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A Tale of Two (Offensive) Philosophies

+7 HS
Buckeyeinsc's picture
January 16, 2019 at 2:21pm

For anyone curious about how our team and offense have evolved over the years I have some stats for you!

Ohio State had long been considered a running offense ranking near the top (if not the top) of the nation the better part of a decade thanks to a talented crop of mobile QB's and stud RB's. This year we got a glimpse of a more pass heavy offense with a prototypical QB.

When did this change begin and how has it impacted our output compared to national ranks. Lets go back to 2015 for our sample to account for the changes in OC and RB.

2015: Cardale Jones / J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliot
OC: Ed Warriner and Tim Beck
National Rankings - Rushing: 12 / Passing: 96

2016: J.T. Barrett and Mike Webber
OC: Ed Warriner and Tim Beck
National Rankings - Rushing: 13 / Passing: 74

2017: J.T. Barrett and Mike Webber / JK Dobbins
OC: Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson
National Rankings - Rushing: 9 / Passing: 22 (HOW DID WE LOSE 2 GAMES?!)

2018: Dwayne Haskins and Mike Webber / JK Dobbins
OC: Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson
National Rankings - Rushing: 47 / Passing: 1!!!

Having Dwayne Haskins in 2018 definitely helped elevate the passing game however there is a huge difference in passing ranks once Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day came in.

Based on the stats it is clear we became a more balanced team in 2017 even if it didn't translate as well on the field (limitations due to QB inability stretching the field).

2018 showed a drop in rushing ability which was seen during the 3 game stretch in the middle of the season where we saw a blow-out by Purdue. Some of this can be attributed to growing pains on the offensive line getting used to this new style. Studrawa hinted that the change was hurting his guys who were so used to blocking downfield more with J.T. on the RPO.

"Now, when Dwayne looks at that, he looks out there and sees a one on one that with our wideouts, he's going and giving those guys on opportunity when before, (Barrett would) hand that to Mike, we'd get four or five or six, get in a groove and drive the ball,” Studrawa said. “That's been an adjustment to us, a running play and then we try to get more and it's three or four RPOs. That's been difficult the past few games, and we're trying to adjust and make it more consistent. That’s something that bothers me.”

Towards the end of the season we saw what we were capable of when the OL was clicking. I would expect a return to balance in 2019 with more familiarity with the offense regardless of who the QB is.


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