Debate it: Will Ohio State have B1G's best offense?

Give Braxton Miller and the Ohio State offense another year under Urban Meyer, and the results should improve. Heck, in Year One with Meyer, the Buckeyes averaged a Big Ten-best 37.2 points per game. With Miller and a host of his best weapons back, including Carlos Hyde, Corey Brown and Devin Smith, among others, will Ohio State have the Big Ten’s best offense in 2013? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss it in this post.

[ RELATED: Watch the Ohio State spring game on BTN2Go ]

Question: Will Ohio State have the best offense in the Big Ten?

Tom: No doubt, the Buckeyes will have lots of talent on offense—led by quarterback Braxton Miller, who has improved his passing mechanics. I also like the line, which has to find only a right tackle but has some good options in Taylor Decker and Chase Farris to replace Reid Fragel. But the skill-position talent gives me cause for some concern. How will Jordan Hall look playing a “Percy Harvin” role in the slot? Are there enough receivers for an offense that figures to use some four- and five-wideout looks on occasion? Chris Fields turned some heads in the spring. Others who must play well on the perimeter are Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, Evan Spencer and Corey Brown. And the running backs look more like bruisers than game-breakers with veterans like Carlos Hyde, Bri’onte Dunn and Rod Smith all over 220 pounds. In the end, I think Nebraska will have the top offense in the Big Ten. What would be interesting: These teams meeting in the Big Ten title game, which could occur.

[ RELATED: Watch Ohio State spring game highlights | Get Dienhart's reaction ]

Brent: In Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes have the Big Ten’s best quarterback, hands down. And in Carlos Hyde, they have one of the better and more underrated running backs. Add a healthy Jordan Hall and a more experienced receiving unit to the mix, and Urban Meyer and company will score a lot of points. But, no, they won’t have the best overall offense. That claim – at least in the preseason – goes to Nebraska, which is balanced and loaded at the skill positions. Michigan also could enter the equation if it finds a reliable No. 1 running back and if Devin Gardner lives up to his Colin Kaepernick talk. And don’t sleep on Northwestern, which averaged 31.7 points last year and returns Kain Colter and Venric Mark. Back to the Buckeyes, though: They still have much to prove in the passing game. As well as Miller played last season, his 58.3 completion percentage last year topped only Andrew Maxwell and James Vandenberg among full-time Big Ten starters. To be fair, the way the Buckeyes ran the ball (18th in rushing yards in FBS), much wasn’t need from the passing game. Still, I want to see a little more balance from this unit before anointing it the Big Ten’s best.

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9 Comments

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David Oney on 4/15/2013 @ 1:37pm EDT Said:

They had the best offense last year, and return a ton of guys on that side of the ball. Of course they’ll have the best offense. Adding Jordan Hall also only makes them better, along with some hopefully improved receivers, who contributed greatly to Miller’s low completion %. Miller needs to learn some touch, which I believe he has improved on in the off season.

Delmar Jones on 4/15/2013 @ 3:01pm EDT Said:

You guys are stumbling all over yourselves with this, first you say how devastating the Buckeyes offense is then back it up with Nebraska, Michigan and throw in Northwestern to booth. Are you not aware of Myers QB s numbers after two years in his offense and you both seem to think that Miller is the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Why then would you not chose them as the best offensive team in the Big ten? Well why you two maul it over let me enlighten you Ohio State is not only going to have to best offense in the Big Ten their going to have a top five offense nationally. And for that kid at Michigan he’d better live up to being Devin Gardner that might prove to be hard enough.

    Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 4/15/2013 @ 3:10pm EDT Said:

    Can’t speak for Tom, but I think Nebraska has more talent/depth at the skill positions. That’s why I say the Huskers will finish as the Big Ten’s top offense. I was “stumbling all over” myself because even though I think Nebraska has the best offense, it’s impossible to ignore how talented Ohio State’s unit is.

Joe W on 4/15/2013 @ 4:12pm EDT Said:

I see a toss up between OSU and Nebraska this year for best offense, but with the incoming speed OSU is gaining in Marshall, Wilson, Elliot, and Clark they may be frightening by mid to late season. One or two of these freshman may be able to break into the line up at an H back position by mid year as running backs (and I am assuming running H backs) can see the field earlier than other positions. If OSU and Nebraska make it to the B10 title game the over under might be 100 points.

Drew on 4/15/2013 @ 8:18pm EDT Said:

Tom – Your questions about OSU seem to miss the mark. The Buckeyes return the same offense from last year, and are bringing in a ton of speed that will have an impact this fall. The SAME offense that was best in the conference last year is only getting better. The offense even looked potent in the spring game, with Braxton’s mechanics looking much improved, and with some of the stars watching the game from the sideline.

I would like to hear why you think Nebraska is better, because you posed weak questions without evidence that shows why Nebraska can top an improving offense.

ukeone on 4/15/2013 @ 11:23pm EDT Said:

NEBRASKA

ukeone on 4/15/2013 @ 11:43pm EDT Said:

(I hit my key before I could finish, but I could have just left it alone, too. Yes, I believe Nebraska will have the best offense overall this year, thanks to an ever-improving Taylor Martinez, a fast running-back corp (with 2 new ‘dynamite runners’ coming-in), very good receivers & tight-ends, and a sure-fire kicker (we seem to be lucky with that a lot)…and not to forget a ‘very deep & talented’ offensive line (which is good, since we are still not too sure yet on what the ‘Blackshirt’ defense will produce…they are young with a lot of potential, though); however, it’s also impossible to ignore (and dangerously overlook) Ohio State’s vast talent, Michigan’s overall strength, and an ever-improving & always surprising Northwestern (they really impress me the most & could shock all of us this fall). It will be an interesting and fun 2013 B1G football season. I’m really looking forward to it!

Tim Oberle on 4/16/2013 @ 6:30am EDT Said:

Have you ever heard of Jalin Marshall? He is going to hit the scene running (will play the slot but run a lot this year and move to WR down the road) this year and with Braxton’s running ability, Hyde’s punishing ground attack the Buckeyes will lead the nation on the ground. In the air, OSU returns a few veteran recievers in Fields, Smith and Brown and has Wilson, Clark and Smith coming in to provide energy. Not only will OSU lead the BIG in offense this year they will be in the top 20 in the country.

Josh on 4/16/2013 @ 5:07pm EDT Said:

Nebraska. Ohio State scored more points last year, but played a much easier schedule than Nebraska. Ohio State’s offense consists of the play starting… Miller runs around… takes off running or runs around until someone gets open. Nebraska…. Senior QB, Deepest skill players and an All American on the O line.