clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TCU’s Shawn Robinson will force Ohio State’s linebackers to step up their game

Also, Dwayne Haskins is a major Heisman contender, no matter what PFF says.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Southern Methodist Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

“TCU’s Shawn Robinson will be the best dual-threat quarterback the Buckeyes have faced since?”

-Bill Landis,

In addition to the profile that our own Geoff Hammersley did yesterday, Landis has a nice crash-course on the starting quarterback that the Buckeyes will be facing on Saturday. Robinson is a better dual-threat QB than OSU is used to seeing in the Big Ten, however, it’s not as if they have never been up against a running quarterback before; I mean the defense has practiced against J.T. Barrett and Tate Martell for the past four-plus seasons.

The Buckeye defense was gashed in their 77-31 Week 1 win over Oregon State on seven plays where running backs and wide receivers got in space and were able to simply out run the linebackers and defensive backs. Against Rutgers, the return of safety Jordan Fuller seemed to solidify the secondary, but it was Rutgers.

However, let’s assume that having the junior captain back and healthy leading the DBs will get them at least close to where we are used to seeing the secondary perform. If that’s true, then the one major question left for the Buckeye defense is the linebackers. The OSU defensive line is arguably the best in the country, but the LBs have been suspect at best dating back to last season.

Robinson is more of a scrambler than a designed-runner, so if he is able to elude the pass rush from Nick Bosa, Chase Young, and company, it will be incumbent on the linebackers to keep the talented QB in front of them, preventing the big play.

If that becomes an issue (and perhaps even before), defensive coordinator Greg Schiano might put a spy on Robinson. That would be much easier to do if Tuf Borland is about to break free of his “pitch count” and can be a regular contributor on the second level.

Otherwise, the rotation could be a little thin to dedicate someone to shadow the elusive quarterback, but if Borland is back and able to chase Robinson around, that could eventually prove to be the difference in the game.

I understand that the Buckeyes haven’t exactly played the best competition in the world in the first two games of 2018 season, but to not have Dwayne Haskins on this list is just silly. I know that Pro Football Focus has their own methodology for grading players, and I generally like and appreciate their data-driven approach to evaluation. But, in the words of another former Buckeye, “Come on, man!”

The Buckeye quarterback is currently fourth nationally in QB Rating and third in completion percentage. Admittedly, he’s barely played into the second half in the first two games of the season, but given what we have seen thus far, and the weapons that he clearly has at his disposal, Haskins is undoubtedly a Hesiman contender, and, should he look impressive in a win over TCU on Saturday, he could vault to the top of PFF and Vegas’ lists.

“Texas A&M is now college football’s most valuable program... Ohio State rounds out the top five with $120 million in average annual football revenue.”

-Chris Smith, Forbes

I am very glad that Ohio State’s football program is profitable. I am grateful that those profits are able to fund the existence of non-revenue generating sports. And, I am grateful that because of the football program’s profitability that the athletic department is able to contribute monies back to the university’s coffers.

However, it is a startling number when you consider how much comes in on the effort of the players. I understand the difficulties of paying players a traditional salary, and don’t think that I would advocate for that if the NCAA asked me to fix their ridiculously flawed system. However, in my mind there is no doubt that players should be compensated better than they currently are, and that they should have far more leeway to financially benefit from their name and talents, just as their universities do.

So, while I am not beating the drum that OSU’s football profits should be directly turned over to the players, I do believe that these types of statistics underlines just how much their players are being taken advantage of.

Look, I’m not going to say that Baker Mayfield trying to plant a flag in the artificial turf of Ohio Stadium will directly lead the Ohio State football team to winning a national championship this season; but I’m also not going to rule it out. After all, he is playing for Ohio’s favorite pro football team, so it would provide a satisfying bit of symmetry.

Students, this should be a really fun team to watch and enjoy. If you haven’t gotten your season tickets yet, you probably should. This team might not be as talented as last year’s, but Chris Holtmann is in the early stages of building an incredible program, and this should be another exciting step towards that direction.

More than 10 million people are under hurricane warnings or watches in the Carolinas and Virginia, and with the projections now taking the storm farther south, the entire state of Georgia has been issued a state of emergency. College football is really important, but not life and death important. So, it’s nice to see schools being proactive to move, reschedule, or cancel games.

Yes, it very well could cause a lot of headaches for coaches and administrators down the road, but there’s no reason to keep a game on the schedule, preventing not only players and coaches, but everyone who would have to be on hand for a game— from athletic department staff to concessionaires—, to delay making evacuation plans for a game.

Not to mention that as the storm progresses, there’s no reason to have police and other emergency responders still worrying about if they’re going to have to show up to work a football game on Saturday.

So, for everyone on the coast and in the path of Hurricane Florence, be safe and evacuate if local officials have recommended it.