FootballScoop is proud to announce that Tom Herman (Ohio State) is the 2014 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
To tell the story of Ohio State's 2014 season, we've got to start at the end.
After losing Heisman Trophy candidate J.T. Barrett for the season to a broken ankle in the second half of the Michigan game, Herman had six days to prepare sophomore Cardale Jones - a third-stringer four months prior with 19 career passes to his credit - for the Big Ten championship with the Buckeyes' College Football Playoff hopes hinging on his performance. Jones played like a seasoned veteran, hitting 12-of-17 passes for 257 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 59-0 win over Wisconsin, a team that ranked second and third in total and scoring defense entering the game.
It was that kind of season for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes produced no matter who touched the ball. After losing Heisman favorite Braxton Miller for the year two weeks before the opener, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett ranked third nationally in passing efficiency after hitting 64.6 percent of his throws for nine yards an attempt with a school-record 34 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Barrett also rushed 171 times for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns, third among all non-triple option quarterbacks. In all, his 3,772 yards of total offense and 45 touchdowns responsible for both set new single-season records at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes' offense was much more than just the quarterback, though. Ohio State ranked 11th nationally in rushing (260.7 yards per game), 10th in yards per carry (5.78) and tied for 14th in rushing touchdowns (13). The Buckeyes are one of two teams (Georgia Tech being the other) to rank among the top 10 nationally in yards per carry and yards per attempt.
Overshadowed by a plethora of high-volume backs in the Big Ten, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 1,402 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 217 carries, third college football's deepest conference in yards per carry for all players with at least 200 rushes. Wide receiver Devin Smith was college football's most efficient receiver, producing 799 yards on his 30 catches (26.63 yards per reception, second nationally and at 800 yards on his 30 catches he'd have led the country) and 11 touchdowns which, at a touchdown every 2.7 receptions easily led the nation for all players with double-digit touchdown grabs.
Overall, Ohio State placed eighth in total offense (507.6 yards per game), fifth in yards per play (7.04) and fourth in scoring (45.2 points per game).
Barrett was named the Big Ten's Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, and four players earned first- or second-team All-Big Ten honors.
“Tom Herman is an excellent coach,” Urban Meyer said after Ohio State's Big Ten championship defeat of Wisconsin. “His unit the first year was very average. I talk about we got a Player of the Year in the Big Ten (in 2013 winner Braxton Miller), but as a unit they weren't very strong. Now it's one of the strongest units on the team. He's done a marvelous job.”
This fall marked Herman's third season on Meyer's staff, who spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Iowa State before joining Meyer in Columbus. The pair is 36-3 together and a perfect 24-0 in regular season Big Ten play, the best run in Ohio State history. Born in Cincinnati and raised in Simi Valley, Calif., Herman graduated from Cal Lutheran in 1997 and served two seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas and worked as a full-time assistant at Sam Houston State, Texas State and Rice before landing at Iowa State in 2009.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Bill Legg [Marshall], Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie [TCU], Doug Ruse [Georgia Southern] and Herman) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Herman will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Offensive Coordinator of the Year award are Kevin Wilson (Oklahoma, 2008), Bryan Harsin (Boise State, 2009), Gus Malzahn (Auburn, 2010), Kliff Kingsbury (Houston, 2011 and Texas A&M, 2012) and Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2013).
4th Nationally - Scoring Offense
6th Nationally - Plays of 10+ Yards
5th Nationally - Yards Per Play
2nd Nationally - Passing Efficiency
8th Nationally - Total Offense
10th Nationally - Yards Per Carry
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