Today’s Topic: What To Expect From Chris Olave In 2019
Chris Olave caught a pass in the very first game he ever played in. It came in the season opener against Oregon State last year and went for five yards.
He then went the next eight games with just one more reception.
When Austin Mack was lost for the season at Purdue, Terry McLaurin moved over to Mack’s X receiver spot and helped out Binjimen Victor. Olave then stepped in for McLaurin, helping out Johnnie Dixon at Z.
Olave responded with a big catch at Michigan State, but then made himself known to every Buckeye fan with two touchdown catches against Michigan and a blocked punt. He followed that up with a 5-catch, 79-yard performance in the Big Ten title game, scoring once.
He went without a catch in the Rose Bowl, which is something to keep in mind when setting your expectations for him this coming season. Olave finished with 12 receptions for 197 yards and three touchdowns, playing in every game as a true freshman.
Ohio State will again go with at least two sets of starters this season, and Olave will almost certainly start at Z for the Buckeyes with McLaurin and Dixon now off to the NFL. There will be a competition behind him, but with the experience he gained last year and how comfortable he looked on the field, he should be out there for OSU’s first offensive possession in 2019.
But what kind of numbers should we expect?
Between the two of them last season, Dixon and McLaurin put up remarkably similar numbers. Dixon went 42-669-8 and McLaurin put up 35-701-11. That comes out to an average of 39 receptions for 685 yards and 10 touchdowns.
That’s not a bad place to start for Olave.
But we also have to figure in that the Buckeyes may be throwing a little less than they did last season. No matter who wins the starting quarterback job, they will be running the ball a little bit more than Dwayne Haskins did last season. We can also expect the running game to be better overall for a number of reasons.
A better running game will lead to bigger runs, which makes the passing game a little less prolific.
Still, it’s hard to ignore what Olave did when given an opportunity last season.
I think there may be some who expect too much based on a handful of big plays last season, but as long as your expectations stay in line with what McLaurin and Dixon did last year, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.