It is often said that hind sight is 20/20. Those of us watching every move of the Ohio State Buckeyes this year now may hold this old axiom to be truer than ever.
Last weekend Braxton Miller made his much anticipated debut as Ohio State starting quarterback. The coaching staff put together a game plan that limited his passing attempts and utilized the strength of this particular team, the running game. With a stable of talented and explosive running backs adding Braxton Miller to the mix is roughly the equivalent of hitting the nitrous button on a street racer. All of which left me asking the question that many others may have as well, why wasn’t this the plan all along?
The Buckeyes began the season facing the likes of Akron and Toledo. Two teams that are well below their talent level. The exact same game plan used against Colorado could have and should have been used for those two opponents. The team could have established their identity and developed Braxton’s passing game in the process. Instead the young coaching staff, facing what was unquestionably a great deal of pressure, succumbed to what they felt was the safe play and entrusted the senior to provide stability. For one game it seemed as though they were right but we quickly found out it was an aberration.
It is a decision this coaching staff will undoubtedly remember for the rest of their careers. In an impossible situation, dealing with all of the chaos around the program they opted for the safe play, the one that offered them a chance to have the best of both worlds. Let the veteran begin the year and wait for Braxton to play his way onto the field permanently. Unfortunately they didn’t have the gut instinct to let it happen. A few fluky plays with dropped passes and bad snaps made the coaching staff limit Braxton’s play and he never got the chance to use those first two games to develop. All of it culminating in the embarrassment that was the Miami loss. That jolt brought change. Change that was a little too late, but the fact that it has come breathes new life into the season. It’s not ideal to have a young quarterback cut his teeth under these circumstances but it’s what we’ve got.
Could it have been better? In hindsight…..yes.