When Jim Trissel He left Ohio State after the 2010 season, so so did the old school philosophy of Ohio State football. While Luke Fickell He continued to use some of Tressel’s offensive tactics, which often fit better with the “three yards and a cloud of dust” montra than the way many teams were playing college football at the time, in 2011, any memories of the traditional look are gone. out the window when Urban Meyer Arrived a year later.
Mayer, who still loves hard football, developed his attack using spread combos during his time at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. He used this system, arguing that quarterbacks couldn’t line up under QB’s offside position because they didn’t practice exchanges, and he had great success during his seven seasons at Columbus.
Ryan Day, who came to the Buckeyes as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach under Meyer, kept plenty of deployment formations while changing things up to fit his offensive game plan. but on Saturday vs ToledoFor one night, at least, Day, Crimson, and Gray are back in old school football.
“We thought that with the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Horseshoe, it would be good to stand in the ranks of the I (formation) and hand the ball to the linebacker for relegation,” Joker day after win 77-21. “So we wanted to get that done this year.”
While the year and celebrations at Ohio Stadium didn’t really play a role in Ohio State’s decision to return to classic principles, there were things about this season that led to the Buckeyes lining up in an already multiple I-lineup in 2022. First, Scarlett and Gray struggled to run the ball in Short-term situations a year ago, something the team promised to tackle this off-season, and secondly, the personnel available.
In 2021 Ohio scored in the red 91.53 percent of the time, but a lot of that came from kicker’s leg. Noah Ruggles. In other words, the Buckeyes settled on field goals on 16 of their 59 red zone trips, scoring only a 64.41 percent touchdown.
While Scarlett and Gray had an explosive attack last year that scored more points per game than anyone else in the country, Ohio was No. 45 in the state when it came to getting six points inside the 20-yard line.
“I think the focus was more on trying to start a game of running because it gets really tough, even when we’re throwing the ball really well,” the offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson He said after the Toledo match. “And I know Coach Day, Coach (Brian) Hartline, Coach (Corey) Dennis always working on the best red zone plan to throw the ball but those windows get tighter, and those spaces narrow. So your ability to run the ball into the red zone is when you can Really being a red zone (a team) better when attacking. That was the focus of all the offseason and it was just being a little bit better in the running game and we’re building that way.”
Personally, the Buckeyes are deep at the narrow end and have three to four players in position who deserve to hit the field. Kid saver And the J Scott Jr. They were both talked about in pre-season and both saw their playing time early in the year. When Mitch Rossi opted to return for season six, it gave Scarlett and Gray a tight, perfectly confined finish that Wilson thought would be an NFL linebacker.
Even with the talent in the tight end room, the expectation was that Ohio State would still spread the field with the team’s talented wide receivers. But injuries early in the season are visible jackson smith ngigbaAnd the Julian Fleming And the camryn door The plan changed a little.
As the Buckeyes acclimated to life without three of their best passing weapons in their first two games, they had to rely more on their running game – particularly in the second half against Notre Dame – and discover ways to still score points while not having that many weapons. explosive. Fortunately, they have a number of offensive minds with plenty of experience to draw from.
“We’re trying to build those packages,” Day said. “I think you’ve seen what Kid can do. You’ve seen his versatility now. First, you know how strong he is and how physically he is on the line of melee. But now you’re starting to see what he can be as a weapon and in the passing game. We actually missed him a few times in the end zone. Which was close. And then J. Scott started to grow up for us too. He became someone who could do a lot of things. It’s a tight athletic end for us. So that gives us a little bit. Then Mitch gives us a little bit too. So that’s exciting. Not Having Jaxon playing, really the second half of Game 1 and really Game 2, not having Julian, allowed us to build some depth, but also have a look at a couple of different sets, which we hope pays off for us going forward.”
While Saturday night wasn’t the first time Scarlett and Gray have gone with a different look to cash in on a tight-lipped side-baring ability or Rossi as a linebacker, it was certainly the most extensive.
quarterback CJ Stroud He went under position six times against the Rockets with Rossi and ran behind him. Sometimes this look has featured both Stover and Scott, with an extra offensive lineman joining them on a tight end in a massive package. Other times, the receiver Emeka Ajboka Lined up wide, with a narrow end off-pitch.
Ohio State recorded using these looks three times. The first came in running backwards Trivon HendersonA seven-yard score in the first possession, following blocks from Rossi and the goalkeeper Donovan Jackson in the end zone. The second came after two unsuccessful runs in the formation of I by a new student Dalan Hayden In the third quarter when the Buckeyes got Stover up for action and then handed him over to Rossi for an amazing one-yard scoring play.
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The third drop from this new/old look was the most creative, so to speak. After going into the action of playing Form I, Stroud just missed a wide open spot Stover in the end zone for landing. Then Scarlett and Gray Rossi lined up in the flank behind Stover and Scott, brought Igboka into motion and handed him to him in a jet sweep.
Although the play wasn’t completely blocked, Egbuka was able to make his way into the end zone for the first quarter of relegation.
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Day wanted to get a lot of looks for the formation package I and Ohio State showed a number of different things about it against the Rockets.
“I think it’s important that when you put something on, it can’t be just one, because what do you do next? And then, do you build on it as you go forward? And so, you want to have a package when you put something on,” the coach explained. “And sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it’s not. And when you do, you build on it. And that idea is that you’re trying to build something down the road.”
No matter how they do it, the Buckeyes have improved in the red so far in 2022. In 13 runs inside their 20-yard opponent’s line, Scarlett and Gray have earned 12 touchdowns, the third best percentage in the nation. Six of those have appeared on the ground, showing that Ohio State’s focus on the red and short-term plays has worked so far.
The Buckeyes will be put to even more rigorous testing when the team begins playing the Big Ten this weekend. Better teams than Team Toledo will see how Scarlett and Gray are doing in the red and make adjustments.
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But it just means that Ohio State’s offensive minds will have to keep getting creative, and taking advantage of the staff they have, to find ways to continue getting the Buckeyes landing in the red.
“We want to be as creative as we can downstairs,” Day said. “And you have the kind of guys who have those kinds of skill sets, they can do a lot of things. They can get physical in the running game and create conflict for some quarterbacks and safe running paths. But then also having the ability to put the ball in the ocean, as I saw it In that one play, and that’s a good job by the attacking crew, as the day comes up with different ideas on how to attack defenses.”