I address some of the most pressing scheme and personnel questions as Ohio State prepares for the 2016 season. I sought to combine questions together into overarching issues. If I did not fully answer your question, raise it again and I will get to it the next round. Let’s get to it.
Whither the Vertical Passing Threat? Will it be Gibson or Someone Else?
Multiple questions centered on the relative lack of a vertical passing game last season and how and whether that may change this season. As these issues go, last season’s inability to push the ball downfield resulted both from schematic and personnel shortcomings.
Addressing the former first. Despite his embrace of the spread, Urban Meyer is in some ways fairly conservative. He likes the spread-to-run because it re-equates arithmetic and uses the quarterback as a run threat in option football (For a primer on Urban Meyer’s offense see here and here. Meyer’s formative coaching experiences were under Earle Bruce and Lou Holtz – not exactly paradigms of pro-style passing systems. So when became a head coach, he and Dan Mullen essentially adapted Joe Tiller’s passing system.
All this is to say that Meyer’s inclination is not necessarily to push the football regularly down the field. He generally better responds to defensive tactics with the spread run game then with a conceptual passing attack. And in tight spots he generally relies upon the quarterback running the football.
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