Oregon State Quotebook: Dwayne Haskins Sees Dream Come True, Nick Bosa Feels The Pressure And Ryan Day Talks About Ohio State's Offense

By Derrick Webb on September 2, 2018 at 8:55 am
Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins breaks a tackle during Saturday's 77-31 win over Oregon State.
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer wasn't on the sidelines Saturday afternoon, a weather delay made halftime last more than an hour and Ohio State's defense gave up 31 points to a team that won one game last season.

But the negatives were far outweighed by the positives, starting with the play of sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the sophomore threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns in the Buckeyes' 77-31 season-opening victory.

Haskins became the first Ohio State quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards and five or more touchdowns in his first career start. But if you'd ask him, it comes as no surprise.

When asked if he would believe someone who told him he would've performed in the way he did, Haskins replied "I'd probably have told them they'd be right." And pressure? He's never heard of such a thing.

"I was probably nervous earlier in the week but when it came to today, no," Haskins said. "It's been an 11-year dream. I was thinking about that and just how far I've came just to be here. Just to have this opportunity is a blessing."

Haskins completed at least four passes to four different receivers: K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell.

McLaurin was on the receiving end of four passes and totaled a game-high 121 receiving yards alongside two touchdowns.

"I pride myself on being a workhorse," McLaurin said postgame. "I just want to be that guy (Haskins) can continue to trust and be that guy my team can trust to give me the ball. I just want to try and make plays."

While Haskins picked apart Oregon State's secondary, junior running back Mike Weber had himself a career day – literally.

On 20 carries, Weber racked up a career-high 186 rushing yards and scored three times. He also added a three-yard touchdown catch to find the end zone a fourth time.

Weber's backfield partner J.K. Dobbins split carries, taking 15 handoffs and gaining 74 yards.

"I don't want to carry all the load but if I have to, I will," Weber said. "(Dobbins) doesn't want to carry all the load but if he has to, he will. That's how it's supposed to be. I think I did a lot of good things today but there's things I could better."

That's quite the statement for a back that finished the day averaging 9.3 yards per carry.

In an overall sense, acting head coach Ryan Day was more than pleased with his offense's outing. In Day's first career game as a head coach, Ohio State racked up 721 total yards.

"I thought that we played with tempo today. And we were aggressive. I thought we stretched the field horizontally and we stretched it vertically, which is the goal," Day said. "But I thought the tempo was really good. We have a lot of depth at receiver. So we're able to play multiple receivers and stay fresh, which I think you could see. Our offensive line is in tremendous shape."

While Day continues to impress both on the field and off it, he also continued to stay true to his original stance on coaching the team; saying he was not selected to take Meyer's place but rather to fill a void while he served his three-game suspension.

"When you have those guys behind you and this coaching staff behind you, that's what it is. And, again, I've said this before. My job is not to replace Coach Meyer," Day said. "My job is to just keep this place until he gets back and never wanted to replace him, just want to keep this thing going in the right direction."

Most prognosticators predicted the Buckeyes to win big. In fact, Ohio State was a 40-point favorite and covered the spread. But what most didn't anticipate was Oregon State's offensive output; one that included 392 total yards and 31 points.

After heading into halftime trailing 42-14, the Beavers scored two touchdowns, from 80 and 78 yards out, in their first three offensive plays within the third quarter.

"I think it's a huge learning experience for a lot of guys," co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said. "There's several guys that made their first starts as college football players today. It's different. You're playing a Power 5 opponent and all eyes are on you. There's certain plays all those guys would like to have back. But overall, a real positive experience."

That's especially true for junior All-American defensive end Nick Bosa, who enjoyed just another day at the office. Bosa recorded four tackles and two sacks, recovered two fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown.

When asked if there was any pressure to perform at a certain level, Bosa admitted there was. But he also made it known that pressure wasn't going to stop him from continuing to torture opposing offensive linemen.

“There's definitely a lot of pressure," Bosa said. "But when you can go out and have fun like I did today, and enjoy who you're doing it with ... just playing with these guys that I've been working hard with for years on end and (defensive line) coach (Larry Johnson), and making him happy, that's what really matters."

One other bright spot on the defensive side of the ball was sophomore Pete Werner, who won a starting job in camp. Werner finished the day with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. However, even with that stat line, he knows there's still work to be done.

"I think, overall, it was a great start," Werner said. "I missed a few assignments, a few of those little dumps I need to focus on ... screen passes. Overall, I'm just trying to open my eyes and read my keys a little bit better. But overall, I think I did pretty good."

Haskins and Ohio State's offense will try and keep pace with themselves next Saturday against Rutgers, while Bosa and the Buckeyes defense looks to make improvements.

As those two units refocus on the Scarlet Knights, Meyer will be allowed to resume coaching duties during practices, starting Monday.

"I think this is a first start for Dwayne. It was a good start. We'll be building on it as we go. But I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. It's one game, and we have a long way to go," Day said. "We're looking forward to getting (Meyer) back and looking forward to those meetings and kind of building as we go to Rutgers. But it will be business as usual for us. We'll look at the film, make corrections, go from there."

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