Five storylines: Ohio State 

September, 13, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Looking at the hot topics for the Buckeyes as they prepare for a visit from California to the Horseshoe on Saturday.

1. Spread it around: The new offense depends on the quarterback to make a decision on every play. Ohio State would probably benefit in the long run if the guy behind center didn’t have to do quite so much work himself on every snap. There is essentially unanimous consent that Braxton Miller can’t continue to average 22 rushing attempts per game and stay healthy, especially when those hits are added to those he’s also taking on occasion as a passer. His talents as a rusher make it tempting to just let Miller do his thing, and the Buckeyes gave in last week thanks to the combination of his skills and the rash of injuries at running back. Miller proved his toughness with those 27 carries and three touchdowns, but he’s going to need to cut that first number in half to get to the 12 to 15 attempts Urban Meyer views as ideal.

2. Coming hot: Whether it’s injuries, blocking schemes or something else entirely that has slowed down the pass rush doesn’t make any difference to the Buckeyes. All that matters is they haven’t been getting enough pressure from the defensive line, and they have vowed to correct that. California has enough talent at the skill positions to make a defense pay if given time to operate, so if Ohio State can’t get to the quarterback with four guys, it’s more than willing to dial up a few more blitzes this week. That would potentially put more strain on a secondary that has been hit for some big plays down the field. But if the throwing window is closing more quickly, it also could help them add to an interception total that is already at five through two games.

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