Picking up the pieces

Matt BuckeyeInsider

Playing cupcakes early in the season can hide problems. By playing a top-five opponent like Ohio State did against Oklahoma last week, a team can quickly realize its biggest issues.

Despite making coaching changes in the off-season, the Buckeyes found out in their 31-16 setback to the Sooners that they still have some major kinks to work out if they want to get back into the playoff discussion.

Fortunately for Ohio State, it has upcoming games against Army, UNLV and Rutgers to attempt to fix its problems before the meat of the Big 10 schedule arrives.

Here are the biggest concerns that need to be addressed:

• Get the offense into a flow. It was hoped that by hiring Kevin Wilson as offensive coordinator Ohio State’s passing game would drastically improve this season. But the offense does not look much different than last year.

As it did in games against Michigan and Clemson to end the 2016 season, the Buckeyes reverted to a game plan that relied heavily on quarterback runs and short passes. That has not worked out well as defenses have loaded up the line of scrimmage, daring Ohio State to beat them through the air.

The deep passing game continues to be missing, partly because of inaccurate throws by J.T. Barrett and also because of the inability of Ohio State’s wide receivers to get free.

In general, the current offense lacks creativity and imagination. How does that get fixed? For one, Meyer should give more power to Wilson and let him have the major say in play calling.

Meyer said during the preseason that he wanted to mesh the offensive ideas of his along with those of Wilson and new quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. However, it doesn’t look like Wilson and Day have been allowed to add much.

Delegating duties is not easy for head coaches, especially an offensive-minded boss like Meyer. But he has to have confidence in Wilson. He brought him in because of his track record of putting together high-powered offenses. Meyer needs to let him do his job. Wilson is not a consultant, he is the offensive coordinator. Allow him to put his stamp on the offense.

BUCKEYE INSIDER, exclusively in Friday's Examiner
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