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Is the Buckeyes Offense Balanced?

+1 HS
BucknutinNC's picture
September 2, 2018 at 4:51pm

Obviously the Offense looked great yesterday, we put up huge numbers! 721 total yards is the 2nd most in school history, and that was in Haskins debut as a starter! If the offense keeps this up we are in for an exciting year to be sure.

What I want to talk about is the balance we saw yesterday. I hear coaches, players and fans at every level say that to have a great offense you have to be balanced. I have to say I agree as all the best teams have been balanced and multiple in their schemes.

So what does balance mean? To different people it means different things. Some will tell you if you look at the numbers at the end of the game your rushing yards should match up closely with your passing yards. So let's look at yesterday's numbers:
Total Yards- 721
Rushing Yards-375 (52%)
Passing Yards-346 (48%)
This looks extremely balanced! If this is your definition of balance and the way you measure it, we were dead on the nuts balanced yesterday.

Some people define balance differently however. Some say that to be truly balanced the total number of run plays and pass plays should be close to 50/50. This argument also makes sense because if you don't favor the pass or the run it makes it harder for a Defense to try and take away your strength if you do both with equal frequency and effect. And the numbers in yardage matching up aren't quite as important. So let's look at yesterday's numbers from this perspective:
Total Plays- 87
Rushing Plays- 53 (60%)
Passing Plays- 34 (40%)
Looking at the numbers from this perspective while still relatively balanced we ahave definitely skewed away from the 50/50 ideal and are a little more run heavy. Obviously what we did was extremely effective but from this viewpoint not as balanced.

So the reason for my question is this, what does "balance" actually mean to you? Also, which type of balance is more important in the long run? Yesterday we had our way offensively against Oregon State but when we play better Defensive teams do we need to be able to be more of that 50/50 scenario in the play calling between pass and run so a Defense can't just say, "well they are a run heavy team, if we take that away and force them to pass....", this was part of our troubles with Barrett (I loved JT but this was true) when we played good Defensive teams like PSU, *ichigan, Clemson, etc. They may not have stopped our run game completely, but because the focused on taking that away it did keep the games closer than others were able. In Clemson's case they were able to beat us, and also PSU once because of special teams blunders and their focus on stopping the run. I don't want to think about MSU in 2013 or 15, although I would personally make the argument in 15 Zeke should have got the ball more and JT much less. LOL

So that's my question, are the Buckeyes really balanced? Which way of looking at balance is more important or accurate? And do we need to be less run heavy if we wany to be able to beat and dominate teams like we did in the 2014 run to the Natty? Do we need to be capable of leaning on the passing game more than we have if we are going to be able to beat Clemson, Alabama and Georgia in the playoffs?

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