An evolved gameplan
Though both Tressel and Brandon Saine indicated it wasn't totally by design, Saine recorded zero carries yesterday while hauling in four catches for 84 yards including a 60 yard TD off a well executed wheel route on 1st and 10 putting the Buckeyes in front 21-0 early in the 2nd quarter.
Tress and Saine can play coy but I think it's safe to assume that while maybe the intent wasn't to keep Saine from toting the rock at all, there was definitely an emphasis placed on getting him the ball in space, via the pass, to take advantage of Saine's straight line speed.
Saine lined up in multiple positions in an effort to exploit matchups, coming from the backfield on his 60 yard TD and from the slot on OSU's first play from scrimmage, hauling in a 13 yard quick screen as the Hoosier DB's gave 10 yard cushions for much of the half. The quick hitter out of the backfield would be attempted a few more times with varying degrees of success but there's little question through the air is the best way to get Saine touches and it was nice to see the staff work to get it accomplished.
Considering the spotty success of the run game coupled with the freak at the QB spot supposedly nursing a quad, it was also pleasing to see the Buckeye gameplan rely on Pryor's continued evolution as a passer in the pocket instead of sending running backs into giant piles of bodies at the line of scrimmage either due to a lack of push or the backs not finding the hole.
Looking at the numbers strictly when Pryor was on the field, the Buckeyes ran 46 total plays, an amazing 33 of which were intended pass plays. Three sacks kept the actual attempted passes total at 30 and pushed the rushing attempts to 16 but even though OSU supposedly strives for offensive balance, I enjoyed Tressel leaning on the overwhelming strength of his offensive unit exploiting a secondary giving enough cushion to make Sealy proud. The results, albeit against a pathetic defense, included a 38-0 lead and a Heisman showcase for Pryor. Good stuff from the staff. The pass heavy effort has me very curious as to how the plan might adapt on the road against a much better team in Madison this Saturday night.