Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘He was actually being Tate’

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A Pretty Fast Clip

The fact that the Ohio State offense came out with an up-tempo attack on Saturday was not a surprise, but the pace at which that tempo ran was faster than it has been at times in the past.

For instance, there was no hurry to the line and then look over to the sidelines for the call. When the Buckeyes got to the line, quarterback Dwayne Haskins called for the snap and they went about their business. It helped produce 599 yards of total offense through three quarters with Haskins in the game.

Afterward, acting head coach Ryan Day mentioned the tempo as one of the positives on the day.

“Well, I thought that we played with tempo today. And we were aggressive,” he said. “I thought we stretched the field horizontally and we stretched it vertically, which is the goal. But I thought the tempo was really good.”

Playing with that kind of tempo, it is necessary to rotate skill players, and that’s what Ohio State did. It’s also important to have an offensive line that can handle the pace.

“We have a lot of depth at receiver,” Day said. “So we’re able to play multiple receivers and stay fresh, which I think you could see. Our offensive line is in tremendous shape. But we were playing at a pretty fast clip. I’ve got to go back and look to see how fast we were playing, but we were really playing fast in that first half which was the plan going in.”

Of course, it’s not just about pace. It’s also about what you’re doing with the football, and the Buckeyes were doing plenty.

“But then we were playing efficiently, too,” Day said. “So that was good. But a lot to learn from. It’s something to build on for sure.”

Dwayne the Runner

Dwayne Haskins was credited with two rushes for 24 yards on Saturday. Both of those came via scrambles due to defensive pressure.

Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson didn’t call a single quarterback run for Haskins, despite having six third-and-short opportunities over the first three quarters to do so.

Instead, Haskins completed two passes on those third downs for first downs, and running back Mike Weber picked up the other four.

In fact, on the afternoon, the Buckeyes were faced with eight third-and-short (third-and-3 or less) situations, and the quarterback never ran the ball once. Ohio State picked up seven of those first downs, and the one they didn’t led to a fourth-and-1 that freshman running back Master Teague took over the right side for a 33-yard touchdown.

There were a couple of read-option plays called on the day, but Haskins read the play to hand the ball off.

Eventually, however, he is going to have to run.

“Dwayne can run,” Day said. “And there’s going to be times when he’s going to need to run. But sometimes just kind of based on what we’re seeing in terms of what the defense has given us. He’s still a threat with his legs. He’s obviously a gifted passer and he does that really, really well.

“But there’s different ways that we can spread the field where he might possibly be reading the linebacker on one play, or there’s times when he’s reading a defensive lineman, he’ll have to run. So sometimes it’s based on what the defense is giving us.”

Pitch Perfect?

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell played nearly the entire fourth quarter, but with the game already well out of hand, he wasn’t asked to do much.

That still didn’t stop him from trying to make plays, however.

On second-and-5 from the Oregon State 41-yard line, Martell kept the ball on the read, ran to his left, then as he was about to be tackled, pitched the football out to H-back C.J. Saunders who was standing all by himself near the sidelines. The play picked up 12 yards, with four of those rushing yards being credited to Martell.

It was essentially a triple-option, but usually the third option is a pass, not a pitch past the line of scrimmage. But it did provide a good example of what the Buckeyes have in Martell.

“From my angle I thought he fumbled the ball,” Day said. “So my heart jumped out of my throat. He was actually being Tate, which is he’s a playmaker. He can do some great things like that. Quick. Short area quickness is excellent. In that opportunity he has an option to run it, give it, or actually pitch the ball late or throw it.

“That’s what he did there. He’s a playmaker. And so as the season goes on he’ll have more and more opportunities to show that.”

7 Responses

  1. Enough w/Joe Burrows, already. We have 2 wonderful QB’s that can take this very talented team to a NC. Joe made his decision and it looks like a good one for him. However, let’s give Dwayne Haskins and Tate Mattel their due, Dwayne definitely beat out Joe. And most likely Tate was 2A or 2B in what the Buckeyes coaches felt was needed to bring this team to its greatest potential. Dwayne showed his is in the Heisman race, whereas Tate showed sparks of a superior backup. Go Bucks! (Tigers not so much.)

  2. I screamed..PITCH IT TATE, and he complied! Seriously I did scream it. Not likely he heard me, but it was pretty much what I suspected he would do. He’s got great vision. He plays at a fast as his mind evaluates any given situation and he executes. Unless it was maybe Will Smith, Tate Martell has shockingly strong hands and shoulders. Pitches like he made to Saunders shows his precision for exploiting big plays in the RPO. Because of his stature he has to take full advantage of his other skills to be effective. He’s got a great future ahead of him.

  3. yakata, i like both qbs a lot. but let’s not forget burrows. he dismatled a a talented miami team, by the first half. read defenses mixed up passes with run and wore out their defense. lost count of how many times miami players were lying on the ground cramping up. and lets understand oregon state is no miami. he was good under pressure. lsu got joe cool – and we got the silver bullet on offense. (and a pesky back up who is going to drive defenses crazy. can’t wait for the season to unfold.

      1. Miami has a very fast and good defence. I’s only offset with a garbage offense let by a train wreck at the QB position.

    1. @yakata, Brian….enjoyed watching Burrow lead LSU to victory. Was disappointed with the coaching in the second half of the game. Burrow was limited…they played not to lose…instead of keeping the hammer down….but even then he had no turn overs and managed the team well.

      1. The LSU coaching in the second half was some of the most cowardly play calling I’ve seen in over 30 years. If they want to be a threat to the top teams in the SEC Orgeron had better develop a set of balls.

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