What do you get for the offensive coordinator who has everything?
More of everything.
More yards. More points. More yards that score points. Whatever can fit on a wish list.
Except Brian Hartline’s wish list is more of a check list. This is Ohio State, after all. Offensive weapons grow on (Buckeye) trees.
Hartline is Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator, replacing Kevin Wilson who left to take over the Tulsa football program. This is a Buckeye offense that has been coordinated very well for most of the last decade. To the point that the last time the Buckeyes failed to average 40 points a game over the course of the season, neither Wilson — nor current head coach Ryan Day — were even at Ohio State yet.
Since their arrival in 2017, however, the Buckeyes have routinely had one of the top offenses in the nation. It has become the norm. The expectation. The result of talent and solid offensive coordination.
And now it’s Brian Hartline’s turn to coordinate one of the best offenses in the nation.
What is he specifically looking to improve upon?
“I think that there’s always a level of consistency, you can always continue to chase, I think that’s one thing,” Hartline said. “And we have our ways of doing that. I think at times it probably felt maybe there was a lull here or there when things were going on, even last year, trying to eliminate that. How to do that is what we’re diving into and what we’re trying to get done. That’s probably one thing that we’re looking to enhance.”
Hartline is also getting an opportunity to be the Buckeyes’ play caller, taking over for Ryan Day on the head set. There may be no better way to help an offense improve than by calling the perfect plays.
For Hartline, he already knows where he’d like his impact to be felt the most.
“The amount of explosive plays,” he said. “Let’s continue to be explosive. We have explosive players, we have explosive ideas, but the execution of explosive plays can be enhanced.”
Last year, in their 13 games, the Buckeyes finished with 42 plays from scrimmage of 30 yards or more. That’s the exact same number as the year before, but in 2021, 18 of those plays went for 50 yards, compared to just eight last year.
And over the course of a game, the 2021 offense averaged over three more plays of 10+ yards than last year’s offense.
As Hartline said, there are still yards being left out there despite the talent and awards contenders suiting up every week.
“I think at the end of the day, we’ve been very productive. But I do have a pride that there’s still more meat on that bone,” he said. “And, frankly, we have not accomplished our goals the last few years. So that’s easy to identify. We’ve got to do that. And we’ve got to play our part.”