Urban Meyer and His Quarterbacks

At Bowling Green Meyer had a guy named Josh Harris. At Utah he had Alex Smith, and at Florida he had Chris Leak and Tim Tebow and at Ohio State he will have Braxton Miller for the next three years.

In 2001 when Meyer became the head coach of Bowling Green he packed up his favorite Trapper-Keeper and hit the road. He went around the country meeting with John L. Smith and Scott Linehan at Louisville, Randy Walker and Kevin Wilson at Northwestern, Bill Snyder at Kansas State, Joe Tiller and Jim Chaney at Purdue, and Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, all of whom ran some form of the spread offense. He picked their brains and began forming his offense.

He started with Bowling Green and Josh Harris. Not many people remember him, but he was a hell of a QB that got a cup of coffee in the NFL. Harris under Meyer accounted for 39 TD’s in his junior year. He, like most of Urban’s QB’s was a dual threat QB. After the 2002 season, Meyer went onto Utah but Harris had another season left and under offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa. In 2003, running the same offense Meyer installed he accounted for over 4600 yards of total offense and 41 TD’s. Why is that important? Greg Studrawa is going to be the offensive coordinator of the Buckeyes. Harris lead BG to 2 top 25 finishes. Imagine if Harris would have been running the “dave” offense?

So Meyer used Bowling Green to get to a bigger program, this time Utah. And at Utah Meyer had Alex Smith to work with. In 2004 Meyer became very well known in the world of college football and he made the spread option offense famous. Utah went undefeated and beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith won the Fiesta Bowl MVP honers and became the #1 overall pick in the NFL the following year. In his senior season, Smith accounted for 42 TD’s and over 3500 yards of offense. I remember watching the Fiesta Bowl that year and falling in love with that offense. The Pitt defense didn’t know what was happening…it was a thing of beauty.

So at this point Meyer can pretty much go where ever he wants (except Ohio State). He flirts with Notre Dame, but ends up taking over a Florida program that was run into the ground by stupid Ron Zook. For those playing at home the “Zooker” was just fired from Illinois. Many thought Meyer’s gimmicky offense would be shut down in the mighty SEC. Urban’s 1st year he brought the Gator’s back to respectability and had a 9-3 record along with a Gator Bowl victory with pocket passer Chris Leak. Things would get interesting in Meyers second year when all world recruit Tim Tebow came on board. Tebow was the prototype for Meyers offense. Big, strong, fast, athletic, etc…

Leak and Tebow teamed up to account for 3800 total yards and 40 total TD’s, Oh yeah…they beat someone for the National Title that year too…though I don’t remember who they played. In Tebow’s first year as a starter, Tebow went full mutant and accounted for 4100 total yards and 55 total TD’s on his way to the Heisman. Yes…55 total TD’s…in the SEC. Folks, that is incredible.

In Tebows junior year he lead the Gators to another National Title and in his senior season only lost one game to the eventual title winners. They went on to win another BCS Bowl game and Tebow went on to be a 1st round pick, who believe it or not is winning football games in the NFL.

Meyers Florida spread option under Meyer at full boar:

Now, OSU’s last two outstanding QB’s (Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor) were certainly productive, but didn’t quite live up to Meyer’s QB’s on any level unless you count John Brantley who sucks. In Pryor’s best season he accounted for 32 TD’s and Smith’s best season he accounted for 31 (which he won the Heisman). Both outstanding production, but when you compare that to what Harris, Smith, Leak/Tebow and Tebow accumulated it’s not even close. At Pryor’s very best running the OSU Model T he was still 23 TD’s short of Tebow at his best running the Urban Meyer Ferrari.

Enter Braxton Miller

With all due respect to Tim Tebow, who I believe is one of the best if not the best college football player to ever play the game, I don’t believe Urban Meyer has ever had a QB like Braxton Miller before. I’m certainly not saying he is better than Alex Smith or Tim Tebow, but he brings something a little different to the table.

Miller’s ability to make people miss is better than all of Meyers QB’s in the past and could open up the spread option that much more. Miller is the whole package, he has a strong arm (sometimes too strong…DOH!), is very fast, has amazing lateral movement and is a gamer. Miller ran either a QB draw, speed option or was running for his life while dropping back to pass for the Buckeyes. In Meyers offense, the running game will be catered to his skills and we have all seen what he can do in the open field. And once the spread option is working (and it won’t take long) the passing game will be fully unlocked. Miller is a special player who deserves to be running an offense that will maximize his talents.

Buckeye fans, get ready. This offense is about to become the compete opposite of what this guy has run:

For those wondering, the confused look on Bollmans face is after he watched game film of Urban Meyers offense. Direct quote from Bollman after watching:

“What der hell was dat….dat looked like sumfin from outerspace.”


  1. After watching what Miller was able to do against Michigan, the combo of Meyer and Miller is going to be oh so exciting!

    This is going to be the longest off-season EVER


  1. […] proven track record to the Buckeyes and that includes the much publicized spread option offense. His offense typically thrives when he has a dynamic dual threat quarterback and he has one of those in Big Ten Freshman of the […]

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