Urban Meyer challenged Ohio State’s wide receivers following a loss to Penn State three weeks ago.
It’s safe to say the Buckeyes’ head coach is pleased with how that group responded.
“On offense, we had the receivers, back-to-back their best games,” Meyer said Monday during his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Michigan State.
Fresh off back-to-back 59-point wins, Ohio State looks like itself again on offense. The Buckeyes racked up 581 yards of total offense in Saturday’s 62-3 rout of Maryland and all is well again in Columbus.
That’s because the explosion is back for Ohio State as it is finally hitting some big plays — in both the passing and running game. The run plays, Meyer said, are thanks in large part to the blocking of the Buckeyes' wide receivers.
“Their blocking two weeks in a row was outstanding,” Meyer said. “A lot of those big hits, you can see it. Noah Brown, Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, just selfless play.”
Ohio State’s wide receiver room is deep, but nobody outside of Brown and Samuel (if you count him as a wide receiver) really solidified themselves as a consistent option yet this season. The rotation is long, and sometimes the production, at least on the stats sheet, hasn’t necessarily been there.
Against the Terrapins, Brown had just one catch. Campbell, the other starter, had just one as well. Ohio State’s third wideout, McLaurin, didn’t record a reception.
That hasn’t mattered much, though. The group is clearly playing better.
“I think, if anything, I think our receivers have done a great job on perimeter blocking,” quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “You see the runs that have been explosive runs. I think that’s something that’s been a difference in their play, just being unselfish in that way. As far as the passing game and getting open, when I watched film they didn’t change I guess. Have we done a better job? I do believe so, but I don’t think it was something drastic as what the scoreboard was seeing.”
Meyer challenged his wide receivers as he did a couple of other position groups following Ohio State's loss to Penn State. The results, so far, are exactly what he was looking for.
“We’re very fortunate right now and I think [wide receivers coach Zach Smith] is doing a good job with those guys, “Meyer said. “Those guys are doing a great job, especially the last couple of weeks.”