*extremely recruit voice*
After deep thought and consideration, I’ve decided that this week’s I Got 5 on it won’t focus on Ohio State’s game with Maryland at all. It’s a 42.5 point spread, and Maryland’s lost 149-17 to the three ranked teams they’ve played. Also this stupid Chase Young story just dropped and I have to say something about it. I can’t begin to even pretend that this game will be close even without Young, and quite honestly I don’t want to write a single sentence more about Maryland Football. Please respect my decision; no interviews at this time.
Instead, this week’s I Got 5 on it focuses on four ridiculous things that define how good Ohio State is as they gear up for the final month of the regular season. (Note: I have no idea what I’m going to write for that Rutgers game next week. Yuck.)
Anyway, here’s what I think about the Young situation are some fun things about the Buckeyes in 2019
Never talk to the cops
I don’t care if Chase Young took a loan from a family friend. I don’t care if he paid it back. I don’t care if ANY of these college athletes get paid, Ohio State or otherwise.
I don’t care about arguing it with people who support a broken and archaic system that restricts mostly young black men from earning money. Hopefully we see Chase Young on the field at Ohio State again, but if not, it’s been a hell of a ride.
Ohio State is dumb as hell for playing ball with the NCAA. Deny everything and never give an inch to these cretins and you'll win.— Peter Berkes (@peterberkes) November 8, 2019
With out of the way, let’s talk about Master Teague. Lost in J.K. Dobbins’ march towards one of the greatest running back seasons in school history is Teague’s legitimate shot at 1,000 yards rushing:
His current pace of just over 73 yards per game would give him 882 through the 12-game regular season, with at least one postseason game to play. There’s no reason for Dobbins to get a ton of carries until the Penn State game, so the next two weeks are really Teague’s time to shine.
It’s also a testament to how bad Ohio State’s been dusting opponents that the clear-cut backup may run for 1,000 yards. It’d be one thing if this was a Dobbins/Mike Weber arrangement, but it’s not. Teague gets a few carries early on, but most of his damage is with the second team. He probably won’t get more than 5 carries each in the Penn State/Michigan games, so if he’s going to have a shot at 1,000 he’s gotta have a big day tomorrow.
Just for fun, here’s how he stacks up against teams with the fewest rushing yards this season:
7 yards and a cloud of dust
Let’s expand on Teague and the run game a bit more. When Ryan Day took over, there was a lot of speculation about whether he’d stay true to the Ohio State tradition™ of running the damn ball. Would the ground-and-pound style Ohio State’s preferred for pretty much all of program history be sacrificed for last year’s flavor that shredded Michigan, but also threw 73 times against Purdue? It was a fair question to ask. Eight months later, Ohio State is running the ball as well as they ever have.
Day, his staff, and their players have unlocked a new level this run game hasn’t seen since the 2013/14 seasons. (And we don’t need to talk about the quiet truth that Urban Meyer’s run game got worse every season after that) Here are some facts to put it in perspective:
- 125 yards rushing tomorrow will give them more than they had in 14 games last season.
- Only seven teams are ahead of them in total rushing. Two are option teams, five have played one more game than Ohio State, and one is coached by Steve Addazio, who maybe hates throwing more than Tim Beck against a nine-man box.
- They’re averaging 20 more rushing yards per game than the 2014 team (284 to 264)
- Dobbins is on pace for over 1,800 yards, which put him in pretty good company:
- They’re doing all this with a first-time head coach, a relatively inexperienced offensive line, and without relying on the dual-threat quarterback who could probably run for 1,300 yards if they wanted to use him that way.
Long story short: Through eight games, this is one of the best rushing attacks in program history.
What a difference a year makes
Ohio State opponents have started 21 offensive non-garbage drives from at or inside their own 20-yard line against the Buckeyes this year. Results of those drives:— Brian Fremeau (@bcfremeau) November 6, 2019
13 three-and-outs or worse
1 missed field goal
In last year’s game alone, Maryland had 14 points on drives that started at or inside their own 20-yard line. I wonder what changed.
What a difference, part two
First of all, the defense has only given up six touchdowns all season. That’s absurd. If that’s not crazy enough for you, four of those have been when Ohio State’s led by 25-plus - basically garbage time. For reference, last year’s defense gave up 7 touchdowns to both Purdue and Maryland.
Can they keep it up if Young’s out for an extended period of time? Probably not to that level, but make no mistake - this defense is legitimately great. Playing without the best player in the country obviously isn’t ideal, but the defensive improvement is more than just him wrecking offensive lines. Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, and Jonathon Cooper have to step up, and I think they will. Playing Maryland and Rutgers while this all sorts out is the good news, and right now we can only hope for the best with Penn State and Michigan looming.
That’s it for this week’s I Got 5 on it. Free Chase Young.