clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You’re Nuts: What ridiculous statistical achievement will a Buckeye hit this season?

Your (almost) daily dose of good-natured, Ohio State banter.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.

In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.

Today’s Question: What ridiculous statistical achievement will a Buckeye hit this season?

Jami’s Take: Miyan Williams will have 6 rushing TDs in a single game

Miyan Williams, people. Talk about someone who has seized the moment.

When starter TreVeyon Henderson missed the Rutgers game with an injury, the third-year Williams stepped in as starter and stepped up in a big way. Williams netted 5 touchdowns in a single game, tying an Ohio State record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game.

The feat – first accomplished by Pete Johnson in 1974 – hadn’t been matched since 1984, when Keith Byars recorded five rushing TDs against Illinois. The last time an OSU running back ran for four touchdowns in a single game was J.K. Dobbins in 2019.

Prior to the game against the Scarlet Knights, Williams’ previous best was two touchdowns in a single game. But I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Williams yet, and by way of insane records, I predict that by season end, Williams will net six rushing touchdowns in a single game to stand alone with the school record.

I’m not entirely sure the NCAA record (8 touchdowns, recorded by Howard Griffith of Illinois in 1990, and last tied by Buffalo Bulls RB Jaret Patterson in 2020) is beatable at this point in the season, with conference play well underway.

But that school record looms, it is insane, and Williams will be the one to top it.

While Williams didn’t travel to East Lansing for last week’s game against Michigan State due to an injury of his own, he is expected to return in two weeks against Iowa. Henderson, for his part, left the MSU game early due to another injury.

The door is open for Williams to go off … again.

Let’s just take a moment to think about how absolutely insane six touchdowns in a single game would be (let’s be honest – five is already pretty insane).

And because it’s insane, I don’t think the record will come against Iowa. While the Buckeyes are coming off a bye and Williams should be well-rested, he’s still coming back from that injury, and I think the Hawkeyes might be just a tad too good for six TDs.

Rather – and as a native Chicagoan, this pains me to say – he’ll net those six rushing touchdowns against Northwestern when the Buckeyes head to Evanston on November 5.

I have a soft spot for Northwestern, but Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats haven’t won a game since their season opener against Nebraska. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes will hopefully be coming in hot off a win in Happy Valley (touch wood), setting up Williams with the extra boost he’ll need to repeat his feat and then some.

Williams isn’t the only Buckeye having a record year. Quarterback C.J. Stroud surely could take top spot in the record books in many areas, and he’s giving us a Heisman-worthy season. But the thing about Williams is that I don’t know that many of us saw him coming as a record-breaker this season.

And for that reason, I’d love to see his name get plastered in a standalone spot in the Ohio State record books.

Matt’s Take: C.J. Stroud will throw for 60 touchdowns

Dwayne Haskins set the Ohio State single-season passing touchdowns record in 2018 with 50. At the time, that was 15 more than have ever been thrown by a Buckeye quarterback. Since then, Justin Fields threw 41 in 2019 and C.J. Stroud threw 44 last season. This year, in a season that OSU’s current quarterback is dedicating to the late, great record holder, Stroud will smash the current record by throwing for 60 scores.

And before you tell me that this is ludicrous, Stroud currently has 24 touchdowns in his first six games this season. That comes out to an average of four passing scores per game; which, if you extrapolate that out to nine more games (assuming the Buckeyes make the College Football Playoff Championship Game), that would be exactly 60 TDs.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Ohio State’s strength of schedule has been pretty bad this season, so certainly it will be harder for Stroud to keep up this pace.”

Maybe, maybe not. According to Phil Steele, the Buckeyes currently have the 14th toughest schedule faced through the first six weeks of the college football season, and yet he’s still managed to put up 24 scores, even though he hasn’t played a ton in the third and fourth quarters of games.

So, I will concede that upcoming defenses — Iowa, Penn State, TTUN, presumably postseason opponents — will present more of a challenge than some faced thus far, but I would also imagine that Stroud will play deeper into those games and Ryan Day will be less likely to be worried about running up the score against more formidable foes.

Let’s not forget either that the best wide receiver in the country, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, should return to the WR rotation next week against Iowa. If opposing defenses were already struggling to contain Stroud and the passing game, imagine what could happen with JSN back wreaking havoc across the field.

Admittedly, OSU’s six remaining conference opponents haven’t exactly given up a ton of scores through the air, but I feel pretty confident that Stroud and his cadre of pass-catchers will be able to exceed these averages:

Opponents Passing TDs Allowed

Opponent Average TD Passes Allowed Per Game
Opponent Average TD Passes Allowed Per Game
Iowa 0.5
Penn State 1
Northwestern 2.17
Indiana 2.7
Maryland 1.8
TTUN 0.83

If Stroud just does these averages, that would give him nine more touchdowns (honestly, he’ll have that before the Indiana game), but that would put him at 33 with potentially three games left on the season. That total alone would put him sixth all-time in OSU history. But, if we say that on average, Stroud is 3 times better than those averages, that would give him a total of 51 passing touchdowns on the regular season.

From there, he would need just nine touchdowns in three games, or (for those that need a calculator for advanced statistics, like me) three per contest. I think that is more than doable, especially considering that he probably won’t be shutting it down as early in games as he has been in the first half of the season.


Who has the right answer to today’s question?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Jami: Miyan Williams- 6 TDs in a game
    (19 votes)
  • 88%
    Matt: C.J. Stroud- 60 passing TDs
    (147 votes)
166 votes total Vote Now