Skull Session: Sportswriter Slanders Buckeye Defensive Line, J.K. Dobbins Chases Archie Griffin, and Carlos Hyde is Ready to Re-Emerge

By Kevin Harrish on June 21, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ryan Day is doing his best Ryan Ginn impression in today's Skull Session.

If you like #BOOMs, then folks, it's about to get WILD.

Our resident recruiting knowers have informed me that they set the over/under on the number of commitments this weekend at around 5.5, and I'm beginning to think the over could be a safer bet.

Needless to say, you're going to want to follow Taylor Lehman – who is extremely good at his job – for news throughout the weekend.

And as always, we'll keep you updated on the 'ole website as well with that trusty red banner that may be semi-permanent this weekend.


Word of the Day: Rumpus.

 SNUB OF ALL SNUBS. Sound the alarms, y'all – Ohio State allegedly doesn't have a top-10 defensive line in the country, or even a top-3 defensive line in the Big Ten!

From Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report:

One final note before we dive in: Ohio State's Chase Young may well be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, but the Buckeyes were so woefully incapable of stopping the run last season that they cannot reasonably have a projected top-10 unit.

This is uh, a curious #take to me.

We'll start with common ground. I'm in 100 percent, full agreement about the "woefully incapable of stopping the run" part, because I – having been personally victimized through my television set – still have Rondale Moore and Anthony McFarland PTSD.

Where I strongly disagree is that the defensive line should be held responsible for those atrocities to the point that "they cannot reasonably have a projected top-10 unit." The run defense was a dumpster fire, but defensive line was the least of Ohio State's problems on that front.

Second, the "they sucked last year!" argument would hold a whole lot more weight if the problems weren't almost entirely scheme related (they were) and Ohio State didn't overhaul its entire defense with two new co-coordinators.

Anyway, we'll just put this #take in the incubator and see how it ferments. I have a feeling I'll be digging it up again in a few months.

 CHASING ARCHIE. Barring something disastrous, J.K. Dobbins seems like an absolute lock to do something only Archie Griffin has done: win two Heisman Tro...

Kidding. But it's still damn impressive.

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

With 1,453 yards rushing as a true freshman in 2017 and 1,053 yards last season as a sophomore, Ohio State running back JK Dobbins is on the precipice of becoming the Buckeyes’ second three-time 1,000-yard rusher.

He would join Archie Griffin, who is currently the lone member of more than one club.

On the verge of possibly playing in his last season with the Buckeyes, Dobbins doesn’t like to think about his legacy, but when Griffin’s name is mentioned, it is special.

“Yeah, I mean whenever you bring that up it’s like Archie Griffin… wow that’s a two-time Heisman Trophy winner, he’s a legend here,” Dobbins said. “So yeah, you think about that stuff. But me right now, I’m just getting better day by day. At the end of the season, we’ll see if I got 1,000 yards or 2,000 yards we’ll see.”

I wanted to roll my eyes in disbelief when he said 2,000, but hell, maybe it's not that impossible. I mean, he got to 1,053 when the running game was basically nonexistent and also while splitting carries with Mike Weber.

The other thing my brain jumps to is that Ezekiel Elliott couldn't even do it his final year, but he was also playing on a team with Braxton Miller, Michael Thomas, Curtis Samuel (good lord how did this team not win a natty), Jalin Marshall and J.T. Barrett who all needed touches, and he also only played 13 games when 14 or 15 should have been in play. And he still got 1,821.

I'm in. Let's get him 2,000.

 GUAPO GETTING GIDDY. Last season, Carlos Hyde had his lowest rushing total since 2015 and got cut traded midseason for a fifth-round pick.

That's not what you like to see, but it sounds like he's more than comfortable with his new home in Kansas City and we could be seeing some flashes of vintage Guapo this season.

Jeff Fedotin of

“I felt like this was a good place for a running back to get on the right track,” Hyde said during minicamp. “I’ve just seen previous running backs and the success that they’ve had in Kansas City with Coach Reid.”

There could be opportunities for Hyde in Kansas City. The coaching staff has declared Damien Williams the No. 1 running back, but Williams, though he played at a very high level during last season’s playoffs, has never exceeded 256 rushing yards or 50 attempts in a regular season.


He sees Kansas City as a better fit and a chance to showcase his receiving abilities in the pass-first offense. Hyde showed glimpses of that skill while catching 59 passes in 2017.

“It’s like a dream come true. It’s not just a one-dimensional running back here,” Hyde said. “You do it all. You line up with the receivers and you actually run real routes. You’re not just a decoy. You go back in the backfield and run the ball, block.”

I never expected the big, bruising boulder of a back I watched at Ohio State ever get excited about "lining up with the receivers" and running "real routes," because that seemed close to the opposite of his game. Tip the cap to him, though. He's changed his body and made himself an every-down back.

He'll still run through you like a truck, though.

 GEAUX JEAUX. As if there was any doubt, it sounds like our favorite LSU quarterback is doing some good things for the Fighting Ed Orgerons.

From Brooks Kubena of The Advocate: 

Orgeron walked over to Aranda between practice periods and asked him, "How's it going?" Aranda told LSU's head coach that it was clear that "Joe knows where to go with the ball."

Aranda added Tuesday that he thinks "there's a calmness, a confidence, a readiness" with Burrow, and he doesn't believe "Joe is one to be easily shook."


Sometimes there are reads before the ball is even snapped, where Burrow could glance to the left and see that a cornerback is playing off his wide receiver, permitting enough room for Burrow to sneak in a quick pass for a slant or an out or a hitch.

I know there are folks out there who would stop caring as soon as a player's uniform is no longer scarlet and gray, but the whole transfer thing has made Saturdays a hell of a lot more interesting now that I can find a former Buckeye playing heavy minutes in almost any time slot.

And it can't hurt recruiting. "Come to Ohio State. If it doesn't work out here, we'll still equip you to dominate elsewhere and a local blogger will still write kind sports words about you from Columbus."

 DRAFT HISTORY. It's been a bit since Ohio State was regularly producing NBA Draft picks, but it happened. And it really wasn't all that long ago, especially when it's put into perspective.

Those stats aren't even really that cherrypicked. There was a Buckeye selected in the NBA Draft ever year for seven-straight drafts between 2007 and 2013.

Here's hoping Chris Holtmann has that NBA Factory kicking in gear again, because draft day is a hell of a lot more fun when the closest thing to a Buckeye draft pick isn't a kid who didn't play college basketball at all.

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