One Thing I’d Like to See From Each Position Group on Offense

Dwayne Haskins Josh Myers 2018 Spring Game Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Despite being a very talented team, the 2018 edition of the Ohio State Buckeyes still has questions up and down the line.

Granted, some of the questions aren’t quite as dire at some positions as they are at others. For instance, nobody is losing sleep about the Buckeye running backs, but there are still questions that could stand to be answered.

Even with Urban Meyer still floating aimlessly in administrative limbo, the expectations for Ohio State still involve a conference title and a playoff berth.

In order to better their chances of reaching these goals, I’m going to give you one thing I’d like to see from each position group.

Today we’ll stick with offense. Tomorrow the defense.

Let’s begin.


Last season, J.T. Barrett said one of Dwayne Haskins’ problems was that he would try to fit the football in places that maybe it shouldn’t go. Barrett compared Haskins to Cardale Jones in that regard. What I would like to see from Haskins is not for him to dial that confidence back, but simply make sure the decisions he makes are the right ones. Barrett had concerns about Haskins’ decision making in that he trusted his arm maybe too much. Nobody wants Haskins to lose that trust, but maybe a little discretion wouldn’t be a bad thing. If Haskins can meld decision making with his ability to throw the ball, he could be the perfect weapon for this offense.

Running Back

J.K. Dobbins caught 22 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman last season. I would like to see him even more involved in the passing game this season. If he does get established as a regular receiving threat, defenses will then have to pay attention to him even more, which could then open up the middle of the field for the tight ends and H-backs. I won’t even get into the allure of the J.K. Dobbins wheel route. We all know that Ohio State can’t throw screen passes to running backs between the tackles, but getting him involved on the edges will only help the offense this season.


The deep passing game has been the Holy Grail for the Ohio State offense since it disappeared following the 2014 season. To use the deep game as one thing I’d like to see is a huge cop out, which is why my choice here is Parris Campbell’s usage in that deep passing game. We have talked about it quite a bit over the last month about how much time Campbell has spent improving this aspect of his game. Having an H-back who is also a deep threat puts the defense in all kinds of difficult situations. Do they put one of their two starting cornerbacks in the slot? That then opens up things on the outside. Or does the defense keep the corners out wide and put a nickel on Campbell? Regardless, he is a mismatch for defenses, and if he has added the deep game to his repertoire, then the opponents are in some serious trouble this year.

Tight End

From talking to Ohio State fans, there is a certain level of excitement about freshman tight end Jeremy Ruckert. There are concerns about his ability to block, as is the case for all true freshmen. And as we’ve seen, most tight ends at Ohio State redshirt as true freshmen in order to develop the strength to hold up at the point of attack. While Ruckert also needs to develop that strength and ability to block, the rest of his skill set may already be college worthy. Due to the new redshirt rules, we will see him on the field this year, but if he’s going to be featured throughout the season, it may require more two tight end sets in order to get it done. Redshirt sophomore Luke Farrell has established himself as the starter and perhaps he will be the guy on the line of scrimmage this year while Ruckert and/or Rashod Berry are split out a little bit or lined up as an (NFL) H-back. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson wants to see more 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends), and with Ruckert and Berry, perhaps they have the complementary weapons that can make an impact this season.

Offensive Line

If you’re just asking me for one thing I’d like to see from the offensive line, it comes down to the center position getting solidified and Thayer Munford being set at left tackle. I am of the belief that there are enough options at center that they’ll eventually get that figured out. For me, Thayer Munford solidifying himself as a trustworthy left tackle is the one thing I’d choose to see happen during fall camp. If he becomes a rock and Dwayne Haskins can trust him, he will stand longer and stronger in the pocket and he won’t hear phantom footsteps. If Munford can’t hold up, however, the entire offense could struggle.

Return Game

For me, it usually comes down to ball security on punt returns. Kick returns aren’t the turnover threat that punt returns are. K.J. Hill was a solid punt catcher last year, but if that role now belongs completely to Demario McCall, there has to be a concern there until we find out how reliable McCall is. The expectations are high for his ability as a returner, but first he needs to be able to know when to catch the punt, when not to, and how to do either in the matter of a second or two.

10 Responses

  1. I love JTB, saw him in person play at IL. His determination beat TSUN in 2016 with his guts and his legs. W/o him, OSU would not have had its excellent record or even his B1G records. However, sort of odd to hear about JTB talk about passing, as JTB’s passing was usually less than spectacular. We all know that if JTB could of been a better passer, many games would not have been so close. His passing was his weakness. True younger QB’s tend to make mistakes and DH will make his, see IL. However, if it wasn’t for his arm, we might not have beaten TSUN and then avenge our West Coast nemesis USC. I really don’t have that big of a concern for DH’s arm, the OL concerns me more.

  2. The one thing that I would like to see change is for Urban to give up more control of the offense. Perhaps that will happen with J.T. now gone, because he had so much trust in Barrett that the offense became predictable. Let’s utilize Wilson & Days’ talents instead of keeping them (somewhat) handcuffed. Urban is a GREAT CEO of the program, and a GREAT recruiter, but I’m hopeful that he’ll loosen up the reins a bit this season and turn these guys loose.

    1. Our O became predictable as our WR play was less than stellar in 2016 and mostly because JTB’s arm was erratic at best. Teams didn’t really have to respect our passing game and stacked boxes. When he got hot, see 2nd half against PSU, the O soared. When he got cold, see 2nd half at IA, we all know what happened.

  3. PT should check his spelling textbook.
    Can anyone provide an expected date for a decision on Coach Meyer?

    1. Investigation wraps up by Sunday. How long to formulate a response? Should know all you need to know within a week.

  4. I think JT was referring to Haskin’s being sometimes too confident. That’s great, JT was almost too careful, but we don’t need Todd Boeckman again. Cardale was a gunslinger…that 3-game stretch in 2014 was brilliant because NOBODY was ready for it. What did Jones do in 2015 besides not move the offense? He threw 8tds and 5 ints…in nearly 100 more attempts than JT needed to throw 11/4 TD-INT ratio. JT while he didn’t struggle against good teams in the passing game, he took care of the ball, albeit too much sometimes. It wasn’t a knock on Haskins. It was more of a, “this is what he needs to work on to be great” statement.

    1. Rick, CJ was great, because our OL was dominant and our skill players were superb and we had a deep ball and a great running back and a Porsche O that was firing on all pistons. Didn’t matter if they were ready for it, very few in any D’s could of dealt with that O, no matter how prepared…just ask AL. Urban said a team needs to fear both the run and the pass. The one thing almost all of OSU fans forgot. In 2014 OSU had Tom Hermann, in 2015, OSU did not. In 2015 and 2016 our O struggled, hence coach Day.

  5. Excellent article. In 2017, OSU lost two games where the opponents offense moved the OSU linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage and passed over them to the running back or tight end. Has OSU solved this problem since the LB’s have minimum playing experience? The BTN network has completed their visits to Michigan, MSU and PSU. All three will be excellent games with PSU and MSU on the road.

    The BIG Ten Network has provided additional funds to all members which has improved the athletic facilities. This results in the improved recruiting in the Big Ten. Nobody gives them credit.

    1. True Jim, B1G Ten Network has helped, it wasn’t facilities that draw players, but coaches that win and place players in the pros. The B1G has improved due to head line and solid coaching; first at OSU, PSU, then MI and now at NE, as well as many others. I’m right now that huge of a fan of the B1G Network. I’ve lost a whole lot of respect for them with their insinuation of guilt and his seemingly ‘apathy towards abuse towards women. Respected B1G Ten football reporters say that Urban was “digging in” when he apologized after his B1G network FB appearance suggesting that he’s guilty from the get go and how can he possibly answer these questions. To me, as I suspect that for the most part Urban will be exonerated and possibly given some suspension to soothe the mob and deal his ‘communication gaffe.’ OSU, Urban and his coaches should then make a statement condemning the ‘Kangaroo Courts’ of most of the National media, beginning with The B1G Network that should of taken, “Lets’ wait and see,” including the arrogant and no longer watched, SEC acolyte, Paul Finebaum and most of PC stooge ESPN for at least, a year. They are welcome at OSU, our field, game day and the like, but we will not give personal interviews to you from our coaches and/or players until public apologies are given.

  6. JTB giving advise on passing? How many pick 6’s did JTB throw during career? JTB was great against the weaker teams, but not so good against teams that had talent. My point is let DH2 be himself and yes there will growing pains. INT’s happen but I see a quarterback that can lead OSU to victory when we play the “big boys” of college football – unlike JTB. Cardale lead OSU to the 2014 championship.

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