Football

Sore For Now, Justin Fields Will Be Ready For November

Justin Fields Ohio State Buckeyes Quarterback

With just under 10 minutes remaining in the third period of Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields faked the hand-off to running back JK Dobbins, kept the ball, and then took off over the left side for a 10-yard touchdown run. He took a big hit from Badger safety Eric Burrell at the goal line, went airborne and then landed hard on his back in the end zone.

Fields got up immediately and celebrated the score, but soon headed for the OSU medical tent on the sideline. He emerged a few moments later, then spent some time stretching before heading back onto the field when the Buckeyes got the ball back. Fields then went on to lead the team to three more touchdowns in their next three possessions.

Even though he was in pain — as evidenced by random winces and slow-to-get-up moments — throughout the third quarter, he was still able to lead his team to a victory over a very tough Wisconsin squad.

After the game, he acknowledged he was sore, but that’s just part of the job when the game is on the line.

“Yeah, I mean, my back’s kind of sore, but I think I should be good in a few days, so nothing really major,” he said.

Fields ran or scrambled eight times in the game and was sacked five times. All told, he was credited with 13 rush attempts for 28 yards. Removing the sacks, however, and his actual rushing numbers show 64 yards on eight attempts, including a long rush of 21 yards on a scramble.

Technically, those 13 attempts were the most in Fields’ career, but he has had other games with more true rushing attempts — including last month’s trip to Nebraska.

He would have gladly run the ball more against Wisconsin had the game — or Ohio State head coach Ryan Day — called for it, however.

“I mean, my attitude for every game really is just to do whatever I need to help the team win,” he said. “So whether it’s run a hundred times a game, throw the ball a hundred times a game, whatever the team needs me to do to win. I’m down to do it.”

As the calendar has turned from September to October and now drifts into November, Fields has been able to experience the beginnings of the range of conditions of Big Ten football.

Saturday’s game was played in a constant rain, but even though the weather was not ideal, Fields protected the ball and didn’t turn it over.

“I feel like I handled it well enough. I mean, we won the game,” he said. “So I think at the end of the day, whether you turn the ball over, whether you don’t, I think coach Day always says, just handle it better than the other quarterbacks. I think I did a good job of doing that. And overall, I mean, we got the win. So I think that’s pretty much all that matters.”

Now with the weather about to turn colder, there are some questions about how well the Georgia native Fields will be able to handle playing in lower temperatures. He isn’t concerned, however, reminding the assembled media on Tuesday that he played in a game in high school that dipped below freezing.

He then also added another trump card that people don’t often think about when looking at the forecasts on their phones.

“The difference between high school and here is that they have the heated benches and stuff like that,” he said. “So I think I should be good on that.”

Fields isn’t concerned about the weather or his back.

He’s focused on getting better for the coming challenges later this month and beyond.

While some see an off week as a week to recover, Fields sees it as an opportunity to improve his overall game.

“I think a lot of guys they use bye weeks to rest and stuff like that, but I don’t,” he said. “I take an approach to the bye week as a time to get better. So during the bye week, I’m just gonna go back to the fundamentals and just working on my feet and pocket presence, and just get down to the basics really.”

9 Responses

  1. With potentially seven games left and five of them bone crushing, if Fields goes down we are screwed. It was not reassuring to see him in the medical tent. No one to fall back on with the portal revolving door.

  2. True, but that tends to happen when it’s raining sideways and better to take a sack then throw a pic six that could swing the game or the reason for a loss.

  3. Urban Meyer said it best, a quality OB needs to be a leader, tough, intelligent and know how to extend plays and get first downs.

    Check all of those for Fields last Saturday. He never fumbled, panicked or threw pics, he held on to the ball when drilled by Orr and took some shots, but got up and played. He led OSU to score in 6 of 7 possessions and made some key first downs and cracked open WI’s D with a spin move and then a 25 yard scramble and a dive into the end zone.
    No doubt WI’s front 7 is good and came in angry, 4 out of our 5 OL starters are new, so Munford and the OL need to pass block better. Remember our O was hampered by the rain and put OSU into some unfamiliar 3rd and longs, but it dominated in the 2nd half as we ran the ball on them for over 250+ yards.
    5. To Fields it was better to hold on then to throw a pic or pic 6 in that type of weather environment.
    6. No doubt the OL, especially Munford need to pass block better, especially during passing downs.

  4. Let’s not forget who we played. Wisconson had the number one defense in the country.

  5. I like Justin Fields’ replies. He’s the one guy who can’t be replaced. Cross your fingers everyone!

  6. Ohio State is near the bottom of the B1G in sacks allowed this season. If the offensive line doesn’t get it together when it comes to pass protection, then I worry about the future health of our elite quarterback. I really hope they take advantage of the bye week to improve their blocking skills to protect OSU’s most important player.

    1. I would venture a guess that about half the sacks Fields has taken are because he held the ball too long. That is not on the OL, but the QB.

      1. yes, agree he sometimes holds the ball and takes an unnecessary sack, where he could throw it away. but guess he’s also made something out ofa busted play too, so maybe he just has to get better with when to hold and when to fold! the OL could be better in pass block, but not quite as bad as the numbers say. and the run-blocking this year is so much better, so don’t want to throw those guys under the bus!

Comments are closed.