Ohio State’s Kevin Wilson Is the Best Hire of the Offseason
Kevin Wilson looks to breathe life into Ohio State’s one-dimensional offense
Urban Meyer and Ohio State’s 2016 season ended in an embarrassing 31–0 loss to the eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers. That loss stands as the only time in Meyer’s 16 year head coaching career that his team has been shut-out. As could be expected, Meyer made some changes to his offensive staff, bringing in former Indiana head coach, Kevin Wilson as his new offensive coordinator. The hire of Wilson is pure genius on the part of Urban Meyer, as Wilson is an offensive juggernaut with previous head coaching experience.
The Buckeyes offense has struggled to find balance since former offensive coordinator Tom Herman departed for Houston. Under Herman in 2014, Ohio State ranked 9th in total offense (52nd in passing offense, 9th in rushing offense). In 2015 under new offensive coordinator Tim Beck the Buckeyes dropped to 41st in total offense (81st in passing offense, 11th in rushing offense).
Ohio State maintained their strong running game under Tim Beck, however, they were unable to effectively throw the football when needed. Take the Buckeyes’ losses to Penn State and Clemson for instance. In both losses, Ohio State’s offensive line struggled to protect J.T. Barrett giving up six sacks against the Nittany Lions and three against the Tigers. From there the Buckeyes’ wide receivers were unable to create separation down the field, averaging no more than 6.7 yards per reception in either contest.
Newly appointed offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will quickly improve the Buckeyes’ aerial attack. At Indiana, Wilson was known for his potent offenses. Over his six year tenure as the head coach at Indiana, the Hoosiers averaged 30 points.
Wilson was able to manufacture yards and points with an Indiana roster lacking elite talent. At Ohio State, Wilson has the luxury of coaching four and five-star recruits at every position. It’s not like the Ohio State offense was completely broken, their running game has never wavered under Meyer. That being said, the National Championship is the standard at Ohio State and you must be a complete team to win one.
I expect J.T. Barrett and this Buckeyes’ offense to drastically improve through the air in 2017, as they bring back a talented group of wide receivers including, K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, and Parris Campbell.
Wilson’s head coaching experience, will also aid him in leading the younger playmakers in this Ohio State offense, such as Mike Weber and Demario McCall. The coaching carousel stops for no man, but, once again Urban Meyer was able to fill a vacant spot with a experienced coach who can improve his program.
Should the Buckeyes offense manufacture a vertical passing game, I fully expect them to return to the College Football Playoff. Under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes reload with elite talent at every position and they have arguably the best leader in the country in J.T. Barrett.