Ohio State’s defense was put on skates last week and pushed down the stairs, and if that happens again this week, the Buckeyes will need to find a running game in order to control the ball and slow things down for a defense that might be reeling. Finding a running game, however, is not very easy to do against Michigan State.
Despite OSU’s defense giving up 48 points to Iowa last week, so much of the talk coming into Saturday’s game against Michigan State centers on Ohio State’s offense. The Spartans will bring the Big Ten’s best run defense into Ohio Stadium. Generally, in order to run against a defense like this, an offense will need to utilize the pass to loosen things up.
In his Ohio State debut, freshman running back J.K. Dobbins had 29 carries for a season-high 181 yards rushing. Since that game, however, the most carries he’s had in any single game is just 14. The topic of his touches has been ongoing this season, and ramped up even more after carrying the ball just six times in last Saturday’s loss at Iowa.
You all saw it and you were all frustrated by it — those wide passes to the sideline against Penn State that were constantly tackled for a loss or a very small gain. Well, not constantly. Of J.T. Barrett’s 33 completions, five of them went for a loss or no gain. Some of those passes were run-pass options, where Barrett had the option to run it…