“We’ll fight hard to get him going. He’s been great, and going forward, yeah, we’ve got to get him carries. Go to. But I don’t think we can force it either. We can’t be stubborn about it. But he’s a special player, special kid, and we’re not trying to take the air out of his ball.”
-Ohio State offensive coordinator on running back J.K. Dobbins via Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
After Ohio State losses there seems to be a common theme: The running backs don’t get the ball enough. It happened following the 2015 loss to Michigan State when Ezekiel Elliott didn’t get enough carries. Last year after the Penn State loss when Curtis Samuel was largely invisible. Now after Saturday’s loss to Iowa, it is inexcusable J.K. Dobbins only carried the football six times.
Would Ohio State have beaten Iowa had Dobbins saw more than six carries? Unlikely, since Iowa played so well, but it could have at least given the Buckeyes a better shot at keeping the game close. Among freshmen, Dobbins is currently leading the nation with 7.7 yards per carry, making him a threat to take it to the house on every carry.
Some of the reasoning why Dobbins has seen just 19 carries over the past two weeks is because of the style Ohio State plays on offense. With the run-pass option, sometimes defenses key-in on Dobbins, which leaves quarterback J.T. Barrett to think the better option is for him to keep the football. Even with defenses trying to take Dobbins away, at some point you have to trust the youngster to use his elusiveness to make a play.
There isn’t just one person who can be blamed for why Dobbins isn’t getting the football enough. Everyone from Kevin Wilson to running backs coach Tony Alford, to Barrett have a part in this. With the dreams of a College Football Playoff gone, Ohio State should let Dobbins shoulder more of the load the rest of the season, to see what they have in the running back going forward.
“After you force as many turnovers as we did last year, teams are going to make sure they’re securing the ball. They’re going to make that an emphasis.”
Last year it seemed like whenever Ohio State needed a big play on defense they were able to force a turnover. A big reason why the Buckeyes have struggled more on defense this year is that they haven’t been able to force a fumble or interception when needed. This year Ohio State has forced seven interceptions and recovered six fumbles. Through nine games last year, Ohio State had 14 interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
One of the biggest reasons turnovers are down for the Ohio State defense this year is because they don’t have players like Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, and Marshon Lattimore in the secondary. Hooker’s range and ball skills are rarely seen in the college game, which helped to inflate the turnover numbers. Hooker had three touchdowns on interceptions last year, while this year Ohio State hasn’t returned a single interception for a touchdown, yet.
While head coach Urban Meyer wants the Ohio State defense to recognize they need to force more turnovers, he also doesn’t want his defense to press for them. If the Buckeyes start trying to force more turnovers, they might start missing tackles and allowing even more big plays. Ohio State has the talent to start forcing more turnovers, and this week against a tough Michigan State team, would be a good place to start.
“The first time I put on the Buckeye uniform, it was a little different. I think that’s when it really hit that I was actually an Ohio State Buckeye.”
There have been plenty of changes in the Ohio State basketball program as the Buckeyes get ready to tip off their regular season tomorrow, but one of the most noticeable changes has been the transfer of Andrew Dakich into the Ohio State program. The reason why Dakich’s move as a graduate transfer to Columbus has been highlighted is because of where he came from.
Dakich was a walk-on at Michigan, but didn’t see a whole lot of time on the court as a member of the Maize and Blue. The son of ESPN announcer Dan Dakich saw the height of his playing time in Ann Arbor come during the 2014-15 season, when he averaged 5.8 minutes per game. Last year, Dakich redshirted so he would be able to preserve his graduate transfer status.
Originally Dakich was considering a transfer to Butler, but when head coach Chris Holtmann moved to Ohio State to take over as head coach following the dismissal of Thad Matta, Dakich decided Columbus was the place for him. Huge minutes aren’t expected for the guard this year, but his veteran leadership should help immensely on a team that is trying to find its footing under their new head coach.
The best part of Dakich moving to Ohio State, it forced him to clean out his closet of all that ugly Michigan gear.
“You know, Adolphus has gotten better. We’re improving in that area, and you just got to remember he’s coming off a year last year where he was a rookie. Now he’s into his second year and I’ve seen the arrow moving in the right direction at this point.”
-Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott on former Ohio State defensive tackle Adolphus Washington via Sal Maiorana, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
After an offseason where Adolphus Washington faced some turmoil following a July arrest on a weapons charge, the former Ohio State defensive tackle is finding his way in his second season in the NFL. Washington was acquitted of the weapons charge in late August, and is having a strong season for the improving Buffalo Bills.
Last year Washington was drafted in the third round by the Bills, but he knew he wasn’t going to see a lot of early playing time with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus ahead of him on the depth chart. With Williams heading into the later stages of his career, and Dareus recently having been traded to Jacksonville, Washington has had a lot of faith placed in him by the Bills.
Under the tutelage of Williams, as well as longtime NFL defensive line coach Mike Waufle, Washington is realizing the potential that led the Bills to take him in last season’s draft. Waufle was able to correct an issue Washington had where he wasn’t being physical enough with blockers. Since the change, Washington has been a different player.
Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs in nearly two decades, but at 5-3 they find themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt in the AFC. They are going to need Washington to continue playing at a high level as the Bills are trying to change a losing culture in Buffalo. The addition of a player who played within a culture of winning under Urban Meyer at Ohio State definitely won’t hurt.
STICK TO SPORTS
- I swear BLunch wasn’t the creation of your favorite B-Leez, but you should still check out the Clintonville breakfast/lunch spot.
- A bunch of Ohio State students have been caught cheating using the social media app “GroupMe”.
- There are a few new entries in the Toy Hall of Fame.
- Whisky Me is a subscription service in the U.K. where whisky is sent monthly in Capri Sun-style pouches. Hopefully a U.S. version is on the way soon.
- Some of Walmart’s Black Friday deals have been announced.