Rod Smith's Fumbles

Chris Lauderback's picture
October 15, 2012 at 1:22p

This topic was brought up in the comments of Five Things and since it took a few minutes to research, I thought I'd share Rod Smith's fumbling history for those that might be interested since he put the ball on the ground again at Indiana.

2011 Season: 29 carries, 2 fumbles

  • Game 1: Akron - 18 carries, 1 fumble
  • Game 2: Toledo - 7 carries, 1 fumble
  • Game 4: Colorado - 4 carries, 0 fumble
  • He didn't carry it one time after Colorado.

2012 Season: 20 carries, 2 fumbles

  • Game 1: Miami - 3 carries, 0 fumble
  • Game 2: UCF - 3 carries, 1 fumble
  • Game 4: UAB - 4 carries, 0 fumble
  • Game 6: Nebraska - 2 carries, 0 fumble
  • Game 7: Indiana - 6 carries, 1 fumble

Career: 49 carries, 4 fumbles

Basically, if he were a workhorse back averaging 25 carries a game, he'd have fumbled twice each in those two games. Now, of course, he hasn't been a workhorse back and it could be argued getting into a flow carrying the ball might actually decrease his propensity to fumble but it's a chicken/egg conundrum. It's hard to sign up for giving the guy multiple carries when he track record says he's gonna cough it up once every 12 carries. With Hyde on a roll, Rod might only have kickoff returns to show he can hold on to the ball for awhile.


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ccollins0325's picture

Just going to say:
Went from contributing and fumbling freshman year; to 3rd string sophomore year; to 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns junior year; to first-team All-American and won the Heisman Trophy senior year.
This is not to say that Rod Smith is Eddie George-like. But he does have potential. 
Note: George - 63, 235. Smith - 6-3, 228

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Exactly. Beanie had issues holding onto the ball his freshman year. Archie fumbled on his very first carry. This will not be Rod's undoing by any stretch of the imagination.

thorvath22's picture

He's not any of those guys either...I'm sure for every fumbling success story you can name 10 guys that never earned the coaches trust back simply because they couldn't protect the ball. And he will have Dunn, Ball, Elliot, and Marshall to worry about next year.

Buckeye06's picture

Was the fumble in the Indiana game his fault?  Not saying it wasn't but it seemed it was right after the handoff.  I thought the handoff was fine but was it maybe not put where it should have been so when he shifted the ball moved?
Not an excuse but more an observation

NW Buckeye's picture

Urban indicated at his Monday presser that Smith took off too quick on the play.  That probably resulted in the awkward hand off you are referring to. 

CincyOSU's picture

Technically it is Smith's fault, but these option handoffs can be tricky and take time to get in sync with the QB. I'm not as concerned with this kind of fumble as I am getting the ball stripped by a defender.

OSUStu's picture

I seem to remember a similar fumble at the handoff involving Smith earlier this year.  However, it may have been credited to, it may not even appear in the list above.  Smith has to be much more cognizate of ball security throughout each play.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

ralEbuckI's picture

Thats my recollection too Stu.  It was the one during the UCF game and there was only one he was involved with during that game so I guess it was credited to him (if my memory serves me right).  I didn't think the UCF one was his fault, but the one @ IU seemed to be, I think one of the announcers mentioned it looked like he was trying to move it and secure it in his right hand.
Was a real bummer b/c I'm a big fan of his and I believe Urban mentioned when praising his progress the week before, that it would only take one bad play to move him back down.  Hopefully he can imake up some of that ground in practice over the next few weeks.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

The more playing time he gets, the less he'll have to worry about it.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

johnny11's picture

Yah Urban said Rod is still in the conversation with Jordan Hall out in the presser, so he better start making better use of his opportunities moving forward. I really like Rod and have followed his career for a while, but the kid just has to stop making stupid mistakes. All the potential in the world doesn't mean anything if you can't use your head when on the field.

Squirrel Master's picture

Some guys don't figure it out, even some take until the NFL to get it right! Great example is Tiki Barber. Was pretty much overlooked for a number of years until he got that rock tucked in right, then he was a top five back for half a decade.
Seems to me that yes this is less of a "how he carries the ball" situation now and more of a handoff problem. I see growth in running and the intangibles that makes a starting RB. I really think Hyde is still the starter over Rod Smith right now because of the little things like ball control, blocking, receiving. Purely based on running, Rod is a much better talent. At the moment, Hyde is just a much better all around back.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

I like Rod Smith and I hope he can turn things around (this seems to be my standard disclaimer on this subject), but the fact is he is in the exact same situation now as he was after his first game as a Buckeye:  Tons of talent, BUT...
The Eddie George argument has been brought up many times, and it is not invalid, but that was one dude -- yes, it could happen again, but is it likely?  Unfortunately, Rod may be one freshman-with-a-hot-hand away from never seeing the backfield again -- I hope he pulls it together before then.

"The revolution will be televised."

Seth4Bucks's picture

It wasn't just one dude though. Beanie Wells was much the same early on. I'm not saying he'll be the next Eddie George or Beanie. But the potential is there for him to become a great one at OSU if he figures it out.

SPreston2001's picture

Oh boy here we go with the Rod Smith talk lol. Guys I really hope Rod Smith can build a decent career but I just dont think hes going to get the carries. With Hyde playing the way he is Smith will touch the ball maybe 5-6 times a game if that! I honestly dont think hes anything like Eddie George. You dont see success stories like Eddies very often but you do see kids that come in with TONS of hype and never put it together. Where the heck did all this Rod Smith hype come from anyway?? I mean I saw the kid play in HS and he was nasty, but damn near every RB we have was nasty in HS. I remember watching Mo Hall play at Brookhaven and thought he would be the next great thing at the college level. Lets see Rod put together a nice full complete game before we start comparing him to Eddie. It seems like everytime he makes a nice run everyone pulls out their Rod Smith for President shirts lol.

the419's picture

I wish Urban or Rod Smith would talk with the Giants and Tom Coughlin. I remember Tiki Barber having the same issue, and they fixed it by having him hold the ball tighter up to his chest. They are doing a similar thing with David Wilson, who fumbles a lot too. Smith is a seriously talented back, I hope he figures this out. 

3technique's picture

I think Smith will get 5 carries for 57 yards this week and a TD. I think the light it going on. His fumble was a weird handoff exchange.. Our team will be really good when he is playing well. Carlos needs a breather to continue to be the bruiser...

Buckeyejason's picture

The guy has a lot of upside and potential but he's just in a bad situation with Hyde being the top back for the remainder of the season..and next season. The fumbles haven't helped his cause as well. I think he's improved his running alot since last year, just doesn't get enough carries to show if he can be a consistent starting caliber RB.


johnny11's picture

Yah The more things start to unfold I see what you are saying Jason. Hyde is performing really well and improving on his weaknesses every week. Not to say Rod isn't, but Urban really likes Hyde and what he brings to the offense. I also see Hyde here next year sohe may never get a shot until his senior year and thats if he doesn't transfer by then. Kids got talent though I can say that, just stupid mistakes as well. I will say though I really like him as a kick returner thats fun to watch.

jmoody's picture

We gotta get him carries. There will be growing pains but he is to talented to not use. Fumbles are horrible but I believe Rod has greatness in him.

"Did you push yourself to be great today? If you didn't do it you lost a day. We ain't got many days to lose. We're going to push your a$$ like its never been pushed because what you've got in you were going to find out" UFM

cinserious's picture

Theres no question Hyde is the better back. Rod Smith has more moves and vision/quickness but I wouldn't replace Hyde for him now or in the future. If Smith continues to progress, I see them being a 1-2 punch next year, if Rod does'nt progress, it will be Hyde and another dude as the main ball carriers. People like Ezekiel and Jalin Marshall don't really factor in because I see them next yr as more of a novelty out of the backfield much like C. Brown this yr. However in '13 Brionte and/or Warren Ball could push Rod Smith off the field unless he continues to make progress.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

jthiel09's picture

He'll prove himself, or Bri'onte Dunn will surpass him.


buckeye76BHop's picture

Thanks for this and hopefully now, people everywhere including 11W will now see Rod is a fumble machine.  If he were given more carries the odds go up that he'll fumble more.  This was my point exactly before the season and several (two 11w staff in fact) tried in some hilarious way to say fumbling wasn't the case of why he lost playing time last year.

"It's hard to sign up for giving the guy multiple carries when he track record says he's gonna cough it up once every 12 carries."

I'd say this was Fickell's reason last year and Meyer's this year.  Great stuff Chris...greatly appreciated.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987