Over/Under Stat Projections for Ohio State's Top Offensive Players in 2019

By David Regimbal on March 28, 2019 at 10:10 am
J.K. Dobbins
Eleven Warriors

Under the direction of second-year offensive coordinator Ryan Day, Ohio State fielded the most explosive passing attack in school history in 2018.

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins set a single-season school record with 4,831 passing yards and an incredible 54 total touchdowns. The Buckeyes' top four receivers averaged nearly 60 receptions and the top two running backs combined for over 2,000 rushing yards.

With Day as head coach, the offensive renaissance should continue. And with new players stepping into key or primary roles in 2019, Ohio State's top playmakers could post some big numbers this fall.

Here's an early state projection for some notable Buckeyes.

Justin Fields, Over/Under 4,200 Yards of Total Offense

Haskins rewrote the school record book in his first and only season at Ohio State, but he had the benefit of sitting behind J.T. Barrett for two years before taking over. 

Fields doesn't have the same advantage, as the transfer from Georgia earned immediate eligibility to compete with Matthew Baldwin for the starting job this fall.

What Fields has that Haskins lacked, however, is the added running threat to the offense. Fields was ranked the top dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class, and his ability to pull the ball and run should help his offensive output. 

With that added threat on the ground, Fields could be in for a big debut season.

J.K. Dobbins, Over/Under 1,400 Rushing Yards

J.K. Dobbins thrived in his freshman season alongside Barrett, a dual-threat quarterback who was at his best running zone-read concepts.That opened big lanes for the freshman running back, who tallied 1,403 rushing yards on 7.2 yards per carry in 2017.

Those numbers dropped significantly last fall with the emergence of Haskins' passing attack and a more traditional running game. Dobbins recorded a team-high 1,053 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, but he averaged just 4.6 yards per attempt.

Splitting carries with a healthy Mike Weber had Dobbins looking for big lanes instead of the right lanes in an effort to make a huge play. That ended up hurting him in the end.

“He's the back now,” Day said of Dobbins this week. “I think he'll tell you maybe a little bit last year he was looking for home runs because he was kind of splitting reps with Mike. So he's going to have to make those five-yard, six-yard hard runs where he's going to finish them for seven or eight and maybe not try to hit that home run.”

Now that he's not looking over his shoulder and alongside another dual-threat, it's easy to envision Dobbins returning to his freshman form.

K.J. Hill, Over/Under 1,000 Receiving Yards

Ohio State's wide receiver room took an enormous hit with the graduations of Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon. The trio combined for 2,433 and 31 touchdowns in 2018, providing leadership and playmaking ability to a deep group.

The Buckeyes still have veterans like Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, along with the emerging true sophomore in Chris Olave, but senior K.J. Hill is expected to step up as the leader.

He thrived alongside the senior trio last year, hauling in 70 receptions for 885 yards (marks that ranked second on the team behind Campbell). With a need for veteran leadership and playmaking ability, expect Fields to rely heavily on Hill this fall, who will become just the sixth Ohio State receiver to crack 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

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