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Ohio State football: Charting the offense, Iowa

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

Jamie Sabau

The Ohio State offense started slow in the first half versus Iowa, running only 24 plays but finished the game with 74 total plays (not including 3 kneel downs). The lack of plays in the first half was due to the defense's inability to get off the field as the offense only had three possessions. When the offense was able to take the field, they scored on six out of their seven possessions (two ended in kneel downs) and did not punt.

Here is this week's player participation report:

Quarterback Number of Plays
Braxton Miller 74
  • It is apparent that Miller is starting to get his legs back and feels more comfortable cutting now off of that injured knee.
  • This was Miller's most complete game of the season, both passing the ball and running the ball.
  • He went 22/27 for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with zero interceptions. Miller also ran for 102 yards on 18 carries and he looked in control of everything that he wanted to do.
  • Miller's decision making has gotten better but it is still not where it needs to be in the read option game.
  • Here is a good play:

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  • Here, Miller reads the defender, holds the ball in Hyde's stomach long enough for the defender to bite on the hand-off...

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  • The defender chases Hyde and Miller has a huge hole to run through to gain yardage for the easy first down.
  • Watch for Miller to improve his decision making each and every week, he has a teammate in Kenny Guiton in positional meetings who is magnificent at the read option and a coaching staff that has been drilling this into his head for over a year.
Running Backs Number of Plays
Carlos Hyde 63
Dontre Wilson 12
Jordan Hall 8

  • There isn't much to say about Hyde, he is the most consistent player on the offense and is barely ever stopped behind the line of scrimmage. He runs hard, his legs never stop moving and he never gives up on the play.

  • Hall had his first real action since the Florida A&M game and it looks as though he will be used as Hyde's back-up and not used at the "Percy Harvin role". This is something to keep an eye on.
  • After playing only one snap in the win at Northwestern, Wilson was back to his usual snap count of 10-15 plays per game. Meyer talked about defenses knowing the ball was going to Wilson when he was in the game, so he was used as a decoy in 8/12 snaps.
  • Wilson played 8 of his snaps with Hyde in the backfield in this formation:

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  • They used Wilson multiple ways in this formation, he caught the ball, ran the read option, was used as a decoy, motioned out and an attempted shovel pass. I think that was a mistake using him once in the Northwestern game and 10-15 packaged plays for him is perfect.
Wide Receivers Number of Plays
Corey Brown 70
Devin Smith 62
Evan Spencer 59
Chris Fields 24

  • The receivers continue to be the most improved group on the team, they are making plays with the ball in their hands and also getting open for Miller.
  • One of the biggest changes from now and the past two years is the deep threat from Smith, Brown and Spencer. With the running game as effective as it is, they have been able to get behind safeties and make huge plays for the offense.
  • Here is the first touchdown pass:

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  • With Wilson in the backfield and trips to the right, Miller fakes the outside zone read to Wilson, sucking the free safety down.

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  • This leaves a wide open alley for Brown to run through for the easy pitch and catch for the touchdown.
Tight Ends Number of Plays
Jeff Heuerman 67
Nick Vannett 5

  • Heuerman is starting to get more looks in the passing game and with his combination of size and athleticism he is a mismatch on both linebackers and safeties.
  • Heuerman is now tied with Spencer for third on the team with 15 catches on the season.
  • I would like to see him become more of a threat in the red-zone, he would give Miller a huge target in that area.
  • They used a different formation to run out the clock this week than in the week's prior. This was using a two tight end set, with Heuerman on the line and Vannett in the flex position.

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