linebacker into the flat.
As the defense is conflicted against the four-receiver set to the strong side of the field, Campbell is able to run off the other Safety, leaving the middle of the field wide open. J.T. Barrett reads the reaction from the Safety guarding Terry McLaurin, as well as the Corner crashing down on Weber, and delivers a nice ball leading him away from the defender en route to a big touchdown.
The formation strained the defense by widening them out and creating space, but also stretched the defense vertically to challenge the secondary.
“We were repping it all week and we knew if we got that particular look it would be a touchdown, and J.T. put it out there for me,” McLaurin said after the game.
“The safety was going to be in the middle of the field and we wanted to have him make a choice. So I believe we had the H one-on-one on the sideline, and our H’s have a lot of respect, and when we got the look that we wanted, usually we don’t go vertical on that route, but we kind of had a little telepathy between wide receiver and quarterback and I just wanted to run to green grass, and he threw me there.”
We take a closer look at the ultimate stretch in this week’s Buckeye Breakdown.