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High-Octane Buckeye Offense Striving For Better Balance

TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams should be a nightmare for defenses this fall.

Ohio State has some bad news for defenses around the country: not only did they sport the best offense in the country last year, they return a group in 2022 that might be even better.

Just how explosive was that group last year?

They led the nation with a ridiculous 0.65 points per play.

Think about that for a second. It's not like they were scoring touchdowns after 12-play, 75-yard drives very often. C.J. Stroud set 17 program records in 2021, which remarkably included most career 300-yard games (9) and 400-yard games (5).

Not only were they the nation's No. 1-ranked offense, they were the third-best Power Five offense in the past decade, trailing only the 2017 and 2018 Oklahoma Sooners (according to Brett Ciancia and his publication Pick Six Previews). Stroud led all DI QB's in touchdowns, yards per game, completion percentage and QB rating.

And yet, it wasn't enough to overcome Ohio State's defensive inefficiencies and the Buckeyes ultimately fell short of reaching the College Football Playoff.

Nothing about the offense last year was "broken." Since Ryan Day came to Columbus, the offense has achieved at truly historic levels. But if there was ever any knock against them during last year's unbelievable season: perhaps there were times where they wanted to run the ball, and they couldn't.

That has nothing to do with a lack of talent in the running back room, that's for sure. It is probably more a condemnation of having an offensive line that lacked true "guards" ... and you can bet having better balance on offense has been a point of emphasis as the Scarlet and Gray get ready to build toward a CFP berth in 2022.

We had a chance to visit with Tony Alford and his exceptionally talented group of running backs on Friday morning after Ohio State's second practice of the fall. You can watch what Tony had to say about his group below.

My biggest takeaways from Alford's comments: he absolutely loves this group of guys, he's excited by their approach to the game, he loves the competition they present for each other and he doesn't want to have much separation between any of them.

It's easy to feel how genuine his passion is for his players and his success on the recruiting trail speaks for itself. Alford leans so heavily on building relationships with young men that want to compete. Unfortunately, there are a lot of distractions nowadays that make it difficult to discern which players are desperate to play football at a high level from the ones that are more interested in being seen as football players.

There's a huge difference there, and Alford has been as good as anyone at nailing that distinction.

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Make no mistake: Ohio State will go as far as it's defense allows it to this season. But this year's group of running backs - led by TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams - is focused and ready to prove they can give Ryan Day's high-octane offense the balance it needs to win a national title.

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