COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer sat at a dais in the desert two years ago after Ohio State beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and promised that the Buckeyes would become a better throwing offense.
They reached that game, after a loss to Michigan State, by pounding Michigan with a devastating Ezekiel Elliott and J.T. Barrett-led running game. Then did the same against Notre Dame, throwing it a little more effectively, but making their breaks on the ground. That’s what Meyer offenses do.
The close of that 2015 season set Meyer’s program on a nearly two-year journey, through quarterback questions and an overhaul of the offensive coaching staff, to becoming the team that sliced up Penn State two weeks ago with a dazzling fourth-quarter passing display and a thrilling come-from-behind win over the then-No. 2 team in the country.
Then it all unraveled last week against Iowa. Another Ohio State loss in which the running backs were ignored, and the run game abandoned. The Buckeyes’ defense also played a horrible game. But people want to talk about the offense that was supposed to be fixed.
It looked fixed. That’s because it also changed. We wanted to see a better passing game, and little by little we saw it. And we forgot about the thing Meyer offenses have always done best, because this new