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Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson were dynamic against Bowling Green

J.T. Barrett spread the ball around to a tune of 7 total touchdowns on the day.

Bowling Green v Ohio State Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Were last year’s scapegoats — Ed Warinner and Tim Beck — calling the plays on Saturday, or was Tom Herman back in Columbus? Up in the coaches box to start the season, Warinner and Beck called a masterful game. 12 different players recorded a reception or carried the ball on offense and J.T. Barrett showed trust in all of his playmakers.

Let’s see how it looked on tape:

J.T. Barrett

Designed runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scramble Overthrow Throwaway
5 34 21 9 7 2 2 1
Pressured Sacked Hit Pass break-up Batted down at LOS Drops Turnovers Defensive PI
3 0 3 1 0 0 1 1
  • Here’s the breakdown of Barrett’s major mistake:Going off the chart above, the offensive line — which has a true-freshman and three new starters — did a tremendous job. Barrett was only hit three times behind the line of scrimmage and was not sacked. When Barrett has time to throw, his decision making is typically unrivaled.
  • Heading into the season, one would believe that the coaching staff would rely on Barrett’s legs early and often, and that does not look to be the case. The ball was spread around to nine different players through the air and the playcalling was extremely creative. It’s only one game —against poor defense — but they showed little to no tendencies and kept the defense off-balanced.
  • On Barrett’s first touchdown pass, he was given maximum time in the pocket (3.16 sec) to let the play develop. Barrett could not ask for a cleaner pocket to throw from:
  • At the 5:29 mark of the 1st Quarter on 3rd-and-6, Barrett faked the toss to Samuel — which made the linebackers flow— and opened up a hole for Barrett to gain enough to move the chains. On the ensuing play, they faked the toss again, but this time Barrett stayed in the pocket and hit Dontre Wilson on a pretty post-corner route for six.
  • The quarterback got lucky at the 11:23 mark of the 2nd Quarter when he attempted a pass into very tight coverage on 4th-and-2, intended for Johnnie Dixon. Once again, Barrett displayed a slight hesitation — while keeping his eyes on his intended receiver-- which allowed the defensive back to get his hands on the ball.
  • On Barrett’s touchdown pass to Noah Brown, he stayed in the pocket and delivered a perfect ball to Brown’s back shoulder, where only his guy could get it:

Running backs/ H-backs

It took four seasons, but Curtis Samuel was the first H-back to truly succeed in the "Percy Harvin role":

Samuel showed off his awareness and speed on his 79-yard touchdown reception. He lined up in the slot, recognized single-coverage and gained inside leverage for an easy touchdown. The Bronx native has always showed potential as a running, but he was finally able to show off his skills with Ezekiel Elliott no longer in the picture. He took a few outside zone and pitches off the option for good yardage. The only thing that the coaching staff needs to stay away from is only using Mike Weber inside the tackle box and Samuel and Dontre Wilson on the perimeter. That could be a tendency that could be exposed against a better defense.

Speaking of Wilson, Saturday marked the first time that he looked like the player that most expected him to be since he arrived in Columbus. He looks bigger, faster and stronger than ever before, and most importantly, he’s healthy. He touched the ball eight times and that’s a good number for him. Keep him under 10 touches per game and he should be able to stay healthy and continue to make plays. Both Samuel and Wilson looked great running the Wildcat — something that failed miserably last season with Braxton Miller.

Mike Weber fits the part. He displayed the tremendous power that everyone has heard about and he surprisingly showed agility and quickness in the hole. He racked up 136 yards on 19 carries and continued to fall forward after contact. Although Weber got tripped up a few times by the final defender, he should be able to develop better balance to turn those 12-yard gains into 60-yard touchdowns.

Here’s an example of his ability to break an arm tackle and then navigate into the second level:

Wide receivers

‘Zone 6’ as they call it, lost just about every player who made an impact in 2015, but if Saturday is any indication, it looks like they’ll be just fine. The scoring started off with a Barrett to K.J. Hill connection — on a go-route — that showed off Hill’s straight-line speed. As we mentioned above, Noah Brown is one giant target on the perimeter for Barrett. Brown’s touchdown reception showed off excellent body control, hands and field awareness, which is clearly why his teammates have given him rave reviews for the past two preseasons. It was nice to see Johnnie Dixon emerge as a consistent target, as he has had trouble staying on the field. Overall, Barrett spread the ball out to four different perimeter receivers on Saturday, which shows how deep this group truly is.

Tight ends

We learned on Friday that Marcus Baugh was dealing with an injury at the end of camp. His performance and his athleticism did not suffer, but AJ Alexander saw the field with the first-team much more than expected. The two-tight end set has been a staple of Meyer’s offense, but I did not notice it against Bowling Green. As of now, it looks like the offense will mostly be run out of the 11 (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) personnel grouping.