Getting beat by 56 points doesn’t leave much room for any positives if you’re a Toledo fan. However, scoring three touchdowns against Ohio State is certainly something to celebrate, especially compared to Note Dame! Quarterback Dequan Finn was responsible for two of those scores and he was very impressive in my eyes. So, as my mind wandered during the fourth quarter — which lasted what seemed like a quarter century — I was wondering, what if he was playing for Ohio State, instead of against them?
Let me make a huge disclaimer right now: OBVIOUSLY, I would rather have C.J. Stroud than Finn. Stroud is the better QB; there is no other player in the country I’d rather have leading the Buckeyes than Stroud. I think he’s going to win the Heisman this year, but I was just curious how much better Finn could be — and how the OSU offense would change — if he was QB1 for Ohio State.
Okay, now that we have that cleared up, let’s get into it. First off, I think that it’s almost impossible for a QB not to improve after upgrading to Ohio State’s offense. I’m pretty sure Joe Schmo could find a little bit of success if he had the weapons that the Buckeye quarterbacks have to work with. However, Finn is no Joe Schmo, as he is actually quite a talented QB.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound sophomore was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award for college football’s player of the year. He passed for over 2,000 yards last season and has only thrown two picks in his collegiate career. Finn is a dual-threat quarterback, and he definitely showed off his mobility on Saturday.
This play in particular is a great example of Finn’s quickness and ability to scramble while maintaining his ability to make a play. Although Stroud has certainly improved in this area, having a quarterback who can move like this would be just another great addition to an already unreal offense.
DEQUAN FINN— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 18, 2022
What a play by the @ToledoFB QB pic.twitter.com/25hMTkzGkN
Here is an example of Finn being able to scamper 23 yards to the end zone for a TD. His legs are certainly a huge part of his game, and really the only element of the Rockets’ offense that was even semi-successful on Saturday. But, if he Finn had the ability to throw to Ohio State’s receivers, I wouldn’t be surprised if that part of his game drastically improved.
The Dequan Finn experience is exhilarating pic.twitter.com/NrizX2FRnf— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) September 18, 2022
However, I’m not sure if Ohio State would exactly be a good fit for Finn. The running back room is one of the best, if not the best, in the nation, so there is certainly no need to rely on a mobile QB to pick up yards on the ground. During the Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer eras, Ohio State certainly had mobile quarterbacks, but their wheels were most often used as last resort options, with a few notable exceptions aside.
Additionally, it would honestly be sad to not use JSN, Marv, Egbuka, Fleming, etc. to their fullest potential if the Bucks had a quarterback who was a better runner at the expense of arm talent; that’s why Stroud is the perfect fit.
Playing devil’s advocate, however, maybe Finn could take Ohio State’s offense to the next level. It’s always nice to have another weapon up your sleeve with a quarterback who can move well. Stroud has proven how critical it is to have a QB who scrambles well. There have already been double-digit plays this season of Stroud keeping plays alive, then making a great pass right before getting hit. However, as evidenced on Saturday night, Stroud is not exactly the smoothest or most willing runner.
Finn showcased that he does this on a regular basis, and does it well. That could be a big plus on offense, knowing that a sack won’t always be taken, or the ball won’t always be thrown away once the pocket collapses.
Additionally, if Finn was the Buckeyes’ quarterback, that would be just another obstacle that opposing defenses would have to try to deal with. They already have to figure out how to stop multiple great receivers and two (maybe three now?) great running backs. If they had to come up with a plan to stop a dual-threat quarterback too, they might just have to throw in the towel.
All in all, Stroud and Finn are both very talented quarterbacks. Finn is certainly a huge bright spot on this Toledo team, and after his performance on the national stage against Ohio State, there might be some Power 5 teams who try to get him for next season — maybe the Buckeyes will face him in a Big Ten matchup next season.
However, as exciting as it is to think about how fun and exciting it would be to have a legit, dynamic, willing runner at quarterback, you know what else is even more fun and exciting? Having a Heisman front-running quarterback who can make all of the throws and has the potential to go down as one of the best passers in program history.
So, while there’s no harm in going through the Dequan Finn thought experiment, I am more than content with C.J. Stroud as the Scarlet and Gray’s quarterback!
Do you think Dequan Finn would vastly improve if he played for Ohio State?
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