Ohio State Football: How Urban Meyer's Game Plan Will Affect Offensive Output

Daniel Kock@@dannykockContributor IIIApril 12, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 28:  Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State fans should feel extremely confident as to what they'll see out of their offense in 2012 and moving forward under new head coach Urban Meyer.

Meyer's resume speaks for itself. Everywhere he's been, he's won and his offenses have put up huge numbers.

Meyer has won two BCS National Championships. He's won 13 games three times in his career and is the only BCS coach to do it in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and a No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft in Alex Smith.

The list goes on, and all the numbers are impressive.

Former head coach Jim Tressel brought a National Championship to Columbus, but many fans grumbled about the conservative play-calling and lack of explosiveness on offense.

That is about to change. Meyer will showcase a high-octane offense to the Buckeye nation.

It all begins with the quarterback.

Braxton Miller is a supremely talented player who was rated as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation coming out of high school.

In his freshman year, Miller found himself in a quarterback competition for part of the 2011 season with Joe Bauserman, but Miller eventually beat him out.

Miller showed flashes of why he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. Miller passed for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns while also accounting for 951 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of Ohio State Buckeyes runs upfield during the first half at the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on January 2, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sc
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

He struggled at times, like all freshmen, but progressed through the 2011 year and should be a perfect fit in Meyer's spread offense.

Miller is the quintessential example of a dual-threat quarterback who possesses the arm strength to throw downfield and the speed to burn an out-of-position defense.

Meyer knows how to put quarterbacks in a position to succeed.

In 2007, Tebow flourished under Meyer's system as he scored an astounding 55 times in the air and on the ground combined. Consequently, that offense ranked third nationally in scoring at 42.5 points per game.

The following year, the Gators were the most prolific offense in SEC history with 611 points scored en route to a BCS National Championship.

The record was against the second-toughest schedule in the nation and against the nation's top conference.

Meyer had great success earlier in his career as well. At Utah in 2004, Alex Smith put up gaudy numbers in Meyer's system. He finished with 42 total touchdowns and only four interceptions during Utah's undefeated season.

The evidence is there. Miller should be the person most excited about the hiring of Meyer. A Heisman-type season in the near future is not out of the question  for Miller.

The spread will allow him to make quick decisions and play instinctively. Quarterbacks in the spread don't have to make many complicated reads. Whether a throw or a run, the quarterback makes a reactionary play.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The combination of Meyer and Miller should provide a much-needed spark to the Buckeye offense.

In 2011, the Buckeyes scored less than 20 points five times and less than 10 points twice. They averaged 24.5 points per game, which put them at eighth in the conference.

In Meyer's first year with the Florida Gators in 2005, the team scored less than 20 points just three times and put up more than 30 points seven times.

The Gators overall had more team speed at the skill positions than Ohio State will this year. However, Gators quarterback Chris Leak was a pocket passer and not near the fit for the spread that Miller will be.

The Buckeyes do return starting wide receivers Corey Brown and Chris Fields and have highly-touted running backs Warren Ball and Bri'onte Dunn coming in as freshmen.

The cupboard is not bare in Columbus. There will be some growing pains installing a new offense, but Meyer's body of work speaks for itself.

His offenses put up points, and it all starts with the quarterback.

Fortunate for the Buckeyes, their quarterback is a future star in college football and fits perfectly into the spread system.


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