The QB is Still Gonna Have to Run the Ball | Ohio State Football

Dwayne Haskins Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Quarterback J.T. Barrett is gone and he is taking his 164 rushes per season with him.

Before you start singing “Ding, dong the witch is dead…” however, you might want to slow things down a bit. The quarterback run, no pun intended, isn’t going anywhere.

Ohio State’s quarterback options this season are expected to be redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins and redshirt freshman Tate Martell. Martell is a dynamic runner with breakaway potential. Haskins, however, is more along the lines of Cardale Jones.

As the expected starter this season, Haskins’ running ability will come into play more than Martell’s. That’s not a bad thing, however, because Haskins can get out of trouble when he needs to. He’s just not necessarily the guy OSU can draw up running plays for as much as they did for Barrett and Braxton Miller.

But Haskins is still going to have to run the ball.

And even though it shouldn’t happen often, he may even have to run the ball as much as Barrett did at times.

“Well, heck yeah if you’re not blocking and he’s running around for his life the whole time, so I mean you know [it’s possible],” OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said this spring. “There’s going to be reads in the run game because the box is always going to get overloaded.”

Regardless of the differing characteristics of each Ohio State quarterback, math continues to be the universal language in running the football. Running the quarterback evens out the blockers, so they are never going to go away from it entirely.

There will be tweaks, however.

“So are the reads him running it or him taking it and throwing it?” Wilson said. “So there’s going to be reads, and based on the situation, there might be situations where I don’t care who the quarterback is, the quarterback is going to have to read it and pull it and run with the football. Period. No matter who the quarterback is.”

Haskins said this spring that he is ready for his number to be called in short-yardage situations. Yes, he would rather throw the ball, but you can’t play quarterback at Ohio State and not be willing to fight for that yard on fourth down.

If everything goes according to plan, the Buckeyes’ passing game this year may be more dynamic than it has ever been before. With the experience returning at receiver and the potential in Haskins’ arm, there is a ton to like. Urban Meyer, Ryan Day, and Kevin Wilson will take advantage of every one of Haskins’ traits.

Including his ability to run the ball.

“There’s going to be situations where a guy’s going to have to throw the football, no matter who the quarterback is,” Wilson said. “But at the end of the day you want to emphasize the quarterback’s talents of running skill sets and throwing skill sets as he makes reads.

“And it’s going to be a great offense.”

12 Responses

  1. If they are going to have Haskins run as much as JT, maybe they should have given the QB job to Burrows.

    1. shhhh…..around here the city jesters will come out wearing their rose colored glasses and “tut-tut” such an absurd (to them) suggestion. You will find it less problematic if you would simply say………..someone else who can actually run the ball, like Tate Martell since Joe is no longer on the table.

      1. Haskins will be known as the new Black Moses. And you will kneel before his greatness. All. Season. Long.

      2. James,

        You’ve made many statements that have essentially promoted Joe Burrow over the coaching staff and program. One doesn’t need rose colored glasses to support OSU. Trust in the staff, the evaluation process, and professional judgement help keep faith in the program.

        1. I have confidence in Ohio State. I’ve been an active supporter of the program for decades and long after this staff is gone I’ll remain a supporter of the program. New age “follow the politically correct wave” isn’t in my nature, it doesn’t fit. Just because a coach says it, doesn’t make it gospel and that’s true especially when they contradict previous comments. If they want the players accountable, their accountability has to be the example.

          I supported all 3 of the guys in the competition for QB and because of CEO Meyers philosophy I actually thought there was a good chance that Tate Martell would win an open competition. I really couldn’t have cared less which guy won it because I think they offense “can” win a lot of games with either of them behind center. I have lifetime friends at Ohio State like a lot of people throughout Buckeye Nation do. I happen to have the time to spend focusing solely on the Buckeyes and their opponents, so when I can’t physically be there I can still get perspectives from people who are there. With the QB situation there’s already some raw data available that we can measure, and data we haven’t seen , and then a couple of looks , and finally the culmination of the last bit of information during the Spring game. My friends say the competition during the unseen data showed that Tata Martell was out of the running to earn the start and Dwayne had to prove himself in the Spring game because he was likely looking up at the start behind Joe Burrow. What they said about the Spring camp proved exactly in line with what the Spring game looked like. If the Spring game was the final piece of the question of who starts, it was a clear no brainer. Joe outperformed Dwayne in every measurable category and intangibles of being able to move the team (teammate response).

          When the games start, I’ll be there screaming for every Buckeye that takes the field. It doesn’t matter about the name on the jersey OR the number. But that doesn’t preclude me from having an opinion and voicing it, and it has nothing to do with supporting the program or not supporting the program. I have reason to believe the CEO was playing politics and took a gamble, but, I’ll still be hoping that he navigates a National Title run.

  2. How much did Kevin Wilson run the QB at Indiana? I dont recall it being much at all. This sounds like Wilson stepping out to toe the company line and lay out Urban’s position.

    One of the most surprising things about the Wilson hire is the fact he was clearly brought to OSU to run Urban’s offense as opposed to being hired to bring in his innovative offense with him. I am surprised someone who was so highly regarded as an offensive mind would take such a detail.

    Sounds like 12 to 15 carries for Haskins per game…at least. 5 to 7 would be much better. Oh well…Dobbins and Weber are good blockers too.

    1. 5 to 7 imo. A couplefew called runs, a couplefew scrambles, throw in a sack and there you go. Wilson ran Tre Roberson when he had him at Indiana, fwiw.

      1. Yea, but Tre Roberson was not an NFL quality passer. If Haskins runs the ball more than a few times a game, we are fu#%ing crazy. JT ran the ball a lot because he was a very weak passer who had a tough time anticipating the open man and was thus late letting go of the ball on time and throwing accurately. He often pulled it down when he had men wide open.
        I pray to God that Urban will not allow Wilson to run an offense that utilizes Haskins’ talents.

  3. “It’s going to be a great offense.” That is only IF DH can pass consistently. JTB had to run to offset his limited passing skills. As Meyer said, you don’t need a balanced offense, only the fear of a balanced O. DH showed us he could scramble against MI, how he does with the option read is another thing, but if he can pass consistently, more db’s will be off the line and will set up his runs.

  4. I’m glad your phrasing concerning Swayne being similar to Cardale Jones was as it was. Cardale Jones wan’t a good runner, but, he was a freight train who could square off with linebackers and kick the dog doo out of them, and literally drive defensive linemen to the first down sticks. Of course lack of a comprehendible passing attack made his job much more difficult, but he “could” run, but nowhere near as efficiently as a JT Barrett, who was BIA at the RPO.

    Like Cardale, Dwayne will never be known as a fast OR a quick guy on his feet. But neither will we be reminded of Cardale Jones when Dwayne pulls the ball down to run. He was a surprise to varmintville last year and he was able to escape for a huge gainer. He deserves credit for that. LOTS of it. The problem is that he’s not going to get that surprise benefit this year, and he doesn’t have the feet to create space or distance. We can HOPE that he is able to have success running the ball, but that’s all it is right now. He’s NOT going to truck linebackers or bully defensive linemen the way Cardale was able to. That’s not in his physical make-up OR his way of thinking. For Dwayne he HAS to be the cerebral guy he is and rely on his arm talent. If he’s being tasked with being an option QB, he will not find any kind of success. That’s just not who he is. So the Staff better better on top of their game planning and developing the passing game. If they don’t they will singlehandedly be responsible for crushing his confidence. He’s got a boat load of outstanding talent at widereiver (including H), and a really really great rushing attack alongside him. This is the time CEO Meyer needs to pull out the ol’ “The QB is a product of those around him” card. He had no use for that card with JT Barrett. With Cardale? Yeah, he needed it after JT went down against varmintville and he had to come in and save the National Title run. Everyone had to step up, and it exposed something in philosophy. The receivers and tailbacks once finally called on relied on, exploded onto the scene. By the end of that 3 game run EVERYONE knew who Jalin Marshall was, who Devin Smith was, who Evan Spencer was and who Zeke was. THEY allowed, and credit to Tom Herman and the CEO for making it happen, Cardale to be a product of those around him.

    That recipe has got to be on day 1 in 2018. The receiver and back talent are there so all eyes will be focused on exactly 1 area. OFFENSIVE LINE. As it goes, so too goes Dwayne Haskins. In 2014 there were more answers than questions regarding that line. In 2018 this team enters with more questions than answers. The guys up front have got to come together early and they have to stay together throughout the season for the offense to be what the talent potential says it should be. Dwayne MUST be the product of those around him.

      1. Good……..I succeeded in fragging you out of hiding to make a comment. Even if it was a boring one.

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