From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about records, the ones that have been broken, the ones that could be broken, and the ones that will never be broken. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”Broken Records” articles here.
Ohio State is going to have an absolute powerhouse of an offense this year — there’s no denying that. The amount of weapons Kyle McCord or Devin Brown has at his disposal seem almost endless. However, because whoever the quarterback is will be a first-year starter, I don’t see Dwayne Haskins’ record of 50 passing touchdowns in a single season being broken in 2023.
In 2018, no defense was stopping Haskins. He had six games where he threw for four or more TDs. There was only one game where he threw for just one, and zero games where he didn’t throw for at least one score.
Oh, and let’s not forget he had six passing touchdowns in two games. One of the opponents was Indiana. The other? The glorious 62-39 win versus TTUN. Then he threw five TDs against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship and three against Washington in the Rose Bowl! He showed UP in big games.
Fifty passing touchdowns in a single season simply insane when you think about it. Haskins was just the sixth FBS quarterback to do just that. The Buckeyes have had a slew of great, even some of the best statistical QBs over the past few years, and none came close to breaking Haskins’ record.
Justin Fields did have a pretty darn great follow-up year after Haskins went pro. In 2019, Fields threw 40 touchdowns and ran for 10. So technically he did match the 50 record, but he used his legs to do so. Obviously, Fields is a dual-threat while Haskins was not. Perhaps that makes it even more impressive that Fields still threw for that many. Fields is just a gem.
Moving on to C.J. Stroud, he had 38 passing touchdowns in his first year as a starter in 2021. He finished with zero rushing TDs and -30 rushing yards on the season. So, clearly, you would think he would be your next best bet to break Haskins’ record. But, in 2022 he finished with 37 TDs and once again, zero rushing.
It surprises me a bit that Stroud didn’t reach the 40 mark in either year of him starting. He had Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson AND Jaxon Smith-Njigba in his first year. Wow! If he couldn’t get it done with these guys, then I guess the record just wasn’t meant to be broken. This is no shade to Stroud at all — 38 TDs is still extremely impressive. But, Haskins was just another level.
So, do I think this year McCord or Brown can do it? My early answer is no, but anything is possible. With the receiving room they have, they could stick me under center and I could throw at least a couple touchdowns, right? I do see the McCord to Marvin Harrison Jr. connection being strong, since they were high school teammates, so I predict a lot of TDs from that duo.
However, it is just such a feat to reach the 50 mark. Yes, Haskins did complete it in his first-year as a starter, but he was such a pure passer. I don’t see him and McCord being the exact same style QB. I must reiterate, anything is possible with this offense and I do see AT LEAST 30 TDs being thrown (hopefully more). Overall, I think Haskins name will remain in the record books for the near future.