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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Ohio State offense modeled after Oregon

By Mark Schlabach

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State fans had to figure their football team would look different under first-year coach Urban Meyer this coming season.

But Meyer said Wednesday that the Buckeyes will run a no-huddle, hurry-up offense in 2012. Quarterback Braxton Miller said Meyer wants the Ohio State offense to take 80 to 85 snaps per game and play at a much faster pace than the Buckeyes did under former coach Jim Tressel.

Braxton Miller
"It's very fast," Ohio State's Braxton Miller said of the offense. "The defense gets really tired. ... I'd compare it to Oregon."
Think Oregon Ducks-like fast.

"All you've got to do is look at Oregon," Meyer said. "We're committed to it. We're still going to pop a huddle once in a while, but we're committed to it."

The Buckeyes bring back seven offensive starters from a team that finished 6-7 under interim coach Luke Fickell in 2011. Fickell, who took over when Tressel was forced to resign on May 30 for witholding information from NCAA investigators and OSU officials about NCAA rules violations, was retained by Meyer and will work as the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

"It's fun," OSU fullback Zach Boren said. "It's all up-tempo stuff and stuff we're not used to doing here."

Miller, a sophomore from Huber Heights, Ohio, ran a spread offense in high school. He said he's comfortable running Meyer's system, after leading the Buckeyes in rushing (715 yards with seven touchdowns) and passing (1,159 yards with 13 touchdowns) as a freshman last season.

"It's very fast," Miller said. "The defense gets really tired. They're always complaining after practice, saying we need to slow it down. I'd compare it to Oregon."

Last season, after losing starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who entered the NFL's supplemental draft, the Buckeyes averaged 107th nationally in total offense (318.1 yards per game), 115th in passing (127 yards) and 81st in scoring (24.4 points). Meyer said he has also installed some triple-option plays for Miller, who can also pass out of the formations.

"I've never run the triple-option until this year," Miller said. "It's neat. There are a lot of things that go into it. I can't wait to run it."