Every day for the entirety of the Ohio State football season, we will be asking and answering questions about the team, college football, and anything else on our collective minds of varying degrees of importance. If you have a question that you would like to ask, you can tweet us @LandGrant33 or if you need more than 280 characters, send an email HERE.
The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes are in East Lansing, Mich. today for their first road test of the season as they square off with the Spartans of Michigan State. Not only is today’s game their first trip away from the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium, but it will also be their last game before getting a week off.
So, we wanted to check in with OSU fans to see how they were feeling about some hot-button questions surrounding the program about running backs, the bye week, and teams standing between the Buckeyes and a national championship.
Take a look to see what the collective mind of Buckeye Nation had to say about this week’s LGHL Asks questions.
Question 1: Who should be Ohio State’s No. 1 running back if/when everyone is healthy?
In all honesty, I don’t think that who starts at a given position — perhaps except at quarterback — really matters. Every other position on the field has the ability to rotate, so it really comes down to who gets the most snaps over who gets the start.
The actual question on the survey was about who should be the No. 1 running back for the Buckeyes, which I think incorporates more than just who starts the game in the backfield. I personally do not care who starts, but I am on record on multiple occasions saying that I think that Miyan Williams is this team’s RB1.
Not only has he shown the ability to pick up difficult yards after contact, but he also has displayed the ability to run away from defenders as well. However, his best trait, in my opinion, is his ability to be on the field. While I never fault a player for getting hurt in the normal course of football activities, Miyan has been the more reliable of the two backs, so when Ryan Day and Tony Alford call me for our weekly strategy chat, I have been telling them to go with Chop as the No. 1 option.
But, assuming that Henderson eventually returns to his 100% healthy self, there should be no reason not to have both guys featured heavily in the rotation. While they have a ton of overlapping abilities, they each bring something just a little different to the field and — more importantly — the more you are able to balance out the carries, the fresher they will be as the postseason approaches.
So, if I had to choose one over the other, I would very very reluctantly pick Miyan, but I agree with the respondents who went with the survey answer “Stop trying to stir up trouble, they can be a two-headed monster.”
Question 2: What do you want to see most in Ohio State’s last game before its bye week?
To me, this is far and away the most important issue on this team right now. The defensive line getting snaps does not matter all that much to me, especially considering that they are creating pressure and disruptive plays, and the era in which we see a ton of five to seven-step drops in college football is quickly ending.
So, as long as the line is beating their blockers on passing downs, I’m not too worried about their inability to get home. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to see them take down opposing quarterbacks a heck of a lot more often, but I’m not losing sleep over it like I am the corners.
I’m not worried in the least about this offense being able to have both the running and passing games excel in the same game. The fact that from week to week, the Buckeyes can beat opponents on the ground or through the air is incredibly satisfying to watch from a fan’s perspective, especially since the last few years have been most famine when it came to rushing the ball. A lot of Day’s play-calling is dictated by what opposing defenses are giving them, so if teams sell out to stop the pass, OSU should be running more regularly, and vice versa.
And, yes, I would go with getting backups more action as my second option — for its benefits in both this and future seasons — but when you are trying to get the players on your two-deep ready to win conference and national titles, I’m not nearly as worried about that as I would be if they were 3-2 coming into Week 6.
Cornerback, however, is an issue. In addition to having only six scholarship CBs on the roster, and the top three dealing with varying degrees of injuries is not good, especially when the teams that the Buckeyes will need to beat in order to win the College Football Playoff will have the ability to exploit that deficiency.
I said it on our Rutgers “Instant Recap” podcast, but I think that Denzel Burke has played pretty well in coverage this season. However, it’s his ball-skills that have betrayed him in 2022. Coupled with the injury to his right hand, it has not been a good first half to his sophomore season. When you put that on top of the injuries to Cameron Brown and Jordan Hancock and things are looking rough for Tim Walton’s room.
It sounds like the Buckeyes have been cross-training some of the safeties to also play corner in case of an emergency. You never want to have to resort to that, but to be honest, if guys don’t get healthy or step up their game soon, I wouldn’t mind seeing what the young guys like JK Johnson, Jyaire Brown, and Ryan Turner have to offer. And from there, if you want to mix in safeties Cam Martinez or Tanner McCalister for a few possessions at CB, I’d be fine with that too.
Question 3: Which team are you most afraid of derailing OSU’s quest for a national title?
As I said in the article asking these questions, I am not afraid of any non-conference team beating the Buckeyes to stop their run to a national title, because if that happens, that means it is in the playoff, and, at that point, anyone can win.
However, it would absolutely eat me up if a Big Ten team — who is not nearly as talented or as complete as OSU — knocked them off and prevented them from getting a CFP berth. So, I agree with this selection. I don’t think that either the Nits or the Corn and Blue can beat the Buckeyes this year, but that doesn’t mean that the prospect doesn’t terrify me.