Ohio State football: Charting the offense, Purdue

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Here is our weekly look at the snaps played by Buckeye skill position players while analyzing the ways in which they were utilized.

The Buckeye offense looks unstoppable right now, and for the second game in a row, the majority of the starters sat out the second half. The offense ran 74 plays total (not including kneel downs) and 35 plays in the first half, where they led the Boilermakers, 42-0.

Here is this week's player participation report:

Quarterbacks Number of plays
Braxton Miller 35
Kenny Guiton 31
Cardale Jones 11

  • Braxton Miller only played the first half but he went 19/23 passing for 233 yards, throwing four touchdowns and one interception. Miller has improved each and every game and now has a 72% completion percentage on the season, a mark that is surprising to many Buckeye fans.
  • Miller and the other two quarterback's spread the ball around to 11 different receivers and targeted both tight ends early and often. Miller spoke a few weeks ago about getting Jeff Heuerman more involved in the offense and he did just that on Saturday.
  • They went back to the two quarterback formation that was shown last week on the goal line, with Kenny Guiton in shotgun and Miller spread out wide. Guiton ran a quarterback draw on the first play. Then, Coach Urban Meyer wiped the dust off of the Tim Tebow playbook, calling a jump pass that was completed for a touchdown to Chris Fields, who has been money in the red zone all season.

Running Backs Number of plays
Carlos Hyde 30
Dontre Wilson 30
Ezekiel Elliott 21
Rod Smith 18
Warren Ball 10

  • Just like Miller, Carlos Hyde only played the first half but still put up big numbers, rushing for 111 yards on only eight carries.
  • Eight out of Hyde's 30 snaps came out of the Pistol Formation and he lined up as a wide receiver on two of his 30 snaps.
  • Dontre Wilson played six of his season high 30 snaps in the first half. If the game was more competitive, I would guess that he would have finished with 12-16 snaps, which is what he has been averaging this season. 24 of his 30 snaps came in the slot position, and he only lined up at running back twice out of his final 24 snaps.
  • Wilson did have one miscue in the slot where he whiffed on a block, resulting in Ezekiel Elliott getting drilled for a loss.
  • It looks as though Elliott has leaped over Rod Smith on the depth chart after getting carries in the first half. Elliott catches the ball very well out of the backfield and runs with a mix of speed and power; it seems as though he will be a complete running back sooner rather than later. More importantly, the coaching staff trusts the kid with the ball as a true freshman.
  • Elliott also had a miscue in pass protection, missing a block then tackling a defender that resulted in a holding penalty on third down. The two freshmen have all the talent with the ball in their hands but have to get better in the blocking department.
Wide Receivers Number of plays
Devin Smith 41
Corey Brown 29
Evan Spencer 39
Chris Fields 38
Frank Epitropoulos 25
Kato Mitchell 10

  • This group has earned the trust of both Miller and Guiton and continue to impress every week by getting separation, catching the football and blocking on the perimeter.
  • Chris Fields had a nice cut block springing Elliott on a 3rd quarter run and constantly does a great job blocking on the perimeter. Coach Meyer tends to use him in the red zone and in short yardage situations due to his blocking efforts.
  • Philly Brown only played in the first half but played 25 of his 29 snaps in the slot.
Tight Ends Number of plays
Jeff Heuerman 28
Nick Vannett 48
JT Moore 1

  • Heuerman was getting open all day. He finished with five receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. If Heuerman can continue to get open, that would give Miller a huge target in the middle of the field to throw to, exploiting mismatches on safeties and linebackers in the process.
  • Nick Vannett played very well and is a capable backup to Heuerman. He is big and athletic enough to get more playing time. I would not be surprised if Coach Meyer went to his Double Tight End Formation more often now that Vannett appears healthy again.
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