Ohio State's Passing Attack Showing Improvement Through Spring Practice
As the sun finally broke through to shed some semblance of warmth on what has been a frigid Ohio spring so far, the Ohio State Buckeyes got the opportunity to practice outdoors for their seventh of 15 spring practices on Thursday.
Previously, the Buckeyes had been forced inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for most of their spring drills. Just this past Tuesday, head coach Urban Meyer conducted a hard hitting practice that focused on short-yardage and goal-line situations.
On Thursday, the focus shifted to Ohio State's quarterbacks and the passing attack.
Meyer, offensive coordinator Tom Herman and the rest of the Buckeyes' coaching staff wanted to test their quarterbacks with a multitude of defensive looks, including an enormous amount of blitzing. "It was a blitz-fest," Herman said after the practice concluded.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller and his senior backup, Kenny Guiton, needed to step up and show improvement in those situations. Judging from their post-practice comments, they're happy with their progress.
“My consistency is better," Miller said. "I’m better at knowing where my guys are going to be on the field, and I’m not second-guessing myself as much.”
Miller's improvement was nearly inevitable following his offseason work with famed quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. The Heisman Trophy candidate has displayed improved mechanics so far this spring, and as the Buckeyes prepare for the 2013 season, Miller wants to get in as much work as he can. "It's still spring ball so I've just been focused on getting a lot of reps. It's all about [preparation] in the offseason."
Guiton echoed Miller's comments, "We are working on the little things. There has been a lot of focus on the basics because those have to be perfect before we can be great."
The Buckeyes' passing attack could use that improvement this season. Although the offense was drastically improved in 2012, Ohio State averaged just 181.5 passing yards per game (ranking No. 105 in the country).
A consistent passing attack doesn't just fall on the quarterbacks' shoulders. Ohio State's receivers will also need to step up in 2013, and according to All-American cornerback Bradley Roby, they're on their way.
"The receivers are way better this year than they were this time last year," Roby said.
If the Buckeyes can complement their potent rushing attack, which ranked No. 10 last year with 242.3 yards per game last season, with a more diverse passing game, the Big Ten's best offense could be a lot harder to stop in 2013.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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