The Ohio State offense ran 70 plays on Saturday, right on par with their first game tally of 69 snaps. I charted each player's participation in the game and have some notes along with the snaps played.
Number of plays
Through the first two games of the season, Braxton Miller has played exactly 70 snaps while backup Kenny Guiton has played exactly 69 snaps. Not ideal for a Heisman campaign but it is excellent to have a viable back up to a mobile quarterback
On the 4th down play where Miller got injured, they ran a classic pick pattern where Philly Brown is the first read. Brown was wide open on the play and Miller could have easily set his feet and completed the pass for a first down but he decided to run for it.
We can't be sure how the play is called in the huddle but it seems as though Guiton has the edge mentally over Miller when it comes to the zone read/ option game. I'm not saying Guiton is better than Miller, he just has more patience and seems to read his keys correctly, rather than pre-determining to hand the ball off or to keep it.
On the play above, Guiton held the ball at the mesh point on the outside zone read, extended the defensive end, made him bite on Dontre Wilson and kept the ball for a solid gain.
On the play above, Guiton ran the option to the left, he waited until the very last second and made the pitch to Wilson for the first touchdown of the day.
Guiton was accurate (68% completion percentage) and stayed calm in the pocket. He took two pretty big hits but still stayed in the pocket to complete the pass.
Overall, Guiton was very impressive and if Miller is not 100% by Saturday, Guiton should get the start. There is no need to put more stress on Miller's MCL if he is still feeling soreness in the knee.
Number of Plays
With the Buckeyes leading 28-0 at halftime, Hall only played two snaps in the second half, giving him a good rest after taking the majority of the snaps versus Buffalo.
Coach Urban Meyer made a point before the Buffalo game that he wanted to give the freshman some playing time during the non-conference schedule. Due to the Buffalo game being closer than expected, Wilson only played seven snaps and Elliott only played three snaps. That changed last Saturday.
We saw the future of the Buckeyes in the third quarter where Coach Tom Herman had both Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott on the field at the same time. They played seven plays together, with Wilson in the slot and Elliott at running back.
Wilson lined up in the slot 11 times, the pistol twice and next to the quarterback seven times. Expect Coach Herman to move Wilson all over the field to keep defensive coordinators up all night, game planning for him.
It was good to see Rod Smith back in action and I think he will be used much more on Saturday versus California. Smith between the tackles along with Hall and Wilson on the perimeter make the offense even tougher to defend.
Number of plays
Philly Brown can play every wide receiver position on the field. His low snap number is from sitting out the fourth quarter and the majority of the second half due to the scoreboard. But, he lines up in the slot in their base three wide receiver set and can spell both Devin Smith and Evan Spencer on the outside.
I thought Meyer would get some of the younger guys in besides James Clark in the fourth quarter, maybe they are having trouble with the playbook?
Chris Fields accounted for two big penalties (a hold and a personal foul) but had a great block on Wilson's touchdown, pancaking the defender in the end zone. They tend to run to his side a good amount when he is in the slot.
Number of plays
The numbers stayed around the same from last week for both tight ends (51 snaps/19 snaps.)
With both tight ends having good size, they should get a few more targets in the pass game and their roles will probably be expanded as the season goes on. The Buckeyes have yet to be down in a game, forcing neither quarterback to throw the ball too much.
Heuerman took 18 snaps in the flex position (behind the tackle/guard), 31 snaps in the slot and 5 snaps on the line of scrimmage.
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