Stock Up/Stock Down: Nick Bosa on the Rise, Ohio State Offense Rapidly Declining

By James Grega on September 12, 2017 at 10:10 am
Nick Bosa

Following Ohio State's 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, there weren't many positives to draw from for the Buckeyes. 

The Big Ten, after a stellar Week 1, didn't have nearly the same success in Week 2. Rutgers lost to Eastern Michigan after showing promise against Washington, Northwestern was thumped by Duke and Nebraska allowed 42 points to Oregon in a close loss. 

After all of that, there were still some silver linings for Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten over the weekend, so we will start with the good news first. 

Stock Up

Nick Bosa - Ohio State sophomore defensive end

Bosa already has one of the highest ceilings in college football, but he further solidified the theory that he is one of the best in the country against Oklahoma. The Sooners, which boast one of the best offensive lines in college football, struggled to slow down Bosa, who tallied one sack and two tackles for loss, which resulted in a combined loss of 10 yards for Oklahoma.

His sack of Baker Mayfield nearly resulted in a safety and gave Ohio State one of its few highlight plays of the night. He has also played more snaps than Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis in each of Ohio State's first two games even though Hubbard and Lewis were 2016 starters.

Drue Chrisman - Ohio State freshman punter

Replacing a four-year starter at any position almost always comes with high expectations, even if it is at punter. Cam Johnston set the bar high at Ohio State, and so far, Chrisman is filling in well. He hit all four of his punts against Oklahoma inside the 20-yard line and even booted one punt 52 yards.

So far this season, Chrisman has proved to be a reliable replacement for Johnston, who is still trying to find a NFL team. If things keep going the way they have been for the Ohio State offense, we might be seeing more of Chrisman, who might be the next four-year man at punter for the Buckeyes. 

Purdue Football - #BrohmBall

Inject Purdue's offense directly into my veins. The Boilermakers' double flea flicker against Ohio University on Friday night was the greatest thing to happen in West Lafayette, Ind. since Drew Brees. After nearly defeating reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville in Week 1, the Boilermakers put on an offensive show against the Bobcats, tallying 558 total yards in a 44-21 win.

Yes, I know it's just Ohio, but I am a believer in what Jeff Brohm has cooking in West Lafayette. I cannot wait to see what Brohm will draw up next in the Ross-Ade Stadium dirt. 

Stock down

J.T. Barrett - Ohio State senior quarterback

I am going to say something I never thought I would say in 2017. It might be time for a change at quarterback for Ohio State. Emphasis on the word might.

I have maintained for the last two years that Barrett was the best option for Ohio State's offense. I thought that under Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day, Barrett would get back to, or at least come close to, his 2014 self. Through two games, Barrett hasn't looked like a fifth-year senior. His 304-yard performance against Indiana looks good on paper, but if it wasn't for the catch-and-run ability of Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon, those numbers would not have been nearly as high. 

Ohio State's offensive issues are not all on Barrett, though. Running play action passes won't work if you don't give the ball to the running backs. Receivers aren't going to be open if defensive backs and linebackers don't have to honor the run. However, Barrett had some open receivers in the second half against Oklahoma, and repeatedly missed open targets or waited too long to deliver the football. He looked hesitant, something a fifth-year senior signal caller should never be. 

Let me be clear, I don't think Barrett should be benched outright. But I do think it might be time to give a few more reps to either Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow in practice to push Barrett.

Ohio State linebackers

The Buckeyes played four linebackers for the second straight game, and all four looked lost for most of Ohio State's game against Oklahoma. Jerome Baker, Chris Worley, Dante Booker and Malik Harrison were all sucked on RPOs and were caught out of position on multiple plays against the Sooners. The passing numbers make the Ohio State secondary look worse than they actually are because of the multiple plays left on the field by the linebacker unit. 

This group will be tested in a different way against Army, and will be asked to make multiple plays in the run game. I expect them to bounce back, but also expect non-wishbone teams to exploit Ohio State's over-aggressiveness moving forward. 

Ohio State Home Night Games

As we discussed last week, Ohio State has not won a home night game against a Power 5, non-conference opponent since 2003. The loss to Oklahoma extended that streak, with another opportunity not likely coming for a few years. 

Next season, Ohio State's non-conference slate features Oregon State and TCU. The Beavers are set to come to Columbus for the 2018 season opener and the Buckeyes and Horned Frogs are scheduled for a Sept. 15, 2018 tilt in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Stadium. While it's possible the matchup against Oregon State could be scheduled for a primetime kick, it's more likely Ohio State will have to wait until 2021, when Oregon is set to travel to Ohio Stadium, for another chance to break its losing streak. 

View 78 Comments