The debut of the Urban Meyer offense everyone was hoping to see took a little longer than most would have liked.
After trailing the Miami University 3-0 after one quarter, Ohio State cruised to a 56-10 victory today at Ohio Stadium.
The offense struggled in the first quarter, out gained 172 yards to 48 by the Redhawks, but thanks to the tough running of Carlos Hyde and a highlight catch by wide receiver Devin Smith, the Buckeyes found their rhythm in the second quarter.
Several things caught my eye from the game today, both good and bad. I will start with the good, though:
- It was great to see Nathan Williams back on the field for the Buckeyes. He showed so much promise early in his OSU career, and has dealt with injuries the past couple of seasons. Today, though, he got back out there and was all over the field. In the first quarter, Williams pressured Miami quarterback Zac Dysert, causing him to throw the ball low and incomplete, on what would have been a touchdown for the Redhawks. On the next play, Miami missed a 24-yard field goal.
- When give his opportunities, Carlos Hyde was very impressive. Hyde finished with 84 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. When he’s able to square his pads and run downhill, he really is a load to bring down. He also is a lot faster than people give him credit for.
- The play of the wide receivers looked much improved. Devin Smith’s catch was no doubt the highlight of the game and Evan Spencer made a really nice catch as well, but I was really impressed with Philly Brown. Meyer had talked about how improved Brown was during camp, and I had questions about his hands, but he showed up big time in the first game of the season, finishing with seven catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
- When Braxton Miller is good, he’s really good. He is an outstanding athlete. But to me, the best thing about Miller is his vision. He sees things unlike any other player I’ve watched before. That 65 yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty.
In a 46 point win, it may seem difficult to pick out bad things, but even Meyer described the first quarter as “ugly.” So, here are three things I would like to see OSU address:
- The OSU pass defense needs to get significantly better, as there were too many big plays allowed. The secondary gave up plays of 42 and 58 yards in the first quarter, but Miami was only able to come away with three points. In the third quarter, the Redhawks got another big play–a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dysert to Nick Harwell. Pass coverage must improve in the future for the Buckeyes.
- The defensive line did not play very well, either. There weren’t a lot of blitzes called, but the defensive line is supposed to be the strongest point of this Buckeye defense. There wasn’t a whole bunch of pressure by the front four, allowing Dysert some time to throw when he needed it. A lot of Miami’s offense were quick passes, but he did have some time to sit back and throw, too. If not for a significant amount of drops by the Miami receivers, this game would have been a lot closer at halftime.
- Braxton Miller still has a ways to go. Sure, it’s easy to be blinded by the numbers, 17 of 24 for 205 yards passing and 161 yards on the ground, with three total touchdowns. His ability to change the game with his legs is second to none, but you’ve still got to be a little worried about his arm. A lot of his throws, especially down the field, were ducks. His accuracy must improve for OSU to beat the better teams on its schedule.
Overall, though, Meyer’s debut was a good one. After a shaky start, Buckeye fans were able to see the Urban Meyer offense they were hoping for. Next week will be a bigger test, though, as Central Florida is a much better team than Miami.
We’ve got you covered all week here at The Buckeye Battle Cry.