J.K. Dobbins Was All Heart for a Team and a Fanbase That Never Knew How Much They Needed Him

By Johnny Ginter on December 29, 2019 at 12:37 am
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins

This is the third "J.K. Dobbins is basically a superhero" post that I've written since November.

In the first, written after the Penn State game, I noted how Dobbins was (as had occasionally been the case during the season) the only functional part of an offense that absolutely needed him to be otherworldly to win. He grinded and grinded and grinded and pulled the Buckeyes to a win in adverse conditions against a good team.

Dobbins, who ran for 157 yards, was exactly the stopgap-workhorse-nose-to-the-grindstone-insert-cliche-here player that Ohio State needed in a game where quarterback Justin Fields struggled with holding on to the ball and didn't seem to be trusted by the coaching staff to air it out.

In the second, written after the Big Ten championship game, I noted that Dobbins had 100 carries in just three games, a feat that no Ohio State running back had accomplished in decades:

Dobbins now sits alone in second place on the all-time rushing yardage list for Ohio State, but he also sits second in all-time attempts and is within 100 yards of Ohio State's single-season rushing record (currently owned by Eddie George, at 1927 yards).

Through an injury and despite a Clemson line that was keyed in on stopping him from accomplishing much of anything, J.K. Dobbins stood tall; 174 yards rushing, a touchdown, and 47 receiving yards on a gimpy ankle marked him as the most dangerous man on Ohio State's offense. Every play that he was on the field, Clemson had to account for his game-breaking ability, and it very nearly won the game for the Buckeyes.

Dobbins ends his 2019 campaign by passing Eddie George for most rushing yards in a season and finished with the first 2,000-yard rushing campaign in Ohio State history (and nearly 4,500 yards for his career). Only Archie Griffin has more rushing yards as a player for the Buckeyes, and after what J.K. Dobbins did for Ohio State on Saturday night, this season, and throughout his career, he deserves to be talked about right alongside all of the greats.

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