COLUMBUS – Ohio State’s offense has been highly productive all season, but in the last two games it has been historic.
With 640 total yards in a 56-0 win over Purdue on Saturday after gaining 686 yards in a 63-14 win over Penn State a week earlier, OSU has gained more yards in a two-game span than at any other time in its football history.
The only other time an Ohio State team rolled out back-to-back 600-yard games was in 1996 when it gained 632 yards in a 70-7 win over Rice and followed that with 602 yards in a 72-0 win over Pitt.
“We’ve got a real focused team right now, and it’s really special. Coach (Urban) Meyer talked about it all week,” tight end Jeff Heuerman said after the win over Purdue. “When a team is playing with a purpose and with such focus, it’s a hard team to beat. I think that’s where we are right now.”
The recent offensive outbursts have come with the return of Braxton Miller to good health and the return of tailback Carlos Hyde to the level he was playing on last year before he served a three-game suspension to start this season.
Miller matched his career high with four touchdown passes and completed 19 of 23 passes against Purdue. And two of those misses were passes he deliberately threw away and another was a ball that Dontre Wilson caught but was out of bounds when he made the catch.
In the last three games, Miller has completed 79 percent of his passes.
Hyde rushed for 111 yards on only eight carries against the Boilermakers. It was his fourth consecutive 100-yard game.
But those two are far from the only contributors. The receivers, led by Corey Brown and Devin Smith, and the offensive line have delivered consistently strong efforts and Heuerman had the biggest day by an Ohio State tight end in the last 30 years in the win over Purdue.
“I feel like at any minute something explosive will happen,” Hyde said. “We have so many guys who can make big plays. When you’re out there, you just patiently wait your turn. Pretty soon Coach is going to call your number and when he does, you have to make a play.
“We’re just playing Ohio State ball,” Hyde said. “I expect this out of the offensive group. Just come out and be explosive all day and put points up and put up yards. That’s what I expect from us.”
The only place Ohio State’s offense will be seen this week is on the practice field. The Buckeyes have their second bye week on their schedule and don’t play again until a Nov. 16 game at Illinois.
Meyer said taking a week off when his team is on a roll offensively and defensively is not a concern.
“We can’t control all that. I think it’s a great time for the bye week. You know why? Because that’s when it is. We’ll just take a positive approach toward it,” he said. “It will be a very intense bye week because we have to come back faster and stronger than we were before the bye week.”
The bye week also offers some interesting matchups for some of OSU’s competitors in the BCS rankings.
On Thursday, Oregon will play at Stanford and Baylor will be at home against Oklahoma. On Saturday, Alabama will play at home against LSU.