Buckeye Breakdown: Why Dwayne Haskins Was Named Starting Quarterback

Dwayne Haskins Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Roughly four hours after yesterday’s breakdown was posted on the reasons why Joe Burrow should be named the starter, Burrow announced through Twitter that he would be transferring out of the program.

While the writing was on the wall and the rumors were swirling, the loss of Burrow feels much like a 5-star recruit decommitting before Signing Day. Burrow was well-respected by teammates and he outwardly has spoken of his love for his teammates as well as the University, but he decided to take matters into his own hands and control his future. Nobody can fault him for that. Buckeye Nation wishes him well.

Dwayne Haskins takes over an offense that returns the entire receiving corps, but will need to replace a few key contributors along the offensive line. With a stable of running backs, Haskins and the offense can lean on the running game to relieve some of the pressure placed on the first-time starter.

The offense may look a little different from the Barrett era, but the core scheme will remain in place. Urban Meyer will still utilize the “Power Spread” but this time he has perhaps the purest passer in his tenure as a head coach.

Here are some of the key traits we can expect out of Dwayne Haskins as we progress towards Fall camp.

As previously mentioned, Ohio State will still look to run the ball as a primary means of attack. With Mike Weber and J.K Dobbins in the backfield, as well as Demario McCall and Parris Campbell as weapons, the flow on offense will be dictated by the offensive line and their ability to establish the run. From there, the Buckeyes will look towards the short passing game and the RPO’s that stem from the Read Option.

What J.T. Barrett lacked in accuracy, particularly on the run, will be made up for with Dwayne Haskins. By using misdirection and moving the pocket, the Buckeyes will be able to make easy reads for Haskins while placing the target and offensive line in a position to be successful.

The major knock on Haskins is his perceived lack of running ability. Barrett could always be counted on to gain positive yards on critical downs, and that security blanket will need to be tested and proven as the schedule turns towards November. While Haskins likely won’t be asked to be a “run-first” Quarterback, he possesses the ability to make things happen when forced to scramble.

An underrated trait that will be missed from the Barrett era was his ability to keep plays alive. He was a magician at times and showed very good ball security in the pocket. Barrett set the bar high in that regard and Haskins will have to prove he can be trusted by Meyer in those situations.

Haskins was forced into the biggest game of the season last year on the road against Michigan. The results were fantastic and one throw in particular became legendary.

Haskins proved it was no fluke by delivering a dart in a nearly identical play in the Spring Game. Haskins needs to prove he will not solely rely on arm strength to matriculate the ball down the field, but in a small sample size he has shown the ability to challenge single coverage and place his receivers in a position to make the play.

Overall, the threat of a downfield passing game should force defenses to make adjustments that will have a trickle-down effect on the run. No longer can teams load the box and sell out against the run, which should allow the offense to operate at a better pace when needed.


30 Responses

  1. Jesus people the guy’s name is Burrow not fn Burrows for god sakes

  2. Tony, up until the spring game Urban said none of the QB’s separated themselves. Burrow looked like the better QB in the spring game. My question is , did the staff actually decide haskins wa #1 going in to fall camp or did Burrow just decide he didn’t want to take the chance of sticking around for fall camp just to waste one of his 2 years of eligibility?

    1. I’m adding this to a Mailbag I’m working on for today.

  3. Wow, I am so pumped for this year! We can watch the QB pass, and two great RBs run!

  4. Sorry James Mills, but you lost me with not giving the football to EE against MSU. Did you watch that game? MSU had the run sniffed out, should they have handed the ball to EE for 75 times, I don’t think that he would of sniffed a century mark. They forced JTB to pass and he couldn’t. We only scored due to TO’s. Now against MI, OSU already turned the tables on MI when JTB went down. Our O stalled as JTB couldn’t hit anyone including a wide open TD in the first q that was way underthrown and batted away. Our running game really opened up once MI was forced to defend the pass. Did you see Haskin’s runs especially his skamper to the one yard line? His pass late in the 3rd was as arguably as good as any JTB threw his entire career. The biggest factor missing was that he was as cool as a cat and MI’s db never even sniffed a possible interception. I may be wrong, and you may be right, but that’s not how I see it. What exactly has Burrows done in a real live game? Enjoy your perspective and passion.

  5. There was no QB competition this Spring, it was over when Joe broke his hand. Day got his way, prefer the Pats offense that Joe would bring vs the homerun or strikeout, hope it works

  6. A few observations;
    1. Hated to see Burrows go, but understandable.
    2. Burrows never showed what he could do in any big game and his real game performance for OSU has been less than fulfilling. Not that he could of done much better if he played much more.
    3. JTB was not the runner the last 2 years he was his first two seasons.
    4. The entire O will hinge on Haskins short and intermediate passes, yes it helps with more experienced WR’s. This has been the case for OSU since Urban’s arrival. OSU run game will only open if Haskins can consistently hit these routes.
    5. What OSU loses with JTB’s running and his experience, could easily and more be made up for by Haskins accurate arm.
    6. Tate will need to take some snaps and even play some significant downs with Haskins in the game to get him real game experience.

  7. The only thing I know for sure is I will be rooting for Haskins to have an All American season in 2018 and I will pray for his health this year.

    I must admit I was hoping for Burrow to be named the starter based upon his completion percent and the fact Haskins would not transfer. Haskins could still have had a chance to beat him out in fall or at least play numerous snaps in 2018 as the backup. We have had several QB injuries recently and I just hate how thin our QB room is going to be this year.

    Hopefully everything will work out the best for us, and we will utilize our running game more like we did when Cardale was our starter. I must admit I was not thinking National Championship when JT went down and Cardale was our starter going into The Big Ten Championship.

    I will also wish Joe Burrow the best and thank him for being a Buckeye. Dude was a heck of a high school quarterback and if I was him I would also want to see what kind of college QB I could be, and maybe even a pro. I do not know how well Joe will do, but he not only has the right but he earned it by graduating in 3 years which is impressive. Remember you Burrow haters that there was another backup QB under Urban who transferred named Cam Newton. Programs ran by people like Urban and Nick Saban and others just recruit and develop too much talent and you can not keep everyone happy so you lose some. I think it is a very nice problem to have and I love all the winning we do especially against that school up north.

    GO Bucks!

  8. Sorry Kyle but if Dwayne can’t get it done through the air……… ain’t getting don’t with his legs with ANY sort of consistency. His rushing ability is about half of what Cardale brought to the table. Using that _ichigan game as an AHA point is ridiculous and you know the reasons why.

    _ichigan established their entire game plan defensively for JT Barrett. JT and Dwayne are 2 ENTIRELY different QB’s so when Dwayne went in the varmints had NO idea what to expect. He was the hand up Mona Lisa’s skirt and he capitalized on it. He’s not going to have the benefit of a talented defense not knowing what to do with him. Now they’ll study and they will actually make adjustments for a strong arm but weak legged pocket statue.

    IF the staff weighed that game as a major factor, they are dumber than a bag of hammers.

    It’s going to suck but, I suspect this is the year TTUN begins to turn the tables on the Buckeyes. It would be GREAT to be wrong, and I’ll still sit in the stands and cheer for every Buckeye to take the field, but my gut thinks the is the 3rd biggest blunder the CEO has made. The 1st was moving Ed Warinner to OC. The 2nd was that idiot level game plan against MSU which cost that team a MNC Title (what level of stupid needs to be possessed to not give the football to the Nations best running back?) 3rd is allowing Joe Burrow to get away from the program. The first 2 proved completely right……………….we can only hope this one doesn’t fall in that category.

  9. Why Dwayne Haskins Was Named Starting Quarterback:
    Easy, he is better

    Burrow is a good MAC type player, no fault, just a fact

    1. Jeff; I could not disagree with you more. Where were you the last two years and in the recent spring game????
      Burrow is better than Haskins on short and intermediate passes and much better as a runner. The only thing Haskins does better is the long ball into coverage.
      Burrow will be a great QB for a Power Five team this year.

      1. totallyu agree with old buckeye and jeff just threw out a blanket statement with noting to back himself up..burrows has shown he was the better passer, runner, and more mature leader….i will root for haskins and he will be good but didnt deserve to start over burrow..yes he made an incredible pass against scUM–ok but burrow was much more consistent and much better in the spring game against the same defense…AND dont forget it was only an injury that kept burrow out of the backup role last year–he BEAT OUT haskins for the job..water under the bridge now but for all the goofballs saying Burrow is a mac qb and haskins clearly better–you have no proof to back that up

        1. Todd –

          Conversely there is no proof that Burrow is not anything more than a MAC QB and that Haskins isn’t clearly better. As fans we have to trust the judgement of those within the program who have evaluated all three of our scholarship QBs on a daily basis.

          Urban has a pretty good winning percentage over the years and everyone should trust his judgement. Additionally every statement made about Burrow’s transfer is pure speculation. None of us know what led to the transfer and can only guess.

    2. That is an opinion. Even people who agree with you should be able to discern the difference between fact and opinion.

  10. the difference between burrow and haskins is that burrow makes less mistakes. but i think that when passing dbs have time to recover with burrow. with haskins dbs have no time to recover. also LT is going to bee crucial. will they give time for haskins to throw?

    1. Fewer…and sorry, but pet peeve of mine due, probably, to talking heads regularly butchering it.
      But I see your point!

  11. Let’s not forget the legendary throw would not be remembered at all if not for an incredible catch. My disappointment is Burrow lost his opportunity because of an injury, not any visible differential in ability. And while we all remember and appreciate that one great second half, there was nothing else distinguishing about Haskins’ season. In fact, it was less than ordinary. I believe had the staff truly told Burrow he would get a legitimate opportunity to start he might very well have stayed. I feel a bit sorry for Haskins. If he is not stellar he will be embroiled in a QB controversy with a ghost. Good luck to both young men, who each deserved better publicly from the staff.

    1. @Philip I agree with you that Burrow was really not given a chance. The coaches had their minds made up and if you go on spring game stats Burrow was by far the best choice. They tried to get Burrow to stick around and many talked about QB position being open even in the fall but that would have never happened. Burrow is a class act…can’t wait to see him excel this year.

      1. Kelly –

        1. Burrow was given a chance throughout the spring and in 2016.

        2. Sentences two and three are 100% speculation.

        3. I hope he succeeds as well.

  12. The season’s still nearly 4 months away, but the second-guessing will already begin. Nothing against Haskins, and we hope he proves to everything – and more – that his potential shows. But if he gets hurt, or struggles at some point, thousands of “experts” will be crying, “Where is Joe Burrow when we need him?”
    Tough call no matter which was it would go. I wish Burrow the very best – just hope he doesn’t face the Buckeyes down the road and beat us, sending the fair weather fans into storms of angst.
    This should give Tate Martell a chance to show what he can do in a real game situation, so hopefully Burrow’s transfer decision will prove to be a win-win for everyone involved.

  13. Sounds like this Kyle Morgan is in love with Haskins….but more importantly it seems as if he is trying to convince Buckeye fans that Haskins is the better choice over Burrow. I love the statement…”he made a pass in the spring game much like the one he threw against the team up north. Funny but Kyle fails to mention that Haskins passing efficiency was under 40% while Burrow was over 70% completion rate. This reminds me of one C. Jones who lead the Buckeyes to a Natty but fell flat on his face (with his strong arm) the next season and surrendered his job to JT.
    If you want to talk about arm strength, Haskins does not even throw the ball the furthest, Kory Curtis does and with accuracy. This so called “QB Competition” was a farce but they tried to string Burrow along….Joe made a wise decision to leave.

    1. Can you not read? The first sentence bro…

  14. Good luck to Haskins. All Buckeye fans should get behind him now. And let’s be honest, while I liked Burrow and thought he too was capable, it’s not like we lost a first team all American…in fact we lost a guy who never started a game or took and meaningful or pressure filled snaps while at OSU. Hate to see him go, but he was no proven commodity so the whining and complaining is really overstated.

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