2019 Season Preview: The 10 Biggest Questions Surrounding Ohio State

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SoulPatrol32's picture

Seemed to me last year that J.K. was just “hoppy” instead of putting his foot down and going like he did his freshman year. I think he does have a terrific year this year though and will compete with Taylor for best RB in the Big Ten. 

Just posting and hoping my comment isn’t deleted. 

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Hmrivera76's picture

Still not getting any warm fuzzies about Fields.  IMO he should be better than Haskins with his high rating.  Btw I can't see college football being happy with these transfer rules.  It creates a lot more havoc than relief.

Hector m Rivera

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RBloodworth's picture

That’s basically where I am.  I’m just not buying in to the Justin Fields hype train until he can prove it.  I admittedly didn’t watch a ton of Georgia last year, but what I saw of him didn’t wow me.  Yes, the athletic talent is obvious, but I saw a guy who had a tough time picking up (fairly simple, IMO) offensive concepts.  Let’s face it:  if Fields was the surefire superstar that his recruiting rankings billed him to be (the Trevor Lawrence comparison is there for a reason), he would be the starting QB at Georgia, and Jake Fromm would have transferred somewhere else.  I’m concerned that we are betting the next two years (hell;  Ryan Day’s entire career) entirely on this guy (and God forbid if he gets hurt, or we are stuck with options that are, shall we say, less than optimal).  May he prove me a moron for writing this.

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stuckupnorth's picture

Jake Fromm is gonna be one of the first QBs taken in the nfl draft. Fromm has played well and to bench him would be ridiculous. It’s not like JT and Dwayne Haskins where one was a superior talent. Fromm a first rounder. Most have him pegged in top 10 without Andrew luck news.

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keith7456's picture

Exactly, I get so tired of the well he couldn't beat out Fromm so how good is he takes. Fromm is a projected top 10 pick and had his team one play away from a NC as a True Freshman. No one was taking the job from him.

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RBloodworth's picture

Yeah, Jake Fromm had a tremendous freshman season.  Jalen Hurts led his team to back-to-back National Title Games and is apparently good enough to be starting at QB for Lincoln freaking Riley.  Nick Saban didn’t hesitate to bench him in the 2nd half of the damn title game because Tua was just that much more talented.  If Fields was that much more talented than Fromm (who, let’s be real, is a slightly better version of A.J. McCarron), Kirby Smart would have played him more.

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keith7456's picture

Jalen Hurts has never been and never will be considered a 1st round talent. 

JAKE FROMM is most likely going to be a top ten draft pick. Future top ten picks don't get benched. Even if Fields is just equally as talented as Fromm we're gonna be very happy.

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RBloodworth's picture

We’ll just have to agree to disagree on Fromm, who I think is a VERY good college QB.  I just don’t consider him elite, like I do Trevor or Tua (I see him as a solid game manager backup QB in the NFL, not a starter).  Fields was billed as being elite, and neither I nor his coaches have yet to see it.  That’s my point.

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stuckupnorth's picture

The NFL also thinks he is elite. He will be a first round pick. Georgia runs the piss out of the ball. They don’t throw it a lot. There is no need to. Sam Darnold didn’t put up big numbers either. Numbers are so overrated. In college it’s easy to put up big numbers in systems at the QB position. Take example Meyer all his QB put up big numbers as does Houston and mike leach. Georgia QBs don’t run that type of system. Yet they get all SEC QBs. It’s not about numbers it’s about talent.

No one is Trevor L league and I think Tua is overrated.

You don’t bench a top15 QBs (unless coach is enomered with “leadership”) for potential. It don’t get much better than top 15 probably top 10. 

Trevor Lawrence would not have beat Fromm out or would have Kyler Murray 

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TigerSweat's picture

We all knew that Haskins would be the upgrade in the passing game that we needed in '17... Did he ever see the field other than blowout or injury situations? No. Now look at what smart was dealing with last year - an established returning starter who played well all year. There was never a Saban/Hurts/Tua situation that would have required him to bring in a true freshman to save the day. Fromm will also be a top 12 pick. This "he couldn't even beat out Fromm" argument is a little bit ridiculous.

Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0

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Blackcoffee's picture

Fromm role was as a manager. If you look at his stats last year. His biggest yardage passing game was in the last game, in a situation where he had to step up his passing game, but otherwise he managed the games, nominal passing attempts, running backs carrying the load, a superb defense. Smart did the smart thing. He felt no need to play Fields, even if Fields possessed a higher ceiling than Fromm( which he does).

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stuckupnorth's picture

Saying he slightly better than Mccarron is awesome.I don’t wanna sound rude. But have you actually watched these guys play.While hurts is a good college QB he is not gonna play a down in NFL as a QB. Tua is being billed as top 10 pick if not number 1. Huge difference in pulling undrafted player for the potential number 1 pick.While playing QB for Riley is good(last two number 1 picks)  the jury is out big time on Kyler M and it’s a QB friendly system.Jalen Hurts was never asked to do much. Bama pounds ball and Hurts would scramble and make a play every once in a while. He had a good game against Georgia? When Tua went out. But to credit playing in back to back title games. Well bama goes to title in spite of whoever they have at an whether if it’s AJ or the other nerd. They have been there with four different QB

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B1Gbuckeye's picture

Jake Fromm will be a first round pick though. No quarterback was going to beat out Fromm. That was who Kirby was comfortable with.

There is a difference between Kelly Bryant and Jake Fromm. Fromm can really throw the ball while Bryant has struggles.

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Kugel's picture

Everyone needs to realize that Lawrence didn't start in the first 4 games last year. He came into the season as a back up, not winning the starting job behind Kelly Bryant. Please tell me you are not comparing Fromm and Bryant. Fromm is an elite QB who had already been with the program and started and succeeded. MUCH different situation than Lawrence, who again....didn't beat out Kelly Bryant and only started after Bryant couldn't perform.

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MichiganBuckeye222's picture

Remember, Haskins was in the QB room for a while...and I’m pretty sure he learned a lot from JT....Fields didn’t have the benefit of being mentored...which will hurt his growth.  

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Moneymike's picture

Haskins most definitely didnt learn anything about being a passing QB from JT

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stantmann's picture

Moneymike: Probably not true. Just because Barrett wasn't a great passer, doesn't mean that Haskins didn't learn anything about being a passing QB from him. Ryan Day, Whitfield, Sam Wyche, Walsh, and even Joe Hollis weren't great passers either.  Some people have natural throwing ability (Haskins), and some don't.

"When you're part of a team, you stand up for your teammates. Your loyalty is to them. You protect them through good and bad, because they'd do the same for you." Yogi Berra

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Kugel's picture

Doesn't necessarily mean it will hurt his growth. Just because he isn't behind a veteran doesn't mean he can't grow as a QB. That is why they have coaches in place.

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buckeye1964's picture

i'm not completely sold on fields either. i like his ability; but, i need to see him do it against good competition. 

i don't think it's fair to hold him to the stats that haskins had last year - that's unfair. what i hope for with the day/fields offense is that it does NOT regress to the barrett offense: qb running more than the RBs and can't throw to receivers on the move. (that 2017 buckeye offense was painful to watch.)

if fields can be accurate with his throws while running OCCASIONALLY and the o-line gels - the offense could be very good.

danny

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seyekcuB's picture

Fields would have ran for 200 yards last night vs either of those defenses.

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ballotboxco's picture

Joey Galloway yesterday said he's seen Fields in 4 or 5 practices since the spring till presumably very recently.  He said each time he looks better and better and considers him already in the running for the Heisman along with Dobbins.  It is ESPN, but Galloway seems to be a straight shooter and have some pretty good takes by and large.  If what he's saying is true - we are in for a very special ride.  How long that lasts with he and Day -- time will tell.  I'm hoping he's right - this team has the capabilities to win it all this year and next, and form the recruiting pipeline for the foreseeable future.  What we don't all know - is Day able to harness that talent and make it so; I'm cautiously optimistic.

Number one, win the rivalry game. And number two, win every game after that.

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oldebucke's picture

Question #11. Can the defensive staff make ANY in-game or halftime adjustments or will we continue to watch as offenses embarrass us with basically the same scheme over and over again?

If you have two people that agree on everything, that only means one of them is not thinking at all.

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D-Train's picture

Well it's an entirely new staff, so I wouldn't count on the same type of coaching decisions being made

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oldebucke's picture

I understand that. I probably should have typed "new" staff. That was my question. I should have been clearer.

If you have two people that agree on everything, that only means one of them is not thinking at all.

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buckeye1964's picture

well, while were on the subject of defense:

- can damon arnette pass defend now?

- can werner tackle anybody?

- can borland be on the field without opposing teams targeting his lack of mobility?

if these guys are going to play, they've got to show they're not weak links anymore - if they produce, this defense could be scary good. if not, look out for another year of the buckeyes giving up big plays and lots of yards/points.

danny

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buckslan's picture

It was more than just those 3 that failed to live up to expectations, yet they always receive the brunt of the blame from the fanbase. Malik Harrison had plenty of mess ups last year, so did Shaun Wade and Jordan Fuller. Dish the blame around equally if you're going to do it.

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DS117's picture

Question 11: What songs will the DJ be playing in the 3rd quarter?

I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table. - Rodney Dangerfield

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B1Gbuckeye's picture

The staff actually had decent halftime adjustments. Teams just came out on fire and we refused to make adjustments during the game. Had to wait till halftime. An example is the Indiana game.

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Ortonhallalumni's picture

I'm excited for the next chapter...love the unknown..seeing what could evolve..we have a weak early schedule to get everyone's motors humming by Nebraska

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Major H's picture

All legit questions. I like JK with a chip on his shoulder. How about some LBs with chips on their shoulders, too? Maybe some OLs with some chips? The talent and potential is there. Time to deliver, gentlemen!

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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BuckeyeatTSUN's picture

Please no chip on Borland’s shoulder, don’t need anything else slowing him down.

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Trebor40's picture

Com'on with the down votes everyone, that was pretty funny! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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Bucks's picture

Excited for the season & to see what this team has.

Don't have the expectations some do. Competing for the conference title is a given. Beating that deer tick state up north is another expectation.

Past that, the depth (lack of) behind Fields & Dobbins put this team one injury away from problems.

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Ortonhallalumni's picture

I see Fields start a lot like Barrett and end his time much closer to Smith.

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RBloodworth's picture

He’s Pryor with a more natural throwing motion, for better AND for worse.

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Dillon G's picture

I’ll take the ability to run like Pryor, and passing not as good as Haskins, more like Troy Smith. But if you watch the tape, he throws an accurate deep ball and puts air under it. 

#walkaway

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Trebor40's picture

I simply say he has the potential to be a FASTER Troy Smith! If he is THAT, WE GOOD!

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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tGW's picture

I am hoping he is 1/2 as tough as JT. 

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buckeye1964's picture

i don't care how tough he is - as long as he can make other teams respect the passing game - something barrett could NOT do.

danny

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JTstan16's picture

2014 JT was a straight baller. Especially when the team started hitting its stride. The passes he was making vs MSU in East Lansing were a thing of beauty. If Fields can get to that or better & the defense takes a step forward, we're going 15-0. It's that simple folks. 

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Buckinnati's picture

Amen. We are at the beginning of the best of times we've ever had... Day will rank right there with Woody.

"Our kind of families win a few more football games than others." Coach Hayes

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Ortonhallalumni's picture

I want to see attitude..I want a nasty streak...relentless..

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

The defense can’t help but be better, right? Fields has a ton of talent but there should be growing pains before the offense starts to click. Biggest worry is lack of depth at QB. Play solid and build toward improvement every week. 

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Mike Yurcich once converted a walk-on QB into the starter when he was at Okie State. Him and Ryan Day have a great track record with QBs. I have to think that they believe that they can get Hoak, Chug, or one of the walk-ons to be a viable backup at some point. Maybe not to start the season but possibly by the time the meat of the B1G schedule starts. I hope anyway.

And Ive said this before, if Marcus Crowley or Master Teague blow up our RB depth is fixed. Teague has been hurt and Crowley is a true freshman still learning. I have more concern about this area. McCall isnt going to be RB2. He's going to be used to exploit mismatches not run the ball 20 times a game.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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Hovenaut's picture

Seeing how some are writing up Wisconsin thos season - with a freshman QB and workhorse at RB - why not Ohio State then?

I sure don't need the Buckeyes to be spotless from the get (hint: they won't be), but it's all right there for this very talented group to grow and progress from week to week.

Got M...igan gossip? Bang it here.

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Buckwheat's picture

I am anticipating a lot of growing pains this year, but also a lot of growth as well. Probably many games tighter than they should be, and a few that have a Wow factor. I just hope some of the games where we are still developing don't wind up putting a number in the L column. No matter what, this year will be an interesting watch. Win or lose, I love the Bucks, its just more fun when they are winning.

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Madbuckeye's picture

I believe there will be growing pains, but with the team stocked with elite talent on both sides of the ball. They will roll through the schedule and possibly lopsided enough to be a #1 or #2 seed in playoffs.

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BuckAttitude's picture

Seeing a lot of definitive comments as to exactly what Justin Fields is or isn't.  Is there some extensive body of work available on him that I'm not aware of?

BuckAttitude

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oldebucke's picture

I agree. You probably should have referred to them as "undetermined" definitive comments, however. :)

If you have two people that agree on everything, that only means one of them is not thinking at all.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

No, there is nothing outside the spring game and the few snaps he got at Georgia in mopup duty with a shrunken playbook.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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tGW's picture

I hear you. Apparently, he is a limited, finished product who should have beaten out 2-star Fromm easily and won the NC last year. We are doomed. Remember, spring games and practices mean nothing when you do well, everything when a player is not lights out. 

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

Well Fields did outperform T Lawrence @ a Camp.

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ladybuckeye's picture

I agree with you. One of my nagging concerns is that Ryan Day would not name him starting quarterback. My concern is that he was not performing to the level he should be. I'm excited for him to show us what he has!

ladybuckeye

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RBurgundy4's picture

So much depends on keeping Fields healthy. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that just about every team goal is riding on his health. If he plays every game the playoffs are entirely possible. If he doesn't who the hell knows?

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stpetebuck's picture

One thing we all witnessed in Tom Herman’s last few years is a superior offensive scheme is as or more important than the players you plug in. In 2014 it simply didn’t matter who you plugged in at qb. Conversely we saw that same group of college hof’ers fail with the frustratingly bad o scheme in ‘15  

I think right now coach Day is the new Mensa and we will be pleased with the results. 

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Blackcoffee's picture

Shit, this team is chompin' at the bit to erase the doubt(doubters) and all the 10 questions writers. They will not go unscathed this year, but they gonna stomp the life out of many teams. Its a brave new world of Buckeye football. Unfettered, unchained!

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LandonTruckedCollins's picture

Side note - Dobbins just needs 1,313 yards this year to surpass Eddie George for the second most all time rushing yards in school history.

Edit: 3rd most.  He needs about 200 more than that to pass Zeke for number 2.

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buckzilla1's picture

What is our culture going to be under Ryan Day? Toughness, elite, a brotherhood? The chase should be on. We haven't been the best team in America. Sure top 5 in America but not the best. Every team in America should be wanting to be Ohio State. We should be the team that imposes our will on everyone. This question is the gas that runs the engine. Ryan Day and Ryan Day alone can answer this question. It's show time. 

Jim Harbaugh is to coaching what Lou Glutz is to Motor sales. 

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kmp10's picture

Matthew Baldwin really fucked this team, and I can see why OSU might have chosen not to 'assist' him in the transfer process. Leaving after spring, and without any warning, was selfish, and the entire season hangs on thread as a result. If Fields stays healthy (and produces as expected), the team is playoff contender. If Fields gets hurt, however, then things suddenly look bleak, multiple top five recruiting classes notwithstanding. There's already enough pressure on Fields to produce and Day to succeed, and Baldwin's move only served to amp the pressure up to an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale. Running backs aren't as concerning. Dobbins is very good, and the guys behind him were four star talents who had their choice of good programs. They're green, but they're talented. The QBs behind Fields are not only green, they're also not very good, relatively speaking, and they did not have their choice of good programs. Fields staying healthy means everything for Fields, Day, Gene Smith, and the program as a whole. It all hinges on that kid... and that's a ton of pressure.

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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JTstan16's picture

I think you're giving Baldwin too much credit. Yes, he's a decent backup but he nearly threw 4 picks in a spring game. As long as Fields slides/gets out & stays healthy, Baldwin Bus is irrelevant.

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aj99's picture

This isn't Baldwin. His leaving hurts, but this is on the coaching staff. They should have done more to keep him. Day put everything on Fields, and it's going to bite him. It was a poor first decision to make as coach. It should have been handled differently. Can't blame Baldwin for wanting to get the heck out of there. But I can blame coaching staff for not being creative and persuasive enough to keep him there.

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

If I have the chance to bring in a player that has the highest potential of any qb ive ever had, or stick with an equally unproven qb that may or may not have a higher floor, you better believe I'd be willing to take that talent every time.

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Big Horn Buckeye's picture

It appears to me that it was known that Baldwin was leaving as he was showcased in the spring game similarly to Burrow in the previous spring game.

I think Day will handle things so the pressure won’t be placed on Fields. I see a mix between Barrett and Miller. If the Bucks make a run, it would need to be made with the Defense leading the way.

Always and forever, Go Bucks!

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Trebor40's picture

This ^^^^^^ is an excellent comment, I feel like Burrow before him, Day showcased these young men to give them a shot elsewhere - actually a very kind thing to do! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Dobbins uses the term - failure to describe last year. It absolutely was a disappointing thing but getting tackled in the backfield doesn't point to you young man. Run blocking was not good enough all year. Hopefully that's a priority to show we will now block and open holes.

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SpringfieldBuckeye's picture

I always watch the games from years past, watched Nebraska last night. Our O-line rarely ever made it to the 2nd level, where as UGAs line made it a point to hit the lineman and get to Devin White. Hopefully we can get to that second level this year

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Qb Spy's picture

We can be certain it won't be a losing season. I think there are enough pieces there, irrespective of q, that allow us to stay near the top.

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Schizo's picture

If OSU has a losing season there will be riots.

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buckinraleigh's picture

Among the other questions listed above, I'd add: "When it's third and one, who gets the yard?".  Neither Dobbins or McCall seem to be built for that.

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MaineStrength's picture

Fields beat Trevor Lawrence, among other quarterbacks, to win the Elite 11 MVP two years ago

I'm not sure winning the Elite 11 MVP is really that indicative of having a great college career.  Here are the MVPs since 2000 and some notable guys they beat out.  

2016 - Tagovailoa (beat Jake Fromm)

2015 - Patterson (beat Dwayne Haskins)

2014 - Blake Barnett (beat Kyler Murray)

2013 - Sean White (beat Deshaun Watson

2012 - Asiantii Woulard (beat Jared Goff)

2011 - Jameis Winston & Tanner Magnum

2010 - Jeff Driskoll (beat Teddy Bridgewater)

2009 - Jake Heaps 

2008 - Aaron Murray (beat Tajh Boyd, Geno Smith, & AJ McCarron)

2007 - Blaine Gabbert (beat Andrew Luck)

2006 - John Brantley (beat Ryan Mallett & Tyrod Taylor)

2005 - Matthew Stafford (beat Jake Locker & Tim Tebow)

2004 - Mark Sanchez (beat Chase Daniel)

2003 - Rhett Boma & Matt Tuiasosopo

2002 - Kyle Wright

2001 -  Ben Olsen (beat Vince Young & Troy Smith)

2000 - Brodie Croyle (beat Matt Leinart)

Strength equipment is expensive & guarantees you nothing. A strong will is free & will give you everything you need.

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buckjunky's picture

Everyone seems to be talking about the offense.  The defense is what needs to be a lot better.  Last year we really couldn't stop the run or pass very consistently and gave up a ton of big plays.  That has to change big time for OSU to be successful this year.  Defensive tackle and linebacker appeared to be the main problem areas.  I hope with new coaches and sceme this will change for the better in 2019.

buckjunky

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Kugel's picture

We can all keep stating the obvious about Fields and how he has little experience and needs to prove it all on the field. Every QB who has come into college football we can say the same thing.

Lawrence and Tua were both inexperienced QBs who excelled on the big stage. Fields has that talent, it is just a matter of putting it on the field. Their may be some speed bumps, but this kid can play elite QB....we just have to see if he can make the next step. I believe that he has the OL and weapons in place, let's see what this kid can do.

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Larryp713's picture

I really like coach Hafley. That guy has a great intensity and I would not be surprised to see a couple all Americans in the Buckeyes backfield this year.

The concerns about Fields will be answered very soon. He is a sophomore, first year starter at a new school, new offensive system and new coaches. I imagine his first few games will have some rough moments and he will get much better as the year goes on. I will just ignore all the geniuses here that proclaim he is the worst bust ever after every game.  

Respectfully,

Larryp713

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