Dwayne Haskins Leads ‘One Of The Great Drives In Ohio State History’

Ohio State Football KJ Hill Penn State Touchdown

The Penn State student section was at his back and to his left and right. A wall of sound, accented with ferociously shaking white pom-poms surrounded him from three sides.

He had 96 yards to go, and only 4:35 left on the game clock to do it.

The Buckeyes were down 26-21, and only a touchdown would do.

An unbeaten season, a chance to grab control of the Big Ten East, and stay in control of its College Football Playoff destiny was on the line.

Since he was 10 years old, Dwayne Haskins had wanted to be the starting quarterback at Ohio State. Now he was going to get a chance to try to live out his dream – leading the Buckeyes the length of the field in front of 110,889 fans in a hostile road environment.

No pressure, right?

Eight plays and 96 yards later, Haskins capped one of the most dramatic drives in Ohio State football history with a 24-yard pass to K.J. Hill.

Hill caught a quick screen, dodged around a block from Austin Mack, and raced up the sideline to the end zone.

“We just had adversity to earn, we had to keep fighting, keep swinging,” Haskins said. “You know it wasn’t pretty, pretty much the whole game, but we relied on each other, we had faith in each other, and we came out on top.”

Urban Meyer called it “One of the great drives in Ohio State history.”

In the wake of the comeback, it was hard to argue. In fact, the most remarkable part of the drive was how easy it looked.

From his own 4, surrounded by that deafening crowd, Haskins hit J.K. Dobbins on a little screen. Dobbins cut inside, then back out, and made it out to the 39. One play in, the Buckeyes were a third of the way to paydirt. The student section was far behind, and also a little deflated.

Dobbins rushed for seven yards. After an incomplete pass set up 3rd-and-3, Mike Weber converted the first down with an 11-yard run.

Haskins hit Parris Campbell on another screen. Campbell dodged outside, stiffarmed a defender, and dipped out of bounds at the Penn State 29.

After Dobbins rushed for five more yards, Haskins hit Hill, and the Buckeyes had the lead.

Coming into the game, one of the biggest questions surrounding Haskins was how he would handle adversity.

Sure, he had spent most of his first month as OSU’s starter burning through the Buckeye record books. But that was against Oregon State and Rutgers and Tulane.

How would he handle a real opponent in a truly hostile venue?

It took 96 yards, but Ohio State now has an answer.

“Obviously, this has been circled on our schedule for a long time, coming here on the road and winning,” said offensive coordinator Ryan Day. “We knew it was going to be hard. White out conditions, night game, they had it rolling. They did a great job on defense, but our kids hung in there. Winning on the road in the Big Ten is hard.”

“There isn’t a reason to be nervous. No reason to flinch,” said senior right tackle Isaiah Prince. “Stick together as brothers, play for each other, and just continue to play hard. We’ve been in situations like this before so it’s nothing new to us.”

Watch the winning touchdown below.

14 Responses

  1. The coaches need to point out to Hill that he can’t be high stepping into the end zone. That can be called an unsportsmanlike conduct. I assume the rule is the same but a couple of years ago it was called on LSU and they took the points off the board and penalized them.
    Great play, just hold the celebrations until you cross the end line.

  2. 200 west 79 street- i was concerned that haskins would be intimidated by penn st, happy valley and the white out. but when he went toe to toe with that DE from penn st- in knew he was not going to have any freshman nerves. i felt we needed burrows’ maturity, but Haskins behaved ALL MAN! i think for me that was the turning point in the game. i knew we were going to win.

  3. James- my comment specifically referred to the game winning drive. You can Argue Hill but not Chrisman. Chrisman had a great game but was a non factor in the final drive. I emphasize that Hill doesn’t get his shot without Dobbins vital play from the 4. And JK scored TWO tds. Not bad for a guy who was forgotten mid game. I’ll stand by my choice. It sure wasn’t Haskins

    1. I responded to the post because you said that “In fact, Dobbins was OSU’s most consistent offensive threat in the game.” He made 2 terrific plays on his 2 TD’s, and an outstanding play on the final drive, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. For most of the “game” he was pretty quiet.

      What I thought was excellent his play on the final drive play was seeing Demetrius Knox sprint out and flatten a defender who had JK dead to rights, Malcolm Pridgeon once the pass was let go by Dwayne started up the field, turned and sealed the backside when he saw Michael Jordan down the field ahead of JK who mauled a defender which ended up taking out a Buckeye wideout AND both defenders. JK was able to work to the middle of the field nearly unimpeded because of 2 very good blocks from Terry McLaurin and Michael Jordans bowling session. Then JK had a nice 7 yard run Mike Weber followed that up with an 11 yard burst putting it at the Lions 43. Parris Campbell then caught an inside screen and took it down to the 29. JK then had a 5 yard run to the 24. KJ finished it with a slot receiver screen.

      On JK’s big catch and run the blocking was off the charts excellent. Isaiah Prince and Thayer Munford completely eliminated pressure from Penn States edge rushers which allowed Dwayne a clean pocket at vision lane to release his pass. JK Dobbins is a fantastic tailback who is dangerous in the open field. Turns out on that play that it was Windsor for PSU who after getting up from being pancaked that finally tracked JK from behind. Had he not, Michael Jordan was still hungry and had just gotten back in front of JK and eliminated the safety and a linebacker that stood between JK and a 96 yard TD reception.

      The most consistent player for the Buckeyes was easily Drue Chrisman. He delivered every time he was called on, which was punts. IMHO on that final drive the 2 most glaring consistencies was play selection and blocking, which allowed playmakers to do their thing.

      Maybe I misread your post? It just looked like you made 2 distinct observations.

      I apologize if I misread.

      1. Hi James- It’s no big deal. I think we are just victims of email shorthand. My main point is that I disagreed with the article’s title (and premise) that Dwayne Haskins was the “star” of the 96 yard drive. It’s no crime for him not to be the “star”, it’s merely inaccurate to claim it. I picked Dobbins because he got us out of a huge hole with that run after catch- and I know he had LOTS of help. The point about Chrisman is correct, he was the most consistent performer in the game- he just had no role at all in the final drive. The article specifically referred to the final drive, not the entire game.

        1. I think Tom’s main point, and it’s proven out throughout ALL of history…… the victor goes the spoils. I’m going to invoke a line from the movie “Troy.” “History doesn’t remember soldiers, it remembers kings.” Dwayne is the King of the offense and the players are his soldiers. The victory is HIS win, even though the final skirmishes are the footnotes of the soldiers winning those battles.

          1. Hi James- I can’t go down that road with you. In previous games, Dwayne H put up some absurd numbers and looked effortless doing it. Not so Saturday. Regarding it being “his” victory, there are a few guys who may like a word on that subject- Victor, Chrisman, and D Jones chief among them. The team is the victor, not just it’s QB.

  4. Thanks to the two “Andrews” for their comments supporting the Buckeye team and enjoying the great comeback and victory over Penn State.

  5. Look, Haskins did a good job BUT – he wasn’t very good at all through 3+ quarters AND neither was the offense. This was a Penn State defense that had given up 200 yards rushing to ILLINOIS!
    Who deserves the credit here are the offensive line, which blocked for all of 3 series the entire game and Zone 6, which got most of the yards on this drive YAC. i.e. Haskins did good to not overthrow as he had most of the game but it was the receivers and Dobbins that made the drive, not any great throw or decision on Dwayne’s part. Give credit where it’s due.

  6. I need to be educated by all of the OSU experts on this site. Why do we continue to throw to all the wideouts except Victor??, Mack can drop pass after pass but we continue to throw to him. is their an issue with Victor (attitude/blocking)? he seems to be the most talented but he appears to have the least targets on the team, swear they throw to Saunders more

  7. Respectfully disagree, Tom. The prime mover on the 96 yard drive was Dobbins. In fact, Dobbins was OSU’s most consistent offensive threat in the game.

    1. Yes, JK Dobbins had 2 very good plays on that final drive, but he was far from being the most consistent offensive threat the entire game. He averaged 3.4 ypc with a long of 8 yards and 1 TD. Those are dismal stats.

      KJ Hill was targeted 7 times having 6 completions 1 drop for a 9.8 ypr average and, the game winning TD reception.

      No weapon in the Buckeye’s arsenal had a game even close to Drue Chrisman who provided more positive yards than the entire Buckeye offense combined.

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