Skull Session: Nick Bosa's National Title Confidence, Dwayne Haskins' Aggressive Arm, and Wide Receivers' Confidence

By Kevin Harrish on August 30, 2018 at 4:59 am
Robert Landers yawps his was into today's Skull Session.

We've made it. Week 1 of the college football season officially begins tonight at 7 p.m.

We still have two days until Buckeye football, but after the month we've had, this is a welcomed start.


Word of the Day: Hodiernal.

 BOSA HELPS US REFOCUS. These past few weeks have been exhausting and tumultuous to say the least, but we're now just two days away from Buckeye football.

It's easy to forget that before all this happened, Ohio State was a favorite to reach the college football playoff and win the national title. And, as Nick Bosa points out, not much has changed on that front.

He's right. Off-field drama, a new receivers coach and a suspended head coach doesn't change the fact that this is one of the most talented teams in Buckeye football history. There's no reason why that would have changed the past few weeks.

 INTERCEPTIONS ARE GOOD, ACTUALLY? With a gunslinger as confident as Dwayne Haskins at the helm this year, you can expect a few more high-risk passes, which will undoubtedly lead to a few more interceptions.

But that might not necessarily be a bad thing, according to Doug Lesmerises of, who predicted Haskins to throw more interceptions than any other quarterback Meyer has had at Ohio State.


4. Dwayne Haskins will throw 13 interceptions

And it will be glorious. 

The Buckeyes haven't thrown more than 12 in Meyer's six seasons, and that came during the national title year in 2014. Interceptions aren't all bad. They're sometimes a sign of an aggressive offense and a confident quarterback taking some chances.

Last year, J.T. Barrett threw nine and Haskins threw one. Expect Haskins to put it up more often this season and to not be afraid to give his receivers a chance to make plays. Maybe there's a tough day in there with three picks. There might be a few games with two interceptions. But there will also be a payoff.

Deshaun Watson threw 13 and 17 interceptions his last two seasons at Clemson and made the national title game both seasons. That's the comparison. A lot of confidence, a little risk, some mistakes and even more big plays.

I absolutely agree that Haskins is much more of a confident risk-taker than Barrett was. That's going to make Buckeye fans extremely happy 98 percent of the time, but make them want to defenestrate their televisions the other 2 percent.

Haskins only threw 57 passes last season, and I can think of three off of the top of my head that J.T. Barrett never would have thrown. Here were the results:

Dwayne Haskins to C.J. Saunders
Dwayne Haskins to Austin Mack
Dwayne Haskins interception.

One way or another, it's going to be an extremely entertaining year.

 RECEIVERS BACK HASKINS. If there's anyone on the team that needs to have confidence in the starting quarterback, it's the guys catching his passes.

Thankfully for the Buckeyes, that seems to be the case in Columbus.

From Colin Gay of The Lantern:

In Campbell’s experience, there is a point when a younger player with high expectations takes a step forward in terms of leadership and growth. For the redshirt senior, he saw that in Haskins during the second week of fall camp.

“Honestly, I can say Dwayne, in that week, even from the beginning, he just wanted to open up, become that leader, and I think that second week is when you actually seen that,” Campbell said. “He took more control in the huddle. He was just more aggressive with his leadership.”


“He makes some of those throws that are just crazy,” redshirt senior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon said. “I mean, the guy, he has the talent. He’s just ready to unleash it Sept. 1.”


“He’s come in really gaining that respect from everybody, not only as a player, but as a person. It’s a work in progress,” McLaurin said. “Obviously, he has to translate what he has done in camp to the field, but I’m really impressed from where he started in the summer training now that he’s becoming one of the leaders on the team.”

I think the guys that will benefit the most from Haskins taking the reins as the starter are Ben Victor and Austin Mack, the team's two target and possession receivers who play outside of the hashes often.

J.T. Barrett didn't throw to the deep, outside portions of the field very often or terribly well. Haskins does, and will this season.

 OHIO STATE PLAN TO MAKE TEXTBOOKS "CHEAPER." It appears Ohio State is trying to help cut the cost of attendance for students, which is always welcome.

The university is planning to eliminate 70 percent of all the school’s course fees and to waive the cost of taking additional credit hours for students doing internships or trying to complete their degrees on time.

Those things are very good, and are genuinely helpful to students. But then there's this, from

Ohio State also plans to offer “steep” digital textbook discounts. An emailed news release says the school will pilot a new strategy to deliver digital textbooks that cost up to 80 percent less than traditional textbooks.

“In the ‘inclusive access’ pilot, students in nine College of Social Work courses would pay $24 to $74 for digital textbooks that would cost $128 to $400 as traditional texts,” according to an emailed news release.

That all sounds delightful, except the cynic in me thinks this is kind of bullshit and isn't actually to help the students at all.

Yes, traditional textbooks are much more expensive than digital textbooks. They're also useless in most cases, and stopped buying them after my second year when I realized I was spending hundreds of dollars on a book I was never using.

Truthfully, the only time I ever used a textbook was when my professors assigned quizzes that were only accessible through the online textbook, forcing us to purchase the online book regardless of how little we used the actual contents of the book.

So I fear that's what this plan is going to do. I don't think it's actually going to save students any money, it's just going to force them to actually purchase the textbooks they'd otherwise never buy or use just to access course materials that could easily be put on the student website.

And I also have a cynical hunch this is all driven by the textbook publishers, not Ohio State's sincere desire to help students.

 KERRY COOMBS MOSSES PROFESSIONAL DEFENSIVE BACK. Get Kerry Coombs a jersey cause he's looking like he should be on the Titans' two-deep after what he did to rookie defensive Dane Cruikshank during Wednesday's practice.

I don't know what's better technique, the fade route or the impeccable celebratory spike.

 THOSE WMDs. The "Poison Squad" that shook America’s faith in preservatives... Vigilante parent group targeting would-be predators in mid-Michigan... 29 treated for fentanyl exposure at Ohio's Ross County prison... 14-foot giant squid washes up on New Zealand beach... Scientists discover giant deep-sea coral reef off the coast of South Carolina...

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