April 12, 2012

Offense turns the corner

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Follow Noon | Rowland | Givler | Birmingham

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Braxton Miller felt the pressure and moved to his right. That's when he noticed Carlos Hyde running open five yards up the field. A perfect pass fell into Hyde's arms and 75 yards later it was a touchdown.

That is the type of execution Urban Meyer was so pleased with during Ohio State's spring practice Wednesday afternoon - its ninth of the spring. It's also what made him gush about Miller.

"Having a quarterback that makes something out of nothing is every coach's dream," Meyer said.

"That was A1A. It was our best practice of the spring and one of the best spring practices I've seen. Intensity was an A. Competitiveness was an A. Coaching was an A. I feel very good walking off the Woody Hayes practice field."

For the first time this spring, the offence was declared the winners. They had previously been beaten in three straight winner-take-all competitions. Third and five was the offense's challenge for most of the day and the success rate of around 75 percent left Meyer and his offensive assistants pleased.

"I just wanted to see guys go and the offense resemble an offense and the defense come back with their back against the wall," Meyer said. "You can't do that in seven-on-sevens and drill work. You can't do that every day or you'd be down to four players. But that's a big moment for me and our staff.

"Snaps are hitting the quarterback right between the numbers. It's not a clown show out there like at a couple points. Guys are competing. That's why I'm going to leave here tonight impressed with the Ohio State Buckeyes."

The offense was touch and go up until this point, with Meyer constantly frustrated at the lack of cohesion and playmakers. The implantation of a new offensive system is finally taking hold now and because everyone is finally on the same page, big play threats are emerging. Tight end Jake Stoneburner and wide receiver Corey Brown have shown flashes throughout spring practice, as has fullback Zach Boren. On Wednesday, it was Hyde's turn to impress the coaches.

The highlight of the day was the Miller to Hyde touchdown, but that wasn't Hyde's only bright spot. He was continually outrunning linemen and defensive backs.

Said Meyer: "He's drinking the Kool-Aid."

For more notes on Ohio State's spring practice, check out the Horseshoe Lounge.


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