Congratulations to Coach Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Undefeated at 6-0, with a bye week, and bowl eligible for the first time since 2011.
Ohio State has won its last two games (at home versus Wisconsin, on the road at Northwestern), and it is possible that Ohio State has played, and defeated, its two toughest opponents on the 2013 schedule. It would be very easy for Ohio State fans to sit back and contemplate how easy the remaining games on the schedule will be.
The reality is Ohio State fans, coaches, and players all know that while being undefeated and 6-0 is a solid accomplishment, the ultimate goal of a national championship is what everyone associated with the Ohio State program is striving and working for in 2013. To realize that goal, below are some concerning areas that need to be addressed before play resumes versus Iowa on October 19th in Ohio Stadium.
- Develop Offensive Balance - Ever since QB Braxton Miller has returned to the starting lineup, Ohio State's offense has become rather predictable. A first down run by Carlos Hyde, a second down run by Carlos Hyde, then on third down a quarterback draw by Braxton Miller will probably be the call. My point? If I am correctly guessing and anticipating these calls from the chair in my living room, what makes you think an opposing defensive coordinator is not doing the same?
Cannot understand this obsession with running Braxton Miller when Carlos Hyde & Rod Smith were crushing Northwestern.
— Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich) October 6, 2013
I have, and always will be, a fan of having a strong running game. I certainly understand the challenges Ohio State's coaching staff is having, with the return of Carlos Hyde, while trying to find ways to get the ball to Jordan Hall, Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, and others. I would merely argue that when Kenny Guiton was playing, Ohio State certainly seemed better balanced offensively. With Braxton Miller, I would encourage less designed quarterback runs, and more Braxton Miller runs on scrambles of passing downs if a play breaks down. It would seem to keep the opposing defenses off-balance more than what Ohio State fans have seen the last two weeks of the season.
- Develop The Younger Defensive Backs For The Remaining Games - Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown struggled against Northwestern, in place of the injured Christian Bryant. Vonn Bell may be in line for a starting position in 2014, but Bell may be needed as a starter soon, especially against teams like Penn State and Indiana.
If Ohio State doesn't like how Christian Bryant hole is being filled, will have a bye week before Iowa to get it figured out. Vonn Bell?
— Doug Lesmerises (@DougLesmerises) October 6, 2013
- Enough With The Three Man Pass Rush - This should be the easiest to fix. On obvious passing downs, Ohio State should not only rush three and drop eight men into coverage. Yes, I know the secondary is a weak spot, but the strength of the Ohio State defense is in its defensive line. Don't negate the defensive strength by taking a player away.
Ohio State's 3 man rush works 0 percent of the time every time
— Ross Fulton (@RossRFulton) October 6, 2013
Ohio State is undefeated and 6-0. This bye week comes at a perfect time, allowing Ohio State's coaches and players to recuperate and work on these areas to allow the Buckeyes to be 9-0 before their next scheduled bye week on November 9th.