Ohio State Football: Why Early Offensive Struggles in Spring Are No Surprise

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IApril 6, 2012

Photo from The-Ozone.net
Photo from The-Ozone.net

We are a week into Ohio State's spring football workouts, and so far the adjustments to the new offense Urban Meyer and Tom Herman are installing have had some growing pains.

In two winner/loser practices early in spring ball, the defense has won both times, leaving the offense to drink from a hose both times.

The Buckeyes are going through quite an adjustment from the pro-style attack they have run for years under Jim Tressel to the new high-octane offense Meyer and Herman have helped craft.

Everyone knows about the success of the Meyer offenses in Florida, but Herman put together some pretty good offenses as well at Rice and Iowa State.

The coaches had their work cut out for them going into this season as the Buckeye offense was utterly dreadful a year ago, finishing near the bottom of the country in passing.

Ohio State does have a lot on their plate as well, especially when it comes to finding a playmaker on the roster and improving the offensive line.

The latter has gotten slightly better considering the fact that not only are they replacing three starters that had around 100 career starts combined, they must replace the most important position on the line—the left tackle.

Junior Jack Mewhort has been lining up at LT on the first team most often, and looks to be the guy at the moment.

This group will need to develop some cohesion, and going up against John Simon and Johnathan Hankins is not an easy task in practice.

The two have created all sorts of havoc on the offensive line in just a week as Brandon Castel of The Ozone posted:

Simon was simply unstoppable for most of the day Wednesday. He had a few plays where he probably made right tackle Reid Fragel want to quit football. Jack Mewhort faired [sic] a little better on the other side, and Meyer called him the team's most consistent offensive lineman.

When it comes to the skill players, the problem is still trying to find a receiver that is going to separate themselves as the go-to threat.

TE Jake Stoneburner is likely to be the biggest threat in the passing game, but they need to find—between Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Corey Brown—a big-time weapon.

The running back situation appears to be of little concern as both Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith are doing well. Jordan Hall is likely to start and could be fun to watch in this new offense.

But when you're revamping an offense and doing so in such a radical direction that Urban Meyer has done so far, there are going to be some growing pains.

It's likely those extend into the first handful of games this season.

So if fans are concerned if the offense isn't "winning" practices right now, that's not the primary concern.

The defense is expected to be much further along considering they are sticking to the same system as they have in the past and have more seasoned talent on that side of the ball.

The offense just needs to be able to play some catch-up.

Spring is still young so there is plenty of time for the seeds of a potentially lethal offense to grow.

But those flowers sometimes do take time to break out of the ground.


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