Examining Ohio State's Passing Game Against Ranked Opponents and What Dwayne Haskins Can Add to the Equation

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ollie81's picture

Loved J.T. Barrett, but so did Urban Meyer a TON and everyone knew it.  When the game was close he consistently leaned on the legs of Barrett.  He usually bailed us out but it was a struggle VS top programs.  Hopefully with a more traditional QB and a stable of great backs we can keep defenses honest.  

"Because I couldn't go for three."

HS
Dstacify's picture

I can tell Urban thought of JT as family more than anything (kind of similar to his relationship with Tebow at Florida). But his over-reaching trust in JT hurt the offense at times last season, particularly in the Game. Urban has two of the top backs in the B1G at his disposal and they only touched the ball like 3 times in the entire first quarter in that game with the offense struggling because he wouldn't stop calling QB runs. If they continue to use the QB run this season I hope they bring Martell into the game for those packages. Haskins I don't see being very effective at the QB run and I think Meyer knows that because he completely changed the game plan on offense in the Game last year when Haskins entered the game (which was honestly for the better).

11 Strong.

HS
65 Toss Power Trap's picture

Urban has a tendency to fall in love with guys. That's not inherently good or bad or right or wrong. Just a fact.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'd hang my hat on Barrett and Tebow any day

Knowledge is Power

HS
Dstacify's picture

Oh absolutely. Barrett and Tebow are both A+ character guys that would appeal to any coach and both had exceptional leadership skills. That doesn't change the fact that they both had severe limitations to their game and it's a big reason why Tebow is playing baseball now and why I don't think JT will last very long in the NFL. I think what Urban failed to realize at times last season is that he had plenty of other great skill players on offense besides JT (like Dobbins and Weber). It's pretty much commonly accepted around here that the way Dobbins was nearly excluded from the gameplan against Iowa entirely was absolutely criminal and all so they could call desperate pass plays and watch JT play catch with the Iowa secondary. I think what flaws JT had that were very obvious Urban refused to even acknowledge whatsoever. Urban is normally a very critical thinking HC who is not afraid to rip his players for any shortcomings they may have but I can't remember him doing that once with JT (which is normally a good thing but if you're flat out turning a blind eye to his shortcomings on display against teams like Oklahoma and Clemson it becomes a problem).

11 Strong.

HS
65 Toss Power Trap's picture

Great post. I completely agree.

Knowledge is Power

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TresselforPres's picture

Giving Zeke 11 attempts and JT Barrett 15 attempts (for 44 yards total) during that loss to Michigan State was sinful. Whoever's fault that was shouldn't be coaching squiglet football let alone at Ohio State

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Dstacify's picture

Supposedly Meyer was trying to protect Zeke in that game because he had been feeling ill throughout the week (probably a side effect of all the drugs that we now know he was taking and all the partying he was doing during his time at OSU) and limited his touches as a result. That obviously was the wrong decision especially playing in conditions where throwing the ball was nearly impossible.

11 Strong.

HS
awlinBrutus's picture

Actually he had a injury to his leg that required time in the hospital that week. I dont think he practiced that week at all because of it. I blame Meyer and Warinner for that loss. Didn't help matters that the DL jumped off sides twice on the game winning drive. It was rumored the msu center was getting away with moving the ball prior to the snap inducing our DL to jump off sides twice. But that
2015 team shouldn't have lost to anyone.
team

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

HS
Dstacify's picture

As I recall Beck handled most of the play-calling in that game while Warinner coached the linemen on the field. That was why they moved Warinner up into the booth with him the following week cause that approach clearly wasn't working.

11 Strong.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

People keep saying this but refuse to acknowledge that Zeke was in the  hospital just a few days before that game.  At least acknowledge the possibility that there was something limiting Zeke and that was why he didn’t get the ball much.  You should also pull-up his ypr numbers for the carries he did have—wasn’t great.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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Extramedium's picture

Yup in the hospital and didn't practice all week.  

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Ghbuck23's picture

It’s a trend even when the HBs were healthy. That the QB gets more carries especially when he is struggling in the passing game.

Riddle me this Zeke was in the hospital all week right so Urban was looking out for Zeke’s health . Then why would Urban play JT after he just had surgery just that weekend & run him all game long on 1 good leg ? 

I guess we forgot that we also ignored Carlos Hyde on 4th & 1  , just to put the ball in Braxtons hands .

How do those 2 things make any sense ? And if Zeke wasn’t good to go where was his backup ? Why is Zeke’s back up the QB ?th

Win Baby , Win

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Silver Sniper's picture

23, you know logical questions are not allowed in here. Stop ruining the narrative that makes everyone feel better...

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fear_the_nut70's picture

You misread my post—never said anything about looking out for Zeke’s health.  He wasn’t effective, which is why I also referenced his yards per carry number.  The suggestion is that just giving him the ball more would not have been the simple elixir for winning the game that many suggest.  Whether this was a trend or not in other games doesn’t speak to whether Zeke could have been more effective this game.  If you want to respond to my posts you should read them more carefully.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
southalabamabuckeye's picture

Haskins will need to use his skill set to be successful, just like JT used his own skill set to be successful. Urban, Day, and Wilson need to adapt the offense and play calls to maximize those strengths.

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bucks15's picture

Probably controversial- if we don't rush Barrett back for Wisconsin and Haskins starts we would have made the playoffs.  I think the committee knew our weakness and we did little change the perception from the slacking we got the year prior. 

As far as moving forward, damned your modest Haskins predictions.  Haskins is going to show to be a more refined Cardale- I just hope the receivers can be 80% of what we had in '14.  If so, look out.     

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bd2999's picture

Maybe, it is a big spot to have your first start. Jones did it but I would say that is generally the exception rather than the rule. Haskins probably hits a few of the deep balls at the end of the half though. At least that would be my expectation.

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analyticalguy's picture

That's certainly possible (with Big Ten championship).  It's also possible that with a same or similar result, the Buckeyes could have still been left out of the playoffs. Or Haskins could have made some freshman mistakes that led to a loss. I have no idea.  But ain't it great - we can all have our own (conflicting) opinions, and none of us will be wrong!

I hope you're right about Haskins moving forward.

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Ghbuck23's picture

We have no idea what could have happened in Haskins played . But talk about Freshman mistakes , The defense shutdown Wisky Ala 2014 , JT gave Wisconsin probably half of their points.

I doubt Haskins plays worse than JT played in the B1G championship game. Missing throws , throwing picks and keeping the score awfully close with his usual multiple 3 and outs.

The B1G championship was a statement game to impress the committee, leave no doubt we were better than the team sitting at home on the couch in Alabama, we couldn’t afford that kind of performance especially when we had 2 embarrassing loses where we displayed the same crappy offense.

Win Baby , Win

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PRO8's picture

Yes that 31 point loss to that top flight Iowa team and the bad loss to the Sooners at the Shoe had nothing to do with not making the playoffs

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Extramedium's picture

According to the committee, those losses shouldn't have outweighed the quality wins.  But yeah it's all pointless speculation.  Dealing with human beings who make the final call, there's no way to guess what would have happened if we destroyed Wisconsin in the championship game.

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fear_the_nut70's picture

This is pure speculation, nothing more.  I hate when fans make these kinds of pointless arguments (and I know you said probably contrroversial)  Time for us to turn the page and move on.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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McGrind's picture

Dead-on. DVs be dammed. Haskins throws effectively and the main reason to keep us out of the natty is gone. We beat Wiscy either way...but a Haskins win gets us in the playoff.

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Ha ha.  This has become a 2014 meme—it was Cardale that won it for us.  Fans continue to ignore how well the o-line was playing, Zeke, elite receiver play (plus d playing on its ear at the end of the year) while propping up Cardale’s mediocre numbers.  Every year college teams with elite passers to include QB’s who can pass downfield don’t sniff a title. I guess simplistic false cause-effect analysies like these are all some fans are capable of—can’t wait for your bag of excuses if Haskins has a good year and OSU doesn’t win I t all (cue HOF’er coach blew it).

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
Furious George 27's picture

Lol, Jones’ mediocre numbers.... 60.9% 860yds 7TDs & Ints. That’s primarily playing against Wisconsin, Bama & Oregon after he spent the majority of the season on the sideslines. Zeke exploded because there was no longer a QB taking 10-15 carries away. It’s funny how this elite WR and OL play emerged out of nowhere considering it had been there all year. OSU basically simplified an offense and was much better for it because it took away the predictablility that was there under JT. They allowed a Stud RB be the stud. Allowed the QB keep the play book simple against 3 top 5 teams and forced the Opposing D to respect the pass instead of cheat up on the line. I’m actually hoping to get away from the RPO. OSU has two RBs that can carry a team alone, a QB that is a pro style QB that should focus solely on passing. 

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Dolo’s numbers were great against UW, not great against Bama and Oregon.  When you average them out they look great.  You do have a point with level of competition.  It is universally accepted at this point that playbook was stripped way down and he wasn’t even allowed to throw inside.  I think no film and limited time to prepare for our opponents (with no film) helped a lot.  Plenty of people like me think he was bailed out a ton by the receivers on 50-50 balls.  Don’t misunderstand me, not saying he didn’t play well, just that he doesn’t deserve all the credit people like you are giving him.  The point about the o-lines Zeke, playing well wasn’t to compare Jt’s play to Dolo’s, but instead to co trust with seasons thereafter.  JT’s numbers were awesome that year and it is generally regarded as his best year.  Think you missed my point there.  That you and others seem to think that a strong-armed q.v. who can pass downfield will fix all, or that the QB runs are the “real” problem, well to the extent that is what you think, you are a bit delusional.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
Furious George 27's picture

My point was OSU always had all of that, a great OL, RB and good WRs. They limited it by running a RPO under JT. His arm was not accurate enough to hit the deep ball, so he couldn’t even get it to a 50/50 ball consistently. Teams didn’t have film on Jones, however that doesn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t shut him down. The biggest thing Jones did was take off running when his 1st read wasn’t there. He killed Bama really by pulling the ball down in certain situations. A strong armed QB can get the ball down field to give a WR a chance to make a 50/50 ball, removing a QB run will put the ball in the hands better runners. JT was a great athlete, but was limited as a QB. Why force someone to run when he’s not remotely as good of a runner as Zeke, why force someone to throw deep when they cannot throw deep accurately? OSU would have been better off handing the ball off and concentrating on short passing with an occasional deep ball. They forced JT to do something he wasn’t great at. Keep in mind his best year included a bunch of touch passes that were no more than hand offs that go down as passing TDs. The problem with Jones was they forced him to run JTs offense in 2015. I’m hoping they don’t force an offense on a QB that doesn’t play to their strengths and the strengths of the team 

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

HS
BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Furious, 100% correct. Many will question nothing. I love this team but many decisions were questionable. Hopefully we're not going to watch the university Waste the salaries of our 2 coordinators because the 3rd OC won't open his mind to handing off to great RB's and passing w/o emphasizing the QB running. Hopefully but not going to believe it until it happens.

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Dstacify's picture

Haskins I think will be a far superior QB to JT in terms of talent that will appeal to NFL scouts. However, there are certain wrinkles to Urban's offense he will not be as adept at running as JT was like running the RO or QB runs in general. I hope Urban realizes that and doesn't set Haskins up to fail by asking him to run a high volume of those plays.

11 Strong.

HS
65 Toss Power Trap's picture

He won't over-run Haskins. He doesn't have to with the 4 running backs we have.

Meyers biggest issue this year is deciding on a group of WR's. They need reps with Haskins before any of them could be good let alone Natty caliber. He needs to make that decision on 3-4 guys after our 3rd game, for (timing between QB and WR). If he doesn't we'll have the "Keystone Cops" looks that all of us have cringed at on 3rd and 12 situations.

Knowledge is Power

HS
Dstacify's picture

In regards to WRs Campbell should be on the field no matter what. He's one of our most explosive players on offense atm and if he improves his hands at all going into next season I could see him having a 2016 Curtis Samuel type of season. Austin Mack also apparently rooms with Haskins and showed good chemistry with him in the Game last year so I'd put him as the frontrunner to start. My other vote would be for Dixon to play opposite Mack as Dixon showed Devin Smith-like burner ability on deep throws last season and I think he'd benefit greatly playing with Haskins. Victor was the biggest liability at WR last year due to all the drops he had so I'd limit him to mostly goal line looks as he can be money down there due to his height and TMac while he does have speed aside from that is nothing special. I don't mind seeing KJ Hill at H-Back some but he doesn't offer as much upside at that spot as Campbell does.

11 Strong.

HS
buckinraleigh's picture

Mostly agree but I'm torn about the H.  Campbell can be explosive, but can also hurt us at times with his drops and mental errors.  KJ is very reliable (at least by comparison) with his toughness and blocking, but doesn't have the explosiveness.  Not sure which is the better fit for a first-year QB with a gunslinger mentality.

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Dstacify's picture

Campbell if he improves his hands should absolutely be playing the H spot over Hill. Hill is a solid, reliable player but he's not quick enough to run away from defenders (never once have I seen him do it since he's been here) and Urban kind of emphasizes speed at the H-Back position. Campbell meanwhile is a threat to break away from the whole defense anytime he touches the ball, he's that fast.

11 Strong.

HS
brutus0717's picture

Why do we always have to be looking for the long play? Every good NFL team, college too for that matter, has a possession receiver to go along with the burners and quick-twitch guys. Good God, we have 97 receivers on this team who can all supposedly play, pick your 3 or 4 top guys (depending on the package you need) and move on. And by the way, you're excluding Victor for drops and not Campbell? Hell, Dixon had a few bad drops too. This whole corps needs to step up BIG TIME this year for this team to go anywhere. If not, we'll run over the softer part of the schedule with JK and Weber, and get beat soundly by the better teams.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

Hill may not have the speed, but he has the proven reliability.

I don’t agree with the assessment that Campbell’s potential to take it to the house, means he should be on the field no matter what.  Campbell should be judged and/or benched based on the very same merits the other 5 are.

Narrative is that he can take it to the house, in reality how many times has he.  By all means he can get it and go, and has talent.  But it should not be to the exclusion of someone else who is doing the things consistently that he’s not (if he isn’t).

Personally I’d like to see more utilization of the X guys with a good mix of the Z.  The over use of the H catching the ball is something that I hope to see reduced since we now have a QB who is said to be able to make ALL the throws.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Whether Haskins skill set is better suited for the NFL is totally irrelevant to what kind of college QB he will be.  If all the pointless speculation this annoys me the most.  See Tebow was f you are confused.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
Dstacify's picture

It's absolutely not irrelevant. He has to perform well at the college level to have a shot at the NFL, period. And nothing about what I said is inaccurate. Haskins on paper from a physical standpoint is a far superior QB to JT in terms of NFL potential and what scouts will look at if he produces. JT only broke Drew Brees' B1G records and he wasn't even drafted. Pro teams know just by looking at his style and limitations that he won't succeed in the NFL. Now does this mean Haskins will accomplish more than JT did here? Probably not considering JT was a 4-year starter and Haskins almost certainly won't be given his remaining eligibility. But if Haskins does win a Natty it'll be 1 more than JT ever won for us. So much of Haskins' success this season will depend on how flexible Meyer is willing to be in tailoring the offense to him.

11 Strong.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Yes great NFL QB’s come from great college QB’s.  But the opposite isn’t true—you don’t need to be a. Good NFL QB to be a great college QB, the reason I gave you the example.  More important you fit your college system IMO.  I can also give you scores of examples of guys who went on to have prolific NFL careeers that didn’t come close to winning a title in college.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
GlassCityBuckeyes's picture

Balanced attack is a real thing, true contenders have it, this year I believe we see it.

Noon games suck

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Dstacify's picture

Yep. And 2006 (right up until Troy Smith let himself go and got fat just in time for the NC game).

11 Strong.

HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

2014 also had a fantastic O-line at the end, a TOP 5 pick NFL RB, and arguably the best deep ball receiver OSU has ever had.  Hate when people over simplify-without these things, your downfield passing game doesn’t exist. 

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

HS
ShawneeBuck74's picture

This is a really solid, balanced article that says much of what the sane praise and rational critique of JTB have said on these boards. Cosign. Well done. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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bd2999's picture

Nice article. I think Barrett was a great player but Haskins should bring something else to the game. One has to think the QB run will always be a part of things but it should not be as big of a part. Especially with the talent out of the backfield.

The QB is critical but it will also be critical to see how the line blocks for passing. If the newer guys struggle than it does not matter how big your arm is to get the ball downfield. I am excited and a little nervous for the season.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

I still maintain, just want to see the offense look more open, not so predictable, take some chances, and be multiple.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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Seattle Linga's picture

Personally I believe we ran plays that we were comfortable with and were conservative in the trying moments when we had the lead. I think we will open it up a bit this year after we get use to the offense. 

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

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redwoodz's picture

all aboard the Haskins Hype Train!!!!

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

I hope we destroy competition by showing mad balance. Day and Wilson can do that if allowed. Unpredictability can be a fierce factor. Emphasize blocking and sit receivers who drop passes. Don't worry about it. You're gonna do better next game. Luckily we have skilled back ups who won't slow down our momentum. Next man up to earn quality reps. It should be damned good to see.16 carries for Dobbins, 15 for Weber, 4 for Teague, 4 for Snead, 3 for Gill, 3 for Campbell and 2 for Haskins. 3 for Martell also. Balanced with 26 - 32 passes. Unstoppable. Much quicker tempo as well.

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D-Day0043's picture

They have to get the vertical passing game going. I’m sick of seeing defenses stack the box and not respect the passing game. They have got to stretch the field. They need to take at least 4 or 5 deep shots a game. If they can hit a couple of them per game defenses will start back off and hesitate. Webber and Dobbins will Have a field day.

When you lose, say little. When you win, say less.

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CowCat's picture

There's a great article analyzing Haskins on Land Grant Holy Land

The things that really stand out to me are Haskins' quick release, accuracy and velocity His ability to quickly throw the ball downfield on a rope should allow our WRs to catch the ball before defensive backs have time to react. I expect to see more slants, out routes  and skinny posts.

He also throws a nice arc pass on deep fade, corner, post and go routes when the WR breaks free.

As for Haskins running, I'm not concerned. He has already shown he can run adequately, but I think we'll see him run more to the outside than to the inside.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

If Urban can't develop a new thought and insists on over running the QB "Yet again"... delivery of an injury we can't afford... followed by proof Martell can't throw the football well enough.... It would be a display of seriously bad coaching and decisions. Time will tell. First step is admitting you have an ugly addiction.

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Extramedium's picture

I'd argue it's not an ugly addiction when it worked so well. But he's not going to have many designed QB runs because it's not in Haskins' skillset.  He can take off when there is space but he's not going to be doing many of those 3 and shorts that JT ran so effectively. 

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Hovenaut's picture

Needed a day to reread and then comment.

The stats don't lie...Barrett had his limitations and struggles, but so did the offensive staff/playcallers.

No excuses, I'd expect to see a marked improvement in the metrics and national ranking...and it'll take Haskins and staff to do it.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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Trotwoodbuck's picture

If Haskins truly has the arm talent he appears to have it is essential OSU rides it to a very successful season and he ends up a high draft pick.  Failure to see that materialize will not only lead to a potentially disappointing season but could have ramifications on recruiting. I have little doubt that the numerous highly drafted OSU players in recent years is what actually drives recruiting not the possibility of playing for a National Championship. That is just a bonus. Having a QB play so long and be so prominently associated with the program as Barrett was go undrafted was not a good optic for QB prospects, particularly after Jones, while drafted, essentially disappeared after getting to the NFL.

HS