Oct. 8, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The offensive machine that is the Ohio State Buckeyes under coach Urban Meyer continues to hum along nicely in 2014 despite the unit being without the services of seven key offensive players from 2013 that were central in the team’s school-record 24-game winning streak while establishing an impressive collection of school and Big Ten Conference records.
After Saturday’s 52-24 win over Maryland that featured 533 yards of offense, 15th-ranked and 4-1 Ohio State, led by the red-shirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas), is on a current run of three consecutive games with 500-or-more yards of total offense and three consecutive 50-point games heading into a second off weekend before the Oct. 18 home date against 5-1 Rutgers.
One more 500-plus yard game and the Buckeyes will tie the school mark for consecutive 500-yard games, set during the 1998 season. As it stands now, Ohio State’s 1,871 yards of offense over the last three games is the second-highest three-game total in school history, trailing only the 1,917 yards the 2013 team put up in consecutive games against Penn State (686 yards), Purdue (640) and Illinois (591).
And one more 50-point game – a fourth consecutive – would be a first for Ohio State and also for an Urban Meyer-coached team. Meyer has had three consecutive games with 50-or-more points scored two times previously: in 2004 while at Utah (vs. UNLV, San Diego State and Colorado State) and last year’s team (vs. Penn State, Purdue and Illinois).
No one could have or would have predicted the offense would be lighting up the scoreboard like this when two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year and quarterback of the year Braxton Miller was lost for the season with a shoulder injury during fall camp. But despite not taking a snap in a game in nearly two full years, Barrett has been nothing short of outstanding while learning on the go. Consider:
The Ohio State offense, which includes a youth movement of additional new weapons like sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott (462 yards and a 5.8 yards per carry) and sophomore receivers Michael Thomas (17 receptions for 322 yards and five touchdowns) and Dontre Wilson (14 for 221, respectively, and 615 all-purpose yards) is averaging a near-school record 523.6 yards of offense per game right now.
Whether the 2014 Buckeyes can continue on this offensive pace is still to be determined, but anything remotely close would be impressive as the toughest defensive tests are still to come. The Big Ten features six teams with defenses currently among the Top 20 in the nation, and Ohio State must play three of them in the last half of the regular season: at No. 9 Penn State, at No. 11 Michigan State and vs. No. 19 Michigan.
Ohio State Records – Urban Meyer Era (21)
NCAA (1) Most first downs, game – 45 vs. Cincinnati in 2014 (tied)
Big Ten Conference (5)
Most rushing yards, season – 4,321 in 2013 Most yards of totaloffense, season – 7,167 in 2013 Most first downs, season – 361 in2013 Most first downs, game – 45 vs. Cincinnati in 2014
Big Ten games only
Most average yards gained, per game – 531.2 in 2013
Ohio State (15)
Consecutive wins – 24 in 2012 and 2013 combined Most rushingyards – 4,321 in 2013 Most rushing yards per attempt – 6.8 in 2013Passing touchdowns – 38 in 2013 Total offensive plays – 1,003 in2013 Total offensive yards – 7,167 in 2013 Offensive yards per play- 7.14 in 2013 Offensive yards per game – 511.9 in 2013 Pointsscored – 637 in 2013 Touchdowns – 87 in 2013 Points per game – 45.5in 2013 Field goal percentage – .900 in 2013 First downs – 361 in2013
Total offensive attempts – 101 vs. Cincinnati in 2014 (tied) Most first downs, game – 45 vs. Cincinnati in 2014