A closer look at Ohio State’s two new offensive coaches, Buckeyes women take another road win against Northwestern and more

Colin Gay

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Today is Wednesday, Jan. 4, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call. 


Who is Kevin Wilson?

After Tim Beck announced that he was joining Tom Herman’s staff at Texas as the Longhorns’ offensive coordinator, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had a vacancy in his coaching staff. It was quickly filled as it was announced that Ohio State is expected to hire Kevin WIlson as the next offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes.

However, after an unsuccessful stint — at least record-wise — as the head coach at Indiana (26-47, 0-1 bowl record) and some allegations regarding possible player mistreatment, what does Meyer see in Wilson?

For that, we have to go back to 2002. After stints as assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Miami of  Ohio and Northwestern, Wilson took the co-offensive coordinator job for Big 12 giant Oklahoma. From 2002 through 2010, Wilson coached an offense that had players such as QB Landry Jones, TE Jermaine Gresham and RB Adrian Peterson, who was a unanimous All-American and was second in Heisman Trophy voting.

However, Buckeye fans should look to Wilson’s best season as an offensive coordinator to get an idea of what the best-case scenario could be with him at Ohio State. In 2008 with the Sooners, Wilson won the Broyles Award as the top assistant in college football.

That season, in which Oklahoma finished as the Big 12 champion and lost to Meyer’s Florida Gators in the BCS national title game, his no-huddle, up-tempo offense averaged 51.1 points and 547.9 yards of offense per game. Yes, it helped the Sooners that they had a tandem of Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray in the backfield with QB Sam Bradford throwing the ball, but the offense as a whole averaged nearly 7 yards per play.

The Ohio State offense, with Wilson at the helm, may be in for a bit of a tune-up when the Buckeyes take on his former Hoosiers to begin the 2017 season. One of Wilson’s former players, Shane Wynn, who is now a wide receiver for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, said this could be a defining move for Ohio State. 

 


The quarterbacks of Ryan Day

With Beck leaving, Ohio State also needed another quarterbacks coach. The Buckeyes officially announced that Ryan Day, a former offensive coordinator at Temple and Boston College, would fill that role.

Meyer is familiar with Day’s coaching, because he was a graduate assistant under Meyer in 2005 at Florida. After two stints as offensive coordinator, Day found another coach to follow, Chip Kelly. For the past two seasons, Day was with Kelly as the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia and this past season in San Francisco.

As Land of 10’s Ben Axelrod pointed out, Day was actually the quarterback at New Hampshire when Chip Kelly installed the up-tempo offense.

So, what could that mean for his work with J.T. Barrett and other future Ohio State quarterbacks? First of all, look for short, accurate passes.  His two NFL quarterbacks, Sam Bradford with the Eagles and Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers, both averaged around 7 yards per pass. With Bradford especially, both Day and Kelly improved his accuracy. That carried on this season for Bradford, who was traded to the Minnesota Vikings and completed a career-high 71.6 percent of his passes this season, an NFL record. 

Kaepernick, a dual-threat quarterback like Barrett, threw for 2,241 yards and rushed for 468 yards, averaging 6.8 yards per rush. Even though he might have not been as accurate, only completing 59.2 percent of his passes, Kaepernick, like Barrett, did not throw many interceptions, throwing only four compared to 16 touchdowns.

So, with the Kelly protege there to help, Ohio State fans could see a new look from their quarterback come August.


Another road win

The No. 11 Ohio State women’s basketball team is off to a good start in conference play. The Buckeyes (13-4, 3-0 in Big Ten) beat Northwestern (13-3, 2-1) 94-87 on the road to secure their third conference win of the year and a second straight road win. 

Guard Kelsey Mitchell had her second straight game with 30-plus points, scoring 33 points, shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the 3-point line. The junior also had seven assists and three rebounds.

The Buckeyes had a fast start to the game, outscoring the Wildcats 54-42 in the first half. They struggled in the third quarter though, as Northwestern came back to within five at the end of the third, outscoring the Buckeyes 21-14.

Ohio State’s eventual win came thanks to its dominance on the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats by 13. Forwards Shayla Cooper, Stephanie Mavunga and guard Linnae Harper combined for 29 of the 46 rebounds.

Ohio State is home Saturday, taking on Michigan at noon. The game will be televised on BTN.


Another chance

Even if a player is coming from a very successful college football program such as Ohio State, there is no guarantee of success at the next level in the NFL. One player is getting another chance.

After stints with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Kansas City, former tackle Reid Fragel, who played for the the Buckeyes from 2009-12, has signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

A converted tight end, Fragel moved to right tackle his senior season and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2012. An integral part of Meyer’s first season, in which Ohio State went undefeated, Fragel’s story is still remembered by players in the Buckeye program today. Coach Meyer created the “Reid Fragel Award” for players who come out of nowhere and become a pleasant surprise on the team.

We will see if Fragel can do that again with the Vikings.


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