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Ohio State insists offense still has room to improve moving forward

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OSU sophomore wide receiver Noah Brown (80) celebrates his first half touchdown with OSU fifth-year wide receiver Corey Smith (5) during the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

OSU sophomore wide receiver Noah Brown (80) celebrates his first half touchdown with OSU fifth-year wide receiver Corey Smith (5) during the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Following Ohio State’s 77-10 victory over Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, coach Urban Meyer surpassed his ideal 250-250 rushing and passing yard game and was more than pleased when looking over the numbers for the first time at the postgame press conference.

But before he made any judgments on the offense, he said he and his staff would go back to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and analyze the offensive production. During Monday’s media session, Meyer delivered his overall takeaways.

“I think it was good, it wasn’t great,” Meyer said regarding the performance of the offense. “There were some disappointments.”

Against the Falcons, the Buckeyes broke an 86-year-old program record with 776 total yards of offense, tied a team school record of seven touchdown passes in a single game, had nine players catch a pass and accumulated 11 touchdowns from six different players. Despite all that, Meyer revealed an opinion on his offense that didn’t reflect the final score.

According to Meyer, the technique of the wideouts has to improve despite making “some very good plays.” He said sixth-year senior Corey Smith should be better than he played even though he’s still coming back from last season’s season-ending leg injury. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett echoed Meyer’s sentiment about the high standards the wide receivers need to play at for an even more efficient offense.

“There was some times where we had some missed assignments out there, which we could’ve scored,” Barrett said. “I guess it was bad timing.”

OSU’s offense accounted for six penalties for 40 yards, three of which came from redshirt junior right guard Billy Price. Redshirt senior center Pat Elflein was the only member of the offensive line that was named a champion on offense — a weekly honor from the coaching staff given to those who performed beyond expectations. Price, being the other returning starter on the unit known as “The Slobs” from a season ago, said that he and the rest of the offensive line have to fine-tune some fundamentals.

“I think we’re going to be a little more calm,” Price said about OSU’s upcoming game versus Tulsa. “We all have things to improve on. Maybe we missed a route or a block, but those are some things that we can fix in the next couple of weeks and clean up.”

Junior H-back Curtis Samuel and Barrett were obvious standouts to Meyer, who named them co-offensive players of the week. Other than the pick-six at the beginning of the game, Barrett played an almost flawless game throwing 21-for-31, 349 yards and six touchdowns through the air. However, a couple newcomers also stood above the rest on the receiving core.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver K.J. Hill and redshirt sophomore wideout Terry McLaurin were named two of the five offensive champions against Bowling Green.

Hill opened up the scoring for OSU with a 47-yard touchdown reception from Barrett, and McLaurin — who Meyer said will play more moving forward — had just one catch for 12 yards, but made an impact in the blocking game.

Meyer and Co. are looking for more performances like Hill’s and McLaurin’s to become the normal on OSU’s offense.

“We always try to critique ourselves and make sure we try to get better. So the positives, you kind of flip through those rather quickly, and look at the plays that need work on still,” Barrett said. “I think that’s how any team should look at it. Especially we had a good day, but there was still things we could improve on.”

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