This season, the Ohio State football team will start a quarterback other than J.T. Barrett for the first time since October 17, 2015.
With Joe Burrow’s departure, Dwayne Haskins now holds command of the position and will receive the first opportunity to be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback in 2018.
Haskins is a different kind of quarterback than Barrett, but they still both play the same position. Haskins is going to have to throw the ball, run the ball, put his offense in the proper plays, keep his offense out of bad situations, lead, and compete with every snap.
Those are the very same things that Barrett did.
There will be changes to what you see on offense, but the similarities will need to be there as well. Dwayne Haskins is now one of Ohio State’s leaders, and it is up to him to live up to those expectations.
He will have the same running backs and the same wide receivers as Barrett. The offensive line will be a bit different, but that’s life for a college football quarterback.
Most of the names will be familiar, and the Buckeye offense will be as well. As to what exactly it will look like this season, offensive coordinator Ryan Day is confident that they’ll get it figured out.
“That’s the beauty of college football, that trying to find the right plays that fit the guys we have,” he said. “It’s not that we’re starting a new offense, it’s that we’re going to emphasize and utilize the plays in the playbook that fit them the best. So every quarterback’s a little bit different that way.”
Urban Meyer’s offense is always going to start with the running game and then go from there. Most of the time, the quarterback just needs to distribute the ball.
Sometimes, however, the quarterback is one of the team’s best playmakers, so their number gets called a bit more. It happened with Barrett and it happened with Braxton Miller. It shouldn’t need to happen with Haskins, but when Tate Martell is in the game, the Buckeyes would be foolish not to utilize his running skills.
Haskins and Martell possess contrasting styles, which will create a challenge for Day, Urban Meyer, and Kevin Wilson.
Any offensive designs will need to take their respective skills into account. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the opposing defenses will need to take it into account as well and prepare for both quarterbacks. That alone will give Ohio State an advantage.
What will also give OSU an advantage is putting Haskins and Martell in the very best positions to succeed.
The offense won’t be changing, but what the Buckeyes emphasize between each quarterback is what will fluctuate.
Ultimately, they will still need to prove themselves as leaders in Ohio State’s power running attack. They will also need to throw the ball down the field. There will be some running, and there will definitely be passing.
But whatever each respective quarterback does best is going to determine much of what gets emphasized.
“You always want to enhance the offense and try some new wrinkles here and there, but whatever the quarterback does well, we have a big playbook, we’re going to try and use those plays and emphasize those plays,” Day said.
“However, when you look at the quarterbacks we have, when one guy’s in the game, we may be emphasizing one thing more than another.”