An Observation from Section 5C

I was lucky enough to come across some tickets for Saturday’s game agains NIU, so my wife and I headed down to Columbus Saturday morning expecting to see the Buckeyes unleash their frustrations over the Hawaii game on the unfortunate Huskies. Unfortunately, that is not what we witnessed. Instead we saw a team, that on offense, looked like it was the first time they had ever played football together. Quarterbacks completely out of sync with their receivers, lineman not communicating well enough to execute a good blocking scheme, and a team that is suppose to be head and shoulders better than their opponent. It seemed as though they truthfully didn’t even want to be there.

Let’s be clear about this though, the defense was spectacular, as they have been all year. It would not be a stretch to say that the silver bullets from top to bottom are the best defense in the country. Guys like Von Bell and Darren Lee were all over the field all day. I think it’s safe to say that Coach Meyer is not worrying about the defense right now.

I think I have a pretty good idea what he is worried about though, and that is what has happened to the offense that last year made national power defenses look completely inferior? That team has not shown up so far this year. As a fan, the obvious thing to do is look back and say, “Okay what is different from last year to this year?”  “Who are we missing that would have made this big of a difference?” In my opinion it is both Evan Spencer and Devin Smith. I can remember last year coach Meyer always talking about Spencer being the offensive MVP and I always thought that was just him trying to give praise to a guy that was a program guy, he did the right things all the time. In all actuality, Spencer’s blocking ability and leadership is sorely missed. If you haven’t noticed we have a serious issue running the ball both inside and outside the tackles. Anything outside the tackles has a ton to do with your receivers keeping their blocks and allowing the back to get up field. As of now we have not found that guy that we can say we are going to run to his side every time we need a big play.  When it comes to Devin Smith I have to say that I really thought we would be able to find a guy that could at least make an impact down field in the passing game to fill in for Devins absence. I felt guys like Johnnie Dixon and Jalin Marshall would be able to take the top off like Devin did, but that has not happened yet. Not even close. As you can imagine, if a defense is not worried about you going up top on them then it makes it extremely hard to run the football due to them stacking the box and anticipating the run.

Another big factor the offensive struggles with has been the poor play of the offensive line. Coming off of last year the o-line was probably our strongest unit and from then to now not much has changed. In fact we only lost one starter and last year was the first year he started ,so it wasn’t like we lost a huge part of our line. The player to fill this void was Chase Ferris and ,so far, he has been playing great. It is actually our center and guard position that has struggled, namely Boren and Price; two guys that were great in the playoff stretch last year, but so far this year it seems they cannot get on the right page which is something the entire offense has had a problem doing.

Let’s also address the elephant in the room, the QB dilemma. I will be the first to admit that I have not been impressed with the way Cardale has been playing, and I have been one of the people calling for JT to be put in when Cardale was struggling. For some reason I just feel more comfortable with JT at QB, and every time he comes into the game I feel like the offense is about to explode, except it doesn’t. For some reason neither of them can get this offense on the right page. At the end of the day I think Urban owes it to the rest of the team to just pick a starter. Going back and forth is obviously not working so it is time to ride or die with one or the other and ,honestly, I don’t know which one it should be….

The last thing that needs addressed is the offensive play calling. There is no question that so far this year the Ohio State offense is missing Tom Herman after he decided to take the head coaching position at Houston. The offense last year ran like a well -oiled machine, and so far this year we look like we are lost half of the time. My problem is I know that Ed Warinner is the new co- offensive coordinator, but let’s be honest, this is Urban offense. It always has been, so the fact that we can’t run it right now with all the talent that we have is definitely concerning.

At the end of the day, I will always have faith in whatever Urban Meyer is doing because I think he has a chance to go down as the best coach in Ohio State history, ( sorry Woody) but so far this year I have been scratching my head a lot more than I have clapped my hands!

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