Football

Justin Fields Plans to Make Good Use of Lessons Learned

Ohio State football Justin Fields Binjimen Victor Jonah Jackson

Saturday in his debut as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, sophomore Justin Fields completed 18-of-25 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-21 win over Florida Atlantic. He also added 61 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.

His five touchdowns tied Dwayne Haskins’ OSU record for touchdowns responsible for in a first start.

While there were many good things that transpired from last Saturday, there were also a lot of learning experiences for Fields. Both Fields and head coach Ryan Day acknowledge there is much to improve upon as the schedule continues to unfold.

“He played well in terms of game management. Didn’t try to do stuff that wasn’t there. There was some times where we did get that three-man rush and he didn’t force it,” Day said.

“He got us going in those drives that we did and scoring later on it was because he kind of kept us on the schedule and didn’t try to force the ball in there. I thought did he a good job there. You know, a few things, reads, a few protection things we’ve got to clean up, but again the more experience he has, the better he’s going to be.”

For Fields to get better this week to prepare to face Cincinnati on Saturday, there is a long list of aspects within the offense that he will be working on, both in the passing game and in the running game.

“There’s a lot that we do and there’s a lot that goes into our offense in the running game, there’s a lot of reads,” Day explained. “There’s things that happen pre-snap. There’s things that happen post snap. There’s decisions that have to be made whether he gives the ball, pulls the ball, whether he throws the ball in a perimeter bubble game or something like that.

“And then the pass game, there’s a ton that goes into that. Are we into the right route, the protection calls, the decisions in terms of progressions, the location of the ball, his technique, all those things come into play.”

Every coach looks at his players as works-in-progress. The best players see themselves the same way. Aftter reviewing the film, Fields was able to point to areas that he specifically wanted to work on before this Saturday’s game.

“Fixing the little things, just like protection wise and just going through all of the reads,” Fields said. “I guess just carrying out the fakes and just doing all of the little things right.”

Fields also showed maturity in acknowledging that it was his job keep the tempo of the entire offense up throughout the game. After going up 28-0 in the first quarter, the offense seemingly began going through the motions. It is a lesson best learned in a 24-point win and not a 3-point loss.

For a first start, few Buckeye quarterbacks have been better, and yet after explaining the positive parts of his game with reporters, there was always the understanding that he could get better.

The even better news is that he also knew where and how to make that happen.

Justin Fields is going to face a much different defense on Saturday. Cincinnati is fast, physical, and disciplined. He is going to have to be quicker with all of his decisions, and he is going to have to make use of every last bit of what he learned in last week’s game.

If he does that, then it will not only bode well for Saturday, but for every other Saturday to come as well.

8 Responses

  1. Dobbins was asked to run wide when the defense was up taking away the run. So what was the next play? The same exact run! The next series, the same play calling. Dobbins two straight runs wide into more defenders than blockers. I am not so quick to blame Dobbins with this play calling.

  2. I really don’t understand what Day saw/sees in Coach Stud, the O-line coach. I don’t want to hear the excuse that they were ”breaking in new starters,” because the o-line was getting man-handled most of last year when they were veterans. I give credit to FAU for adjusting after the first 10 minutes of the game, but WHY couldn’t our guys adjust?! I don’t get how 4-5 star players, based on talent alone, couldn’t move freaking FAU off the line for 3 quarters! It’s the same as last year!

    1. Charlie, completely agree! last week after first 10 min and ALL of last year. line of scrimmage never goes forward, and for Dobbins to have run for 1,000 yards with virtually no holes all year was an achievement. Just don’t get it

    2. OSU’s talent is a quantum above FAU’s. There is no reason for them to get shoved around by 3 dudes from south Florida. Fick’s squad is going to be like a school of piranhas looking for the football. Buck up!

  3. Not every defense is going to be bad enough to allow 28 points in eight minutes and without that the Buckeyes would have lost last week. Improvement from the entire offense needs to happen and this week would be a great time for such improvement to materialize.

    1. Osu scored fast and early and backed off. They also didn’t want to show Luke Fickell too much. They won 45-21. FAU was no where close to threatening to win last week.

      1. OSU also had 4 other worthwhile drives and scored 17 points on them. Part of me believes that we took the petal off the metal, relaxed, FAU made adjustments and our D placed in 2nd string starters, so due to injuries they were third string starters. Our D essentially gave up 3 drives, resulting in 18 pts., 3 pts came on a TO. If we buy into the media, Cinncy’s O isn’t as dynamic, but their D is much better. Surprised that very few are mentioning that Teague in essence SEEMED to outplay Dobbins. Believe that Cinncy will be fired up, however, we are much more talented and we showed very little for Cinncy to prepare for on BOTH sides of the ball.

        1. Teague’s runs were more north-south from what I got. Dobbins had too many E-W runs.

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