Ohio State offense is perfectly imbalanced

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Drop the Ohio State offense on the scales, and it looks comically imbalanced. The plan was to find an even mix, blending in the pass as often as the rush after favoring the latter so heavily a year ago. On top of that, the Buckeyes could take as many deep shots as short throws, perimeter rushes complementing attempts between the tackles.

+ EnlargeJason Mowry/Icon SMIAfter sitting out the first three games of the season, Ohio State tailback Carlos Hyde has rushed for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns.But sometimes goals have to be scrapped. And when Tom Herman looks down at at the field and sees the No. 2 Buckeyes battering away against a helpless defense on the ground, the offensive coordinator has no problem seeking a different kind of 50-50 proposition balancing the load between his two most dangerous weapons. “When you see the productivity of the run game and where that’s taking you, then you continue to call it more until something tells you not to,” Herman said. “Throughout the game, nothing was telling us not to.

“Have you seen Nos. 34 and 5 run it?”

That combination of Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller, respectively, has been hard to miss during another perfect regular season for the Buckeyes, and the way they’ve been carving up teams on the ground only makes it harder for Herman to turn his back on them and dial up a pass play or two.

Miller has looked vastly improved with his arm during his third year as a starting quarterback, but his acceleration and body control as a rusher remain his most dangerous weapon. And with Hyde playing at easily the highest level of his career at tailback, the combination has served at times to make a passing game almost completely unnecessary.

The Buckeyes completed just six passes in the win over Michigan last week, but the backfield tandem rushed for 379 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ohio State had just 11 completions previously in a win over Indiana and 13 before that against Illinois, but Miller and Hyde combined for 691 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns over that two-game span.

But while the passing game appears to be trending down with the potent rushing attack on the rise, that perceived imbalance doesn’t exactly mean the Ohio State hasn’t accomplished what it set out to do before the season offensively.

“Balance is not having the same amount of rushing yards or the same amount of passing yards, or the same amount of rushing plays versus the same amount of passing plays,” Herman said. “Balance is being able to win the game either way dependent on how the defense plays, what the defense is trying to take away. I think we are a balanced offense right now.

“I think the disparity is a product of how well we’re rushing…

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