“When the ball’s in the air, (Austin Mack) thinks it’s his, and he goes out there and has that dog in him, a Michael Thomas type of feel. So with that, I think he’s headed in the right direction.”
- J.T. Barrett via Tim Bielik, cleveland.com
Austin Mack lit up the Horseshoe with his high-flying, 31-yard reception against Oklahoma two Saturdays ago. Unfortunately, the ensuing fall resulted in a concussion that kept him out of the rest of the game. The following week against Army, he scored his first career TD on a comeback route from Barrett.
At 6’2, Mack is not the tallest receiver that the Buckeyes have, but thus far in 2017, he has proven to be a reliable receiver in a sea of Zone6 underachievement. His numbers aren’t extraordinary at this point (six receptions for 81 yards), but with the big play ability that we’ve already seen from him, and Barrett comparing him to the Buckeyes’ most recent stud WR, there is reason to believe that as the season progresses Mack will become the go-to option for Barrett on the outside.
There is no doubt that there have been more than anticipated growing pains in adapting OSU’s offense to fit new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s version. However, if H-back Parris Campbell (currently the team’s leading receiver) and hybrid K.J. Hill are able to stretch the field horizontally, and J.K. Dobbins is able to keep the front-seven honest, Mack has the ability to emerge as the deep-threat that the offense has desperately needed since 2014.
For the first time ever, some Rebels from Vegas are runnin' into Columbus.@BTNTomDienhart previews the @OhioStateFB matchup: pic.twitter.com/GsMK4OGut3— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 20, 2017
In the short video clip, Dienhart said that one of the things that the Buckeyes need to do on Saturday is to continue to feed the freshman phenom, J.K. Dobbins.
This seemed to be echoed by Ohio State Sports Information Director, Jerry Emig, who tweeted out that Dobbins’ 13.2 yards per carry average against Army was the second highest in school history for a rusher with 10 or more carries. The only single-game performance to eclipse Dobbins was Ron Springs’ effort against Purdue in 1977, when he wracked up 151 yards on 10 carries (I’ll let you do the math for this one on your own).
Though we heard rumblings about his excellent off-season performance before the season started, I doubt that anyone amongst us would have predicted that he would be getting legit Heisman odds three games into his college career.
Nonetheless, he has emerged as the Buckeyes’ most effective weapon in the early going of 2017. While OSU could probably beat UNLV (who has only had one winning season since 2000) with any of their stable of running backs, down the stretch the explosive nature of Dobbins’ game will be incredibly important.
"A lot of things, from basketball to the alumni base that can take care of you after basketball," he said. "So much opportunity up there."
- Jaedon LeDee via Jeff Borzello, ESPN.com
With much of Buckeye nation focused on the trials and tribulations of the football team, it is easy to have overlooked yesterday’s basketball commitment or what it could mean for the basketball Buckeyes. However, as Borzello points out in his piece, LeDee is the first step for new head coach Chris Holtmann to rebuild the program in his image, after three big-time recruits decommitted following the firing of Thad Matta.
With four-star, top-100 forward LeDee now onboard, and three-star point guard Duane Washington announcing his commitment today, according to Borzello, Holtmann is focusing on the backcourt, “with ESPN 100 guards Elijah Weaver, Luther Muhammad, Andrew Nembhard and Will Richardson among its main targets.”
STICK TO SPORTS
- North Korea is scary, but here’s the answers to nine questions, you’re too embarrassed to ask!
- Dude steals rare comic books from a stoop, then tries to sell them around the corner.
- How did “American Gothic” (the painting with the farmers), become iconic?
- Everything you need to know about buying the perfect running shoes.
- The Rise and fall of Cirque du Soleil on Broadway.