“Martell, of course, is the opposite: Quick, elusive and dangerous when he gets in the open field. But it’s the fact that they both bring something different that makes it intriguing to consider them both playing next fall for the Buckeyes.”
Ohio State has experience with using a two-quarterback system, although the results weren’t quite as successful as many had hoped. With Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes struggled to maintain momentum and find any sort of rhythm offensively in 2015. But Urban Meyer has done this in the past to perfection, in 2006 when he had Chris Leak and Tim Tebow rotating and playing in certain situations. That year, Florida won the national championship. Now, heading into 2018, J.T. Barrett is no longer on the roster which means the starting quarterback position is up for grabs.
The current favorite, Dwayne Haskins, has a strong arm and is generally a pro-style quarterback. Tate Martell is an explosion waiting to happen, and can attack with both his legs and his arm. Haskins proved what he’s capable of against Michigan when Barrett went down with an injury, and some were even calling for him to start the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin. But Martell’s versatility is attractive, and the coaching staff won’t want to waste his talents on the bench.
Could there be another two-quarterback system at Ohio State?
“When was anyone blown away this season by OSU’s offensive creativity? There were moments of inspired play, such as the comeback against Penn State, but mostly the Buckeyes beat up on the likes of UNLV by outsprinting them.”
Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch had some thoughts on Ohio State’s offense from the 2017 season and the Cotton Bowl against USC. Simply put, it lacked creativity. Of course, the question also has to be asked, how much of it was Kevin Wilson versus Urban Meyer? Or perhaps, having J.T. Barrett at quarterback limited what Wilson felt like the offense could accomplish. Meyer has always tried to create the offense best suited for his star players, so maybe Barrett’s skill set somewhat restricted what the offense could do as a whole unit.
But still, Oller criticizes the offense and it’s hard not to agree. For a team that expects to make the College Football Playoff each season, it’s tough when the defense is carrying the team to victories and the offense isn’t putting much out there. Entering 2018, Wilson will have a new quarterback to work with and it will be worth watching to see if anything changes in schemes or not.
“This might go hand in hand with the first point, but Ohio State needs to do a better job of letting its offense go out there and win the game. Whether that means giving the ball to the running backs or letting the quarterback sling it, something other than ‘run the quarterback’ needs to move to the forefront of the offensive philosophy in big games.”
After missing the College Football Playoff in 2017, Ohio State’s victory over USC in the Cotton Bowl impressed, and now the Buckeyes already have to be thinking about what’s possible in 2018. Urban Meyer’s squad is sure to be ranked fairly high to start off next season, with plenty of firepower returning including Nick Bosa, J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, and Dwayne Haskins. Ryan Ginn had a few other points on how the Buckeyes can get back to the College Football Playoff next season.
The first point was to be aggressive, as Ohio State the past two seasons haven’t exactly been going for the throat when possible. The second point was to trust the offense in big games as you can see above. The final point is to stay disciplined. This was a huge problem in 2017, surprisingly. Both in special teams (which were a disaster for a large portion of the season) and the abysmal rate of penalties that Ohio State accrued over the course of games.