Meyer Adds a Quarterback Coach to His Staff
By Tony Gerdeman
Editor's Note: After this piece was written and posted it was announced by Ohio State that Tom Herman will act not only as OSU's quarterbacks coach, but also as offensive coordinator.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Associated Press is reporting that Ohio State has hired Iowa State offensive oordinator/quarterback coach Tom Herman to be the new quarterback coach for the Buckeyes. Athletic Director Gene Smith confirmed the hiring to the AP as well.
Herman, 35, was brought to Iowa State in 2009 following two very successful seasons at Rice. A proponent of his own brand of up-tempo spread offenses, he never was able to match the production that his offenses enjoyed at Rice. However, he was still a part of some of the more prolific players in Cyclones' history.
Under his watch, quarterback Austen Arnaud finished his career as the school's second-most productive passer in history (6,777 yards). Also, running back Alexander Robinson left school with the fourth-most career rushing yards with 3,309.
This season Iowa State currently has the 55th-ranked offense in the nation, averaging 181.2 yards rushing and 211.7 yards passing per game.
While those numbers would be a step up for Ohio State in 2012, they aren't likely indicative of what Urban Meyer would like to see from his team in the future.
For that, we might want to go back to 2007 and 2008 when Herman was at Rice. As the team's offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, he took Chase Clement, who threw for 1,707 yards in part-time work as a sophomore, and turned him into one of the most productive quarterbacks of the last decade.
In 2007, Clement threw for 3,377 yards and 29 touchdowns, throwing 16 interceptions in the process. He also rushed for 481 yards.
It took them a while to pick up Herman's offense in his first year, but once they did, they averaged 38.2 points per game over the second half of the 2007 season.
But in 2008, Clement and the Owls' offense went wild on America. Rice finished with the 10th-ranked offense in the nation, averaging 470.9 yards per game. They also had the fifth-ranked passing offense, averaging 327.2 yards through the air per game.
Clement threw for 4,119 yards with 44 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 2008. He also rushed for 693 yards and twelve touchdowns as well.
He threw five or more touchdowns in a game five times, and four times accounted for six or more touchdowns. Rice scored 41.3 points per game that season, good enough to rank eighth in the nation.
How ridiculous was the 2008 Rice offense? The Owls had two receivers with over 1,300 yards receiving—including a tight end.
But they weren't strictly a passing team—they only threw the ball about five times more per game than they ran it. While they only rushed for 1,868 yards for the season, that's more indicative of the talent lacking at running back than any actual aversion to running the ball with authority. In fact, their best power runner was the aforementioned tight end, James Casey, who ran the ball from the wildcat over 50 times.
One would think that a running back stable like Ohio State will be able provide could make Herman's quarterbacks even more dangerous.
Prior to coaching at Rice, he spent two seasons at Texas State, and before that he spent four years as an assistant at Sam Houston State.
Herman's first experience with big-time college football came in 1999 when he landed a graduate assistant spot at the University of Texas. He spent another year there before heading off for Sam Houston State.
Of note, Tim Brewster was also at Texas the same time Herman was. With rumors of Brewster being a candidate for an assistant coach's job on Meyer's staff, did the former Gopher head coach get into Meyer's ear about his old colleague?
Herman's offensive philosophy fits in flawlessly with Meyer's, as both want their quarterbacks putting as much pressure on a defense as humanly possible.
While it remains to be seen how much impact and input Herman will have with the offense as a whole, it is clear that he has experience directing an offense that meshes with Meyer's own intentions.
Of course, he never would have been hired if it didn't.
Per Gene Smith, Herman will stay with Iowa State through their bowl game.
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