“Northwestern’s zone defense should bend to Haskins’ will, but it shouldn’t allow OSU receivers to race free across the middle, trailed by man coverage. That’s what happened against Michigan. This will be more of the pinpoint Haskins passing attack, finding windows in a zone.”
- Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland dot com
Not a ton has been made of Northwestern’s unique defensive schemes this week, and I think this piece from Cleveland dot come does a good job of just that. Northwestern is a primarily zone team, and while Ohio State has played a few of those this year (Minnesota being the most zone heavy team), it’s a relatively rare look in the Big Ten right now.
That means that Dwayne Haskins hasn’t seen a ton of the look either, although his quotes in the original piece seem to indicate that he’s more than confident in his ability to beat a zone. The history seems to back that up too, as Haskins went for 412 yards and three scores against Minnesota on 33-44 passing, and 455 yards and six scores on 33-44 against another zone heavy team in Indiana.
Obviously Northwestern is more talented than either of those teams, but Ohio State has elite wide receivers and one of the best quarterbacks in the country. If the line holds up and the rushing attack is at least decent, Dwayne could be on his way to a Heisman caliber performance.
“Haskins already has joined elite company as the winner of the 2018 Chicago Tribune Silver Football, first awarded to Illinois’ Red Grange in 1924.”
- Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
As expected, Dwayne Haskins won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award today, given to the best player in the Big Ten each year. Haskins is the third straight full-time Ohio State quarterback (save for Cardale Jones, given his strange circumstances) to win at least one Silver Football, after Braxton Miller won in 2012 and 2013, and J.T. Barrett won in 2016.
Unfortunately this will likely be the only Silver Football Dwayne Haskins wins, as he’s expected to head to the NFL after this year, but his excellent season will likely forever be commemorated in Ohio State’s record books. With at least two games left to go, Dwayne can extend his single season records in passing yards (4,081) passing touchdowns (42), total offensive yards (4,130) and could break the single season total touchdowns record set by J.T. Barrett of 47. Haskins sits at 46 right now.
“Chris Holtmann says that freshman guard Luther Muhammad is shoulder dislocation. He’s been evaluated, tested, MRI, and he’s out indefinitely. No timetable for return.”
- Adam Jardy, Columbus Dispatch
After an excellent start to the season, Ohio State’s game against Syracuse really couldn’t have gone worse for the Buckeyes. On top of a 72-62 loss, the Buckeyes shot just 32 percent from the field, 27 percent from three, and worst of all, saw starting guard Luther Muhammad go down with an injury.
Today, we learned the severity of that injury (kinda), as Chris Holtmann announced that Muhammad had sustained a shoulder dislocation and would be out indefinitely. The general medical prognostication for a shoulder dislocation recovery is 12 to 16 weeks, which would mean Luther won’t see the court again until mid to late February at the earliest, which would be late in Big Ten play.
Given that Muhammad is an elite athlete with top notch care at Ohio State, that estimate can probably drop a couple weeks, meaning we may see Luther back closer to the beginning of February, or even the back end of January. In his place, it’s safe to assume that Ohio State will slot in either Duane Washington or Keyshawn Woods, the two guards first off the bench.
Muhammad was averaging 8.9 points on 49% shooting from the field, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists per game. Perhaps more importantly, he was pretty easily Ohio State’s best guard defender, and was huge in shutting down players like Cincinnati’s Cane Broome, Purdue Fort Wayne’s John Konchar and more star guards.
Buckeyes in the NFL
We may have had the most Buckeye-centric NFL matchup of all time last night in the Saints-Cowboys matchup. A whopping seven Buckeyes had significant impact on the game. The best of the bunch was probably Marshon Lattimore, who had ten tackles, a fumble recovery, and played lockdown coverage all night long.
Alongside him, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell and Kurt Coleman combined for 16 tackles and held Dak Prescott to 248 yards passing on the day. Offensively, Ezekiel Elliott picked up 76 yards on 23 carries, 60 yards on six receptions, and a score in the air. Michael Thomas led the Saints passing attack with five catches for 40 yards as the Cowboys won, 13-10.