This is the 95th in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
You know how Forrest Gump one day just started running and didn’t stop because he just wanted to run? I’m starting to understand him on an elemental level because I just want to be countdowning. I’m not sure I’m going to stop after we hit our ending.
Then one day after countdowning from Alabama to San Francisco, I’m just going to stop and turnaround and a nation will feel completely duped by what I had begun.
Before the duping can begin, however, we must first knock out these final six, and today we look at the best wide receiver in Ohio State history, the née Bowden Bowl, the most dangerous man in the Big Ten, and J.K.’s New Jersey obstacle.
If you would like to check out yesterday’s edition, you can find Seven Days To Ohio State Football right here.
Now please join us as we continue our countdown of the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We will also preview one of the 100 most exciting games on this fall’s college football schedule, and one of the 100 things we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#6 David Boston, 1996-1998
As a true freshman in 1996, David Boston eventually unseated veteran Buster Tillman as the Buckeyes’ starting split end. He caught 33 passes for 450 yards and seven touchdowns. He had his first 100-yard receiving game as a freshman against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Boston burst onto the scene in the first two games in 1996, with two catches for 72 yards and a 58-yard touchdown against Rice, followed by two more touchdown catches and a punt return touchdown against Pitt. He then ended the season with the game-winning touchdown catch against Arizona State in the Rose Bowl.
As a sophomore, he set a school record with 73 receptions. He finished with 970 yards receiving and a team-high 14 touchdowns. He was named First-Team All-Big Ten that year as well.
As a junior in 1998, Boston obliterated several Ohio State records. He finished with a record 85 receptions for a record 1,435 yards receiving. He also had 13 touchdown receptions and another punt return for a touchdown. He was named First-Team All-American. Boston’s 7.1 receptions per game that season is still a school record as well.
Boston also had a school-record nine 100-yard receiving games in 1998. His 14 career 100-yard games is a record as well.
Other records that Boston possesses include most catches in a game (14), receptions in a career (191), receptions per game in a career (5.2), career touchdown receptions (34), career punt return yards (959), and career punt returns (98).
Boston was selected eighth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He did lead the league in receiving yardage once prior to succumbing to injuries.
Best Games This Fall
#6 Clemson at Florida State
Clemson heads to Tallahassee in late October, as the Noles will be fresh off of a homecoming game against Wake Forest. Clemson will be coming off of a home game against North Carolina State — who has stayed within a touchdown of the Tigers in a pair of losses the last two seasons.
Clemson has won three in a row in this series, but has never won four in a row against Florida State.
The road team is 3-13 in this game since 2002.
Both teams may start the season with a quarterback battle, but everything should be settled by the time this game finally rolls around.
After diminishing returns the last two seasons for the Noles, now is the time for new head coach Willie Taggart to make his presence known in the ACC.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#6 Noah Fant
Noah Fant was just a third-team All-Big Ten tight end for Iowa last season as a sophomore, but the guy caught 11 touchdown passes — including two against Ohio State. The Buckeyes shouldn’t feel so bad, however, as he had two touchdowns against Wyoming and Nebraska as well.
Now at 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds, Fant ran a 4.64 in high school and has maintained that speed and athleticism as he has gotten bigger and stronger. He finished with 30 catches for 494 yards and the aforementioned 11 touchdowns.
Fant had four receptions of at least 40 yards last season, which was fourth-most in the Big Ten. He is a matchup problem for every team in the Big Ten, and fortunately for Buckeye fans, you won’t have to see him until December.
Matchup To Watch
#6 Trevor Morris, RUT OLB vs. J.K. Dobbins, OSU RB
Trevor Morris finished second in the Big Ten with 118 tackles last year, while J.K. Dobbins finished second in the Big Ten with 1,403 yards rushing last year.
Who wins in a matchup of second placers? We’ll find out in Ohio Stadium in week two and I have a pretty good idea who is going to come out on top.
Rutgers was one of the teams that held Dobbins under 100 yards rushing last season, but that’s because he only carried the ball six times for 53 yards in OSU’s 56-0 win over the Scarlet Knights.
This is Chris Ash’s third season in Rutgers, and while nobody expects his team to upset the Buckeyes this year, with a dominant outing by Morris, maybe the Scarlet Knights can build on what would be a moral victory.
Or maybe J.K. Dobbins will only carry the ball about eight or nine times in this one and still rush for about 112 yards.
Which do you think is more likely?