Today’s Topic: Who will help JK Dobbins run the ball in 2019?
The Rose Bowl was Mike Weber’s last game as a Buckeye and it was another indicator that he is going to be missed next season.
Weber rushed for 96 yards against Washington, but it felt like he could have gone for 196 if he would have just been given the chance.
Instead, Weber and JK Dobbins rotated series as they have done all season long, and in the process they short-changed Weber and almost cost themselves the game.
This wasn’t the first game this season where Weber was more effective than Dobbins, which has many fans concerned about Dobbins.
While there is reason for concern, let’s also not forget that Dobbins is at his best when he is the primary ball carrier, like he was as a freshman in 2017.
Still, he won’t be able to do it all on his own next season and he will need help. Fortunately, the Buckeyes have a number of players to turn to. Perhaps the first among those will be the quarterback, whoever that might end up being.
If it is Tate Martell or Justin Fields, Dobbins is going to have a running mate that will drive defenses crazy. If it’s Matthew Baldwin, he will have a quarterback that won’t take many of his carries, but defenses will still have to respect him.
There is also the H-back position, which saw Demario McCall playing more than ever over the second half of this season. Those snaps are only the beginning, and he will be one of the rare OSU H-backs who can carry the ball like a tailback.
Redshirt freshman Jaelen Gill will also be involved in the running game, but more in the Parris Campbell mold.
Then comes the other running backs. Ohio State signed two tailbacks in the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes, so there will be some options.
The 2018 signees were Master Teague and Brian Snead, and neither saw much action after the first couple of games this season. Snead has been suspended for the bulk of the season and Ryan Day didn’t have an update when I asked him for one on signing day.
Teague has all of the physical attributes and has been impressive at times in practice. He may be the leader in the clubhouse to be Dobbins’ backup.
There will also be a pair of freshmen coming next season in Steele Chambers and Marcus Crowley. Crowley came on the scene in Florida pretty late, but those who have seen him will tell you he is the best back in the state.
Chambers, meanwhile, could walk onto campus around 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, so there may be a role for him as well.
Yes, Mike Weber is gone, but there are a number of options to replace his production. It won’t be a one-man job, but then the Buckeyes have enough options that it won’t need to be.