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tBBC How They Compare: 2014 Offense vs. 2016 Offense

Discussion in 'News' started by Brandon Zimmerman, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. How They Compare: 2014 Offense vs. 2016 Offense
    Brandon Zimmerman
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    It has been well-documented the Buckeyes have lost 16 starters from last year’s team. Additionally, it has been well-publicized that approximately all of them went in the first round this year of the NFL draft. Naturally, we as a fan base would like to use our memories of the glorious 2014 season and compare the 2016 Buckeyes to the 2014 Buckeyes. But how similar are they really?

    Today we will take a look at the offense for both teams coming into the season and see who has the edge. When I factor in which team has the edge, it is before the season started. This means that what J.T. Barrett or Ezekiel Elliott have done since then does not matter in determining who had the edge.

    Left Tackle

    The 2014 Buckeyes were starting junior Taylor Decker who had moved from right tackle over to left tackle after Jack Mewhort graduated after the 2013 season. In his previous two seasons, Decker played in 26 total games.

    The 2016 Buckeyes are projected to start junior Jamarco Jones. Jones was named the starter by Coach Meyer and will be taking over for the aforementioned Taylor Decker who was drafted by the Detroit Lions in this year’s draft. In his previous two seasons, Jones has played in 23 total games.

    EDGE: 2014 Buckeyes. The edge has to go to Decker here because of him starting the previous season albeit at a different position. Having that experience at the blind side will help the freshman quarterback.

    Left Guard

    The 2014 Buckeyes had a little bit of a battle brewing at numerous positions heading to Maryland to take on Navy and this was one of those positions. The depth chart listed redshirt freshman Billy Price or Senior Joel Hale, who had started at defensive tackle the previous season. The Buckeyes did not know what they were receiving from either player. As we know, Price would go on to win this battle and has not looked back.

    The 2016 Buckeyes are projected to start either true freshman Michael Jordan or one of a group of upperclassmen who have been waiting their turn. Guys like redshirt sophomore Demetrius Knox and redshirt freshman Matt Burrell are all battling for this position. The only one with experience in this group in Knox who played in 13 games last season.

    EDGE: 2016 Buckeyes. The 2014 Buckeyes were looking at a former defensive tackle and a former three-star recruit. The 2016 Buckeyes have one guy (Knox) who has played 13 games and two former top recruits. It isn’t much better but I think the 2016 Buckeyes are in a better situation at this point than the 2014 season.

    Center

    The 2014 Buckeyes had another position battle here as the

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    Elflein is one of two returning starters on the offensive line.


    depth chart listed Jacoby Boren or Chad Lindsay. Boren was one of 1,700 Boren’s to play for Ohio State and was the back-up in 2013 to Corey Linsley. Coming into 2014, Boren had played in 16 games, all as a back-up. Lindsey was a transfer from the Alabama death machine where he played in 20 games over three seasons with four starts.

    The 2016 Buckeyes have Pat Elflein. Just in case you have been living under a rock let’s discuss Elflein. In his career, Elflein has played in 42 games with 29 starts at guard. He will be starting for his third consecutive season. Elflein is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a team captain.

    EDGE: 2016 Buckeyes. It was huge when Elflein decided to return to Ohio State and will help keep that offensive line together for a young Buckeye offense.

    Right Guard

    The 2014 Buckeyes were turning to a redshirt sophomore who had played in 14 games the previous season as a back-up. This sophomore was thrown into action the previous season when Marcus Hall was famously booted from the game in Ann Arbor. This man was Pat Elflein who we just spoke about.

    The 2016 Buckeyes have their second and last returning starter to lean on at right guard, Billy Price whom we spoke about earlier. After redshirting in 2013, Price has went on to start 28 consecutive games for the Buckeyes. Price was an All-Big Ten selection last year.

    EDGE: 2016 Buckeyes. Elflein would turn out to be great but at this point in the pre-season the 2016 Buckeyes are in better hands with Price and his experience of starting the past two seasons.

    Right Tackle

    The 2014 Buckeyes were turning to senior Darryl Baldwin to replace Decker who had moved over to the left tackle position. Baldwin had played in 31 games over the previous three seasons backing up Mewhort at left tackle.

    The 2016 Buckeyes are still unsure of who they will be turning to. All indications are pointing to sophomore Isiah Prince starting. He played in 13 games as a back-up last season. The main competition for Prince is JUCO transfer Malcolm Pridgeon. Pridgeon was rated as a five-star recruit.

    EDGE: 2014 Buckeyes. The 2016 Buckeye options are much more talented than Baldwin was but he brought a lot more experience to the table than Prince and Pridgeon. I think Prince will start and be a future first round draft pick but Baldwin has the edge in this scenario.

    Tight End

    The 2014 Buckeyes were leaning on their second returning starter here with Jeff Heuerman starting at tight end. Coming into the 2014 season, Heuerman had 35 catches, 585 yards, and five touchdowns over three seasons.

    The 2016 Buckeyes will be turning to redshirt junior Marcus Baugh. A former top recruit out of California, Baugh has spent his first three seasons backing up Heuerman and Nick Vannett who have both moved on to the NFL. For his career, Baugh has three catches for 34 yards and one touchdown.

    EDGE: 2014 Buckeyes. Going into the 2014 season, Heuerman was considered one of the top tight ends in the country.

    Wide Receiver

    The 2014 Buckeyes had another returning starter in the form of senior Evan Spencer. He had played in 36 games over his previous three seasons with 12 starts. For his career coming into 2014, Spencer had 37 catches, 430 yards, and four touchdowns.

    The 2016 Buckeyes will likely be turning to redshirt senior

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    Smith has the talent but can he consistently play smart?


    Corey Smith. Playing 18 games over the past two seasons, Smith has tallied 25 catches, 317 yards, and no touchdowns. Smith is battling back from a horrific leg injury he suffered last season which caused him to receive an extra year of eligibility.

    EDGE: 2014 Buckeyes. Spencer was not spectacular but he was consistent and a great blocker. On the receiving end, I think Smith has the potential to be a better wide receiver than Spencer but Smith is very inconsistent. The experience of Spencer would prove to be invaluable for the 2014 Buckeyes.

    Quarterback

    The 2014 Buckeyes had just lost all everything Braxton Miller to a serious shoulder injury right before the season started. They were turning to a redshirt freshman quarterback named J.T. Barrett. He had no experience and had just passed up junior Cardale Jones as the back-up quarterback before Miller was injured.

    The 2016 Buckeyes turn to the now redshirt junior J.T. Barrett. For his career, Barrett has started 17 games and has thrown for 3,826 yards, rushed for 1,665 yards, and 67 total touchdowns. He has set 16 Ohio State records, two Big Ten

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    Barrett’s experience will be key.


    records, and four major awards.

    EDGE: 2016 Buckeyes. They are in good hands with an experienced Joe Thomas Barrett.

    Running Back

    The 2014 Buckeyes were faced with the monumental task of replacing a guy named Carlos Hyde who had accounted for 3,469 yards and 41 touchdowns. They had a position battle between a redshirt freshman named Ezekiel Elliott and a true freshman Curtis Samuel. The first depth chart has them both listed with the dreadful “or”. As you know, Elliott would go on to win the job and our hearts.

    Much like their 2014 brothers, the 2016 are faced with the monumental task of replacing a guy who had accounted for 4,410 yards and 44 touchdowns. It appears that redshirt freshman Mike Weber is going to be the man with Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson receiving some carries.

    EDGE: None. These two teams are in the almost exact scenario so there is no edge. If I had to pick one, I’d go 2016 because of the experience of Samuel and Wilson but they are technically wide receivers.

    H-Back

    The 2014 Buckeyes were faced with replacing a very solid Philly Brown. They once again had another dreaded position battle which ended with the dreaded “or” on the depth chart. The two men listed were sophomore Dontre Wilson and redshirt freshman Jalin Marshall. Wilson was the back-up in 2013 to Brown and racked up over 460 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in that role.

    Like the 2014 version, the 2016 Buckeyes are looking to replace a starter at the H-back position with Braxton Miller leaving. The Buckeyes will be looking to replace him with two very experienced guys. The first is Samuel who has bounced around from running back to wide receiver. In his first two years on campus, Samuel has racked up 899 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. The second guy competing for the H-back role is Dontre Wilson who was in the position battle above. Wilson is a one time starter and is battling back from injury which has hampered him over the past two years. In three years, Wilson has amassed 923 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.

    EDGE: 2016 Buckeyes. Both of the guy’s competing for the starting job are experienced and have been a major part of the Buckeyes over the past couple of seasons. They have played secondary roles behind big time talents and should be ready to take that leap forward.

    Wide Receiver

    The 2014 Buckeyes returned Devin Smith who was one of the best deep threats to ever play for Ohio State. Coming into the

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    Will someone step up and become a big-time threat like Devin Smith was?


    2014 season, Smith had 88 catches, 1,572 yards, and 18 touchdowns in three years on campus.

    The 2016 Buckeyes will be turning to Noah Brown to fill the gigantic hole filled by Michael Thomas. Brown was in line to start in 2015 but lost his entire season to a leg injury in fall camp. He played in 13 games as a freshman and caught one pass for nine yards.

    EDGE: 2014 Buckeyes. The 2014 version of the Buckeyes had a big time receiver coming back who had developed into a star over his first three years on-campus. As good as Brown may be…he is unproven.

    CONCLUSION

    Both teams have the edge at five different positions so it really comes down to where you value the edge. The 2014 version of the Buckeyes had a freshman starting at quarterback and running back but had returning starters at both wide receiver positions and tight end. These three helped take some pressure off of those two freshmen. Additionally, they had a starter at the left tackle position who had a season of experience.

    The 2016 version has a lot more youth at the receiver positions but they have a top-notch experienced quarterback and two very talented guys at H-back with a lot of snaps under their belt. The biggest spot where the 2016 Buckeyes excel is Price and Elflein in the middle of the line. Having those two guys in-front of Barrett will help alleviate some of the pressure Weber will now have with the dismissal of Dunn.

    Ultimately, I think I would take the position the 2016 Buckeyes are in. They technically only have three returning starters but guys like Samuel, Wilson, and Brown have either been starters in the past, slated to start, or have played a significant role in the offense in the past. The 2014 team had seven guys getting their first significant playing time.

    The 2014 version showed they were able to adapt to their new starters but will the 2016 Buckeyes?

    The post How They Compare: 2014 Offense vs. 2016 Offense appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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