What’s Your Vector, Victor?
While the Ohio State quarterback competition is the talk of the town, those talks don’t really include the rest of the team. Regardless of who the quarterback is, everyone else still has their own jobs to do.
Offensive linemen don’t worry about which quarterback they are protecting. Running backs don’t concern themselves with who is handing them the ball, and receivers have to catch the ball regardless of who is throwing it.
For everyone else, life goes on.
Junior receiver Binjimen Victor has faith in both Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins, and has already told them that his job is to make them look good, no matter who is doing the throwing.
“I feel like both of them could get the ball to where it needs to be,” he said. “I think both of them are solid at quarterback. All I tell them is that I am going to make their job easier, just put it where it needs to be and I’ll make the play for you.”
Urban Meyer has never been effusive in his praise of Joe Burrow’s arm strength. In fact, arm strength is well down the list of characteristics that Meyer wants in his quarterback. Don’t take that the wrong way — there is a level where every prospective Buckeye quarterback needs to be, but in terms of what Meyer wants, it’s not a priority.
Meyer has said on several occasions over the years that Burrow needed to improve his arm strength. With maturity — and help from quarterbacks coach Ryan Day — Burrow has done just that.
“I’m so much better,” he said. “A lot of that is attributable to Coach Day. He really helps us with our footwork. Obviously arm strength grows as you grow physically. As I got older, my arm got stronger, but my footwork got a lot cleaner with Coach Day.”
Burrow has been able to put the increased arm strength together with the improved footwork and has gotten much better as a deep-ball thrower. He showed that in Saturday’s spring game with three completions of 30+ yards.
“That’s really where I’ve really excelled my game the last two years,” he said. “Putting the deep ball on the money. I could only throw it 50, 60 yards a couple years ago. I can throw it pretty far now.”
The Ones That Got Away
Both quarterbacks had some nice throws on the day. Joe Burrow completed deep passes to Demario McCall and Binjimen Victor, while Dwayne Haskins found Victor deep as well, and also zipped a touchdown pass into the outstretched hands of sophomore Jaylen Harris.
Interestingly, however, when Haskins was asked which of his passes on the day stuck out to him most, he went in another direction.
“I more so remember the throws I didn’t make than the ones I completed,” he said. “But I liked the one I threw to Ben on that nine route. It was a one-on-one matchup on the sideline and I thought it was a pretty good pass.”
The official box score only lists sophomore defensive end Chase Young with one sack on the day, but according to Young, he had closer to six sacks in OSU’s spring game.
Another year in the system made improvement inevitable, but it also helps to have the model of consistency to watch and learn from.
“Oh I think I progressed a lot,” Young said after the spring game. “It’s more looking at Nick, Nick Bosa. He’s got very, very good hips and I think I look at Nick a lot for pass rush because I think he’s one of the best to do it.”
On Saturday, Young put much of what he learned into his play.
“I think today I used power long arm, I used power step side scissors,” he said. “Just the power step side scissors, I swiped, I think I missed one time and I ripped.”
All in all, this was a tremendous spring for Young. He gained the kind of confidence that his role requires. And now he is ready to get going for real.
“Most definitely,” he said. “I’m already looking at film for Oregon State, so I’m definitely ready to go against those tackles.”