It's the offseason. Ohio State just had a very good year, beating Michigan to a pulp and proving they are still top dog in the Midwest after flexing on Notre Dame as well. I should be happy, content at least. And I am content for the most part, mainly because I think Ohio State has the game's best coach at the moment. But because I think Urban Meyer is the game's best coach, I have zero restraint in placing the highest expectations on him. That's why I also have zero qualms when saying he failed the offense in 2015. Sure, we'll all rejoice when Tim Beck goes to coach James Madison after next year, but the blame should ultimately lie on the head coach. Meyer does, after all, know a thing or two about the offensive side of the ball.
Not only did Meyer fail the offense as a whole, but in doing so he failed Michael Thomas and Braxton Miller, who could be the best OSU WR combo that we hardly knew. Thomas was a known commodity that many can agree did not see enough targets in 2015 (115th in the country). With plays like this, it's a damn shame:
Braxton Miller, though, played his first season as a WR in 2015, so it would have been understandable if there were growing pains during his conversion from QB. Those growing pains were hardly noticeable if there were any, yet Braxton only had 341 yards receiving. He was heavily utilized in the wildcat formation, a plan that yielded all of 1 big play throughout the season, and that play occurring in the first game of the season had many Ohio State fans expecting more greatness as the season progressed. It never really happened, though, and Braxton was routinely found getting gobbled up at the line of scrimmage from the wildcat or jet sweeps, as opposed to catching the ball after beating his man in coverage.
Many fans were noticeably frustrated with Braxton's utilization, and justifiably so. Admittedly, though, it was really this week's Senior Bowl practices that urged me to write this. Until now it always felt like just a hunch that Braxton could be a great WR. Blame Meyer for that. Blame whoever you need to, but blame someone because Braxton has looked incredible against some of the top DBs in his class:
Braxton Miller is going in the Top 50 whether we believe that's justifiable or not. Just too special of an athlete/talent.
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) January 27, 2016
It's too soon to tell exactly what Ohio State fans were deprived of in the 2015 season, but I think it's clear that they were deprived of something pretty good, if not great. When these two are looking back at their NFL careers, I truly wouldn't be shocked to see them go down as the best OSU WR 1-2 punch that we hardly knew. And my money's on #1 to be the 1 in that equation.