Ohio State football: Charting the offense, Cal

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Here is the weekly look at the snaps played by Buckeye skill position players, while analyzing the way they were utilized.

Led by Kenny Guiton, the Ohio State offense ran 89 plays versus California on Saturday, the most of any game this season. I charted each player's participation in the game and have some notes along with the snaps played. To compare this week's participation versus last, here is a link.

Quarterback Number of plays
Kenny Guiton 89
  • Guiton constantly pushed the tempo and kept the Golden Bear's defense on their heels. Out of the Buckeyes' seven touchdown drives, five of them were fewer than three minutes long.
  • Although there was the one fumble at the mesh point, I cannot say enough about Guiton's great decision making when it comes to the zone read/ option plays.
  • If Guiton did not hold the ball at the mesh point for too long, causing the fumble, it is safe to say that Dontre Wilson would have had a big play on that triple option.Screenshot_091613_045008_pm_medium
  • Last week I pointed out that Braxton Miller had Philly Brown wide open on the fourth down in which he got hurt scrambling. On fourth and goal versus Cal, the Buckeyes ran the same pick play on the goal line...
  • Shield_medium
  • Here, Guiton rolls to his right with tight end Jeff Heuerman and wide receiver Evan Spencer running a pick play on Field's defender (red circle).Shield_td_medium
  • Fields rubs his out route right off of Heuerman and Spencer, forcing his defender to get lost in the shuffle, which frees him up for the wide open touchdown reception.
  • Will we be seeing Miller for a few plays or a half this week with Wisconsin coming up in two weeks?
Running Backs Number of plays
Jordan Hall 71
Dontre Wilson 22
Rod Smith 7

  • Hall and Wilson were on the field at the same time for 10 plays, the more speed on the field, the better. They were lined up in the pistol together seven times, where Wilson would motion from the slot into the pistol formation.Package_2_back_pistol_medium
  • I thought Smith would be utilized more in this game but with how excellent Hall was running the ball it would be a tough decision to take him off the field.
  • The backfield gets even more crowded this week as Carlos Hyde comes back from suspension, expect Hyde to get a few carries to get him up to game speed but not too many.
  • With FCS opponent Florida A&M up next, expect freshman Ezekiel Elliott to exceed his career high of 15 snaps in that game.
Wide Receivers Number of plays
Corey Brown 77
Devin Smith 56
Evan Spencer 85
Chris Fields 39

  • Have to wonder why Spencer is awarded so many snaps on a week to week basis when he only has four catches for 28 yards on the season. He is the best blocking WR on the team, but he is not a huge part of the passing game so far this season. The lack of depth behind him, combined with his excellent perimeter blocking could be the reason for his large snap count week after week.
  • The Buckeyes put Brown in the slot more often in the second half than the first half. He ran 30 out of his 42 snaps in the second half out of the slot compared to just nine of his 35 snaps in the first half.
  • The offense used the combination of Smith and Spencer on the outside, with Brown in the slot and Heuerman in the flex/ slot the majority of the second half. Maybe we will be seeing more of this personal as the season goes on.
  • Due to his very good stock blocking, Fields tends to play in short yardage and screen situations.Screenshot_091613_041659_pm_medium
  • Fields faked the WR screen on the 90 yard touchdown pass to Smith on the Buckeyes' second play from scrimmage. It does not look like the Bear's were in a Cover 2, so I am unsure why the cornerback bit on the WR screen so badly. Cal's secondary was full of mis-communications throughout the day and the Buckeyes took advantage.
Tight Ends Number of plays
Jeff Heuerman 69
Nick Vannett 20

  • Heuerman lined up on the line of scrimmage 19 out of his 69 snaps, which is much more than his five snaps on the line of scrimmage versus SDSU. It could have been because Cal typically uses four down linemen, compared to SDSU's 3-3-5, or they are just adding another wrinkle to the offense.
  • Heuerman also lined up in the slot 31 times, the same amount as the week before.
  • Both tight ends are very good blockers in both the run game and screen game, which may allow them to get open in play action later in the season.
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