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Ohio State football: Charting the offense, Wisconsin

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

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Buckeyes ran 68 plays versus the Wisconsin Badgers, their lowest play total of the season. After emptying the bench the week before in the blow out victory versus Florida A&M, there were a few surprises regarding playing time this week, especially with the running backs.

Here is this week's player participation report:

Quarterback Number of Plays
Braxton Miller 68
  • First game this season we have seen Miller play every snap.
  • Miller ran the ball 22 times on the night, it was nice to see him active and aggressive running the ball but his elite speed burst was not there and it could be because of the knee brace he is wearing. Completely different knee  injuries but as we have seen with Robert Griffin III, his speed has been limited while wearing the new brace.
  • Hard to judge Miller's read option decisions as we do not know if the coaching staff told Miller to feed Carlos Hyde, limiting hits on Miller for his first game back.
  • Miller is night and day as a passer from last season he is much more confident in the pocket and continues to trust his deep ball.
  • Not sure if Coach Urban Meyer has a dual QB package up his sleeve to get Kenny Guiton some playing time but we most likely will not be seeing Guiton unless Miller goes down again,
  • If Coach Meyer could create a quarterback with Guiton's decision making and Miller's raw talent and athleticism, you would have one heck of a quarterback.
Running Backs Number of Plays
Carlos Hyde 63
Dontre Wilson 14
Jordan Hall 2
  • Coach Meyer called it a "coaches decision" as to why Hall barely played (one true play, other was the kneel down) but one has to wonder what the reasoning behind that decision was to bench Hall.
  • It was tough to see with the LeBron James interview happening at the same time but Hall was in on the play where Miller was hit and fumbled the ball, did Hall miss a block in pass protection that put him in the dog house? He played the next play, resulting in his only carry, then did not touch the field until the kneel down.
  • Hyde ran tough and brought the toughness between the tackles that was missing (or wasn't needed) the first four weeks, it was a great real first game back for Hyde.
  • Wilson was once again moved around and motioned from everywhere to create match ups. He has yet to break the big touchdown run but he electrifies the crowd every time he touches the ball.
  • Wilson and Hyde were on the field for a total of ten snaps together and were lined up in the backfield flanking Miller four times.
  • On the play below, Wilson took the outside zone read hand off and reversed field for an electrifying gain. Hyde's split is out behind the tackle as he was the lead blocker on the play, expect them to run play action out of this formation with the defense keying on Wilson.
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  • The offense ran out of the Pistol Formation 17 times and motioned from the Pistol much less with Hyde than they had with Hall in the prior four games.
Wide Receivers Number of Plays
Evan Spencer 60
Corey Brown 57
Devin Smith 54
Chris Fields 16
  • Did not have to block as much on the perimeter with most of the runs coming in- between the tackles.
  • Spencer, Brown and Smith all made huge plays in the passing game, what was once a liability is now a strength of the team.
  • Brown lined up in the slot 38 out of his 57 snaps.
  • The only notable mistake on the night came from Smith as he dropped a touchdown after getting inside leverage on the cornerback.
  • The first touchdown was a textbook wheel route combo, leaving the cornerback on an island. Miller could have gone with either Spencer or Brown on that play for the easy pitch and catch for the touchdown.
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Tight Ends Number of Plays
Jeff Heuerman 62
Nick Vannett 9
  • Heuerman caught two balls on the night and seemed a little more involved in the passing game.
  • They ran out of their Double Tight End Formation twice.
  • Heuerman lined up in the slot 34 times, the flex seven times and on the line of scrimmage 21 times.