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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Coach Urban Meyer and the state of the offense
With an offense that has outscored opponents 125-13 in the first two weeks of 2016, there are few complaints after two weeks of Ohio State football. However, when you look closer at the offense, especially in Week 2 against Tulsa, it appears there is some work to be done along the offensive line for the Buckeyes.
After one quarter against Tulsa, the Buckeyes generated only 40 yards of offense and had only a field goal to show for it. They eventually picked it up in the 48-3 rout, accumulating 417 yards of offense, but that start was certainly concerning.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he was pleased with the offensive performance overall, with a bit on an exception.
“You take away the first 10 minutes of that game, I’m fine,” Meyer said Monday. “I didn’t think the first 10 minutes were very good. Once we got going a little bit, (quarterback) J. T. (Barrett) got going, and the offensive line started blocking. I was very pleased.”
The skill level in opposing defenses gets much higher this week against No. 14 Oklahoma. Meyer said that is because of their size.
“You’re not going to run. You have to be really on your target to run the football on them,” Meyer said. “They’re big, gigantic guys inside. Very similar to Alabama’s defensive line. They played the odd four-I defense, which is going to negate gaps and makes it very difficult to run. And obviously, a skilled secondary. So I just think they’re the whole package.”
According to Meyer, the way the Buckeye offense is going to beat the Sooner defense is to keep them guessing.
“We have to be balanced,” Meyer said. “You have no chance in this game if you think you’re going to go just pound the ball. Their defensive system is not to allow the inside run. Their base defense that they want to install is to negate the run, and so we’re going to have to be very balanced.”
J.T. Barrett for Heisman
After two impressive performances to start his 2016 season, quarterback J.T. Barrett has played himself into Heisman contention. According to the Bovada Heisman odds, Barrett has a 6-1 chance to win the Heisman, tied with fellow quarterbacks Deondre Francois of Florida State and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
Updated Bovada Heisman odds on the right pic.twitter.com/z2XX5UKuBq
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 13, 2016
Barrett is on pace to have a career-high in completion percentage (66 percent) and yards per pass attempt (9.40 yards). He also already has six touchdowns and one interception and seems to be in complete control of the Buckeyes offense.
Meyer said the offensive success is firmly placed on the shoulders of Barrett, who is no stranger to being a Heisman candidate. He finished fifth in the award’s voting in his redshirt freshman season in 2014.
“When we have success, J.T. gets a lot of credit, and the receivers do, and the offensive line is playing well,” Meyer said. “When we struggle, the offensive line will struggle, and that’s what happened. And J.T. did not play great early. I thought he played outstanding as the game wore on.”
Barrett’s Heisman chances may see a boost this week if he can lead the Buckeyes to a victory in Norman.
Buckeyes talk to Herman, Sooners talks to Dantonio
After Meyer said on Monday that he talked to Houston head coach Tom Herman in preparation for Ohio State’s game against the Sooners on Saturday, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops told the media that he talked to Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio about the Buckeyes.
Bob Stoops told me tonight on coaches show that he has talked with Michigan State HC Mark Dantonio this week.
— Toby Rowland (@TRowOU) September 14, 2016
We all know what happened last time the Buckeyes faced the Spartans. Here is a heartbreaking reminder, if you forgot. (Of course you haven’t.)
Stoops wants to know the secret recipe for beating the Buckeyes and Dantonio has been as good as anyone when it comes to challenging Ohio State in recent years. We will see Saturday if the conversations with Michigan State have helped prepare the Sooners.
Fox Sports’ virtual reality to debut Saturday
If the sports watching experience can’t get any weirder, Fox announced that they will present the Ohio State vs. Oklahoma game in a new virtual reality app. Codesigned with LiveLike, this virtual reality app will send viewers to a “Virtual Suite” within the stadium, according to a release from Fox Sports. From there, “an in-stadium video board playing the live Fox Sports television broadcast allows users the opportunity to watch the synchronized telecast simultaneously with VR content.” This includes team rosters, schedules and matchup stats.
People can watch the game through the free Fox Sports VR app and it will require no special equipment, just a boat load of data on your cell phone plan.
Or you can just watch it on TV like a normal person.
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