In the first game of the 2013 season, the Ohio State Buckeyes showed how explosive their offense can be in the second year of Urban Meyer’s system. Here at the Empire, we are going to breakdown two of the Buckeyes five scores which went for over 40 yards and also the two-point conversions executed by back-up quarterback Kenny Guiton.
47 Yard TD Pass- Miller to Smith
After three straight gives to running back Jordan Hall, Braxton Miller looked long down the field. Given great time and a strong pocket by his offensive line, Miller was able to find Devin Smith in the end zone for a touchdown. But how did it happen? Ohio State lined up with Smith and Corey “Philly” Brown in a ‘twins’ set to the short side of the field and a third receiver to the wide side. Jeff Heuerman lined up in a three point stance in a normal tight end spot also to the wide side of the field. As Miller dropped, Smith took off on a simple go route while Brown ran a skinny post towards the middle of the field. This puts the safety in a bind and forces him to make a decision due to the fact the Bulls ran a zone on this particular play. With the safety caught in the middle, Miller threw it to his best deep threat receiver and Smith made a great adjustment in the end zone for a Buckeye touchdown.
49 Yard Touchdown Run- Jordan Hall
After Ohio State scored on a quick seven yard touchdown pass to Chris Fields on their second possession, Ohio State went 90 plus yards with their third scoring drive that was capped by a long touchdown run by Jordan Hall. Hall exploded through the middle in what looked like miscommunication by the Bulls defense. The Bulls brought a safety in the box to blitz off the edge and the Buckeyes ran right up the middle on a zone run play up the middle. Both Linsley and Norwell pancaked their defenders and with the safety gone and the linebackers blitzing, all Hall had to do was get past the first line of defenders which he did and housed his first touchdown on the 2013 season.
Ohio State added a new wrinkle in 2013 that Buckeye fans have not seen before. The Ohio State coaches take to calling it ‘magic’ and it worked like it in the first quarter of Saturdays win. After their first two scores, the Buckeyes PAT personnel lined up in ‘magic’ and showed they would go for two. The decision whether or not to go for two is not predetermined however. The decision is made at the line by backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. First, let’s examine how the Buckeyes line up the ‘magic’ formation.
Ohio State lines up its starting five linemen with the addition of backup tight end J.T. Moore, offset to the left with Jordan Hall behind them in what looks like a wildcat formation. In the center of the field, Guiton stands behind the long snapper with kicker Drew Basil lined up to his right. This leaves one lone receiver to the right side of the field.
Guiton now has four options to choose from, but must make his decision according to the alignment of the defense. Guiton can throw a screen to Hall, run an option course with Basil, throw a quick hitter to the lone receiver to the right, or if he believes the defense is lined up perfectly, bring the lineman in and simply kick the PAT. We saw three of the four outcomes in Saturday’s game and Ohio State executed to perfection, showing that the coaches confidence in Guiton is well deserved.