Offense Confidence Level – 7
The Ohio State offense has been good enough through seven games this season, thanks in large part to the other side of the ball playing exceptionally well. Complementary football is something lost on a lot of this fanbase as we have become accustomed to high-scoring games and questionable defense through the four years of the Ryan Day tenure.
As the defense has established itself this season as one of the best in all of college football, Day and this coaching staff have begun to alter their play calling to fit the needs of the team, which means at times they are more willing to play for field position than they are full throttle going for a touchdown on every drive type of mentality, which if unsuccessful, can hinder your defense, which is the obvious strength of this team.
That being said, Day and offensive coordinator Brian Hartline still possess what many believe is the best player in all of college football on their side of the ball in wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. So far this season, Harrison Jr. has accumulated 766 yards and 6 scores on 44 receptions. On the Big Ten Today show, Day said the following:
"“The award should be given to the most outstanding player in the nation. Statistics matter, but ultimately, it comes down to who is the best player in the nation. You look at a guy who garners a lot of attention week in and week out. He’s played big in big games. He’s the most outstanding player in the country. You watch the way he goes about his business. His work ethic. His talent. He’s clutch. He can do so many different things. He solidified himself as one of the best players in the country this past week. As he continues to produce on the field, he should be in consideration for the Heisman Trophy.”"
As long as Harrison Jr. is on the field, the Ohio State offense will continue to be a threat. At one point in last week’s win over Penn State, it was obvious that the offensive plan was to just get the ball to MHJ. To be completely honest, as long as teams are in single coverage, or playing a soft zone, that is exactly what the Ohio State offense should be.
Wisconsin might have Jim Tressel’s younger brother Mike, who was on Jim’s staff at Ohio State for his entire tenure in Columbus, but at the end of the day, you could have the ghost of Woody Hayes leading the Badger defense, and as long as Ohio State has Harrison Jr., it won’t matter. Which is why I am at a seven this week in my confidence level.
The Ohio State offense needs to have a second reliable option on offense after MHJ. Hopefully, they can find that option this week because I can’t imagine Tressel is just going to let the Heisman Trophy candidate be the reason they lose.