Tag Archives: J.K. Dobbins

Buckeyes Over Badgers, By the Numbers

J.K. Dobbins breaks the Buckeyes freshman rushing record and wins B1G game MVP. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

 
The Ohio State Buckeyes are B1G champions after defeating the 4th ranked and 12-0, Wisconsin Badgers 27-21 in a slugfest in Indianapolis. Ohio State had a 14-point lead late in the second quarter and had to hold off Bucky Badger for the win. 

The Buckeyes have positioned themselves to get a bid from the College Football Playoff committee to be in the final four. It’s between them and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Will Ohio State beat the Tide again? Before that is settled, here’s a breakdown of the Scarlet and Gray’s win by the numbers.

3 – That’s how many times the Silver Bullets sacked Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook. 

4 – Ohio State plays that went for over 50+ yards. On the night, the Buckeyes registered the longest pass (84) and rush (74) the Badgers had given up all season. However, Barrett was 1-8 on passes 15+ yards. The one completion was the 84-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin. 

5 – The amount of passes B1G Tight End of the Year Troy Fumagalli caught. He finished the game with 45 receiving yards and no touchdowns. The Buckeyes defense has struggled covering opposing tight ends all season. The Oklahoma and Iowa games come to mind. Coming into the game the Buckeyes were giving up 47% completions rate to RB/TE, the worst in the nation. 

18 — Points off 3 Ohio State turnovers (2 interceptions, fumble). The Badgers scored two touchdowns and a field goal off those Buckeye miscues. 

27 – Wisconsin had only allowed 12 points per game all season. The 27 points are the most the Badgers opponent had scored in a game all season. 

31 – The Wisconsin Badgers’ offense was 5 of 16 on third down (31%). Coming into the game they were 2nd in all of FBS on 3rd down conversions at 51%. 

36 – J.T. Barrett set a new school record for passing touchdowns in a season. The achievement breaks his own record he set back in his freshman season in 2014.

36 – Big Ten football titles for the Buckeyes. They are now six behind “That Team Up North” for the most in conference history. 

37 — With the win J.T. Barrett became the Buckeyes All-time wins leader passing Art Schlichter.

41 – The Silver Bullets defense held standout freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to 41 yards on 15 carries, for an average of 2.7 yards per carry. Taylor had rushed for 1,806 yards in the regular season and with 120 would’ve broke Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman record. 

As a team the Badgers only rushed for 60 yards on 32 attempts. That’s an average of 1.9 yards per carry.

174 – J.K. Dobbins ran over the number one ranked defense in the country all the way to the podium and the Most Valuable Player of the game award. He carried the ball 17 times for an average of 10.2 per carry.

The freshman also surpassed Maurice Clarett for greatest rushing season by a freshman. As a team, Ohio State ran for 238 yards. The Badgers were only allowing 80.5 on the season for 1st in the B1G. The 238 rushing yards allowed was more than they allowed in total yards per game all season (236.9).

Now Buckeye Nation waits to see if they will be alive for a National Title chase for the third time in four seasons or a New Year’s Six bowl.

Advertisements

Buckeyes Bounce Back Big Over Sparty

The surprises in the B1G continue. As shocking as the Iowa Hawkeyes win over the Ohio State Buckeyes was, the way OSU manhandled the twelfth ranked Spartans 48-3 was just as shocking.

The Scarlet and Gray played angry, like a team wanting to wipe away the stench of last week’s embarrassing loss. The fashion in which they did it is the reason why last week’s loss was so baffling and frustrating for Buckeye Nation.

Here are my takeaways from the victory.

HELLO, RUNNING GAME!

Woody Hayes would’ve been proud of this performance. Even though they didn’t go to an I-Formation lineup, the Buckeyes played old school football with a heavy dose of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. The duo that only carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards last week, rushed for 290 yards on 27 carries. Weber gained a career high 162 yards and 2 touchdowns, 161 came in the first half. Dobbins added 128 yards on 6.9 yards per carry. J.T. Barrett also ran for 55 yards with 2 touchdowns.

The 335 total rushing yards on the day is the most ever allowed by a Mark Dantonio coached team. The Ohio State rushing attack gained more yards, 102, in the first quarter than MSU had given up per game this season (87.0).

Coming into this game, the Buckeyes were running the ball 52% of the time versus throwing it 48% of the time. Saturday, 65% of the offensive plays were run calls, 35% passing. With two homerun hitters in the backfield, that’s more like the formula Buckeye Nation would like to see going forward.

SILVER BULLETS FIRE BACK 

Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano’s unit was completely embarrassed and outcoached a week ago. As bad as Barrett’s day was with 4 interceptions, Schiano’s may have been just as bad. This week was a complete 180.

After getting two first downs on the opening drive of the game, the Buckeye D clamped down and forced the Spartans into 4 consecutive 3 & outs with the last ending in a forced fumble and recovery at the MSU 17-yard line. The Silver Bullets only yielded 195 total yards (131 passing; 64 rushing) for an average of 2.8 yards per play. On the day, they collected 6 sacks for -57 yards and 9 tackles for loss for -60 yards, while holding “Sparty” to 4 of 17 on 3rd down.

The secondary picked off two passes, three if you count the one negated by a roughing the passer penalty, and also held MSU’s leading receiver Felton Davis III, who caught 12 passes for 181 yards and a TD last week, to no catches.

Also of note, the 3 points they allowed came after one of Barrett’s two interceptions.

KICK COVERAGE ISSUES SOLVED?

It appears the move to put more playmakers and starters on kickoff coverage is paying off. The Spartans average starting field position on kickoffs was the 22-yard line. Michigan State had -37 net yards per kickoff. Only one of their drives started at the 35-yard line and that came after a penalty when the kickoff went out of bounds.

WELL DISCIPLINED

Speaking of penalties, the Buckeyes are the most flagged team in the conference. For the season they were averaging 77.2 penalty yards per game. Against the Spartans they were penalized only twice for twenty-seven yards. The first didn’t come until three minutes left in the first half when Dre’Mont Jones was flagged for targeting and negated what would’ve been Damon Arnette’s 1st of two interceptions.

OTHER NOTES

Since Urban Meyer took over in 2012, this is the first time one team has won back-to-back games in the series and won at home.

Next up, the home finale and Senior Day against the 2-8 (0-7) Illinois Fighting Illini for the Illibuck trophy. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Illinois since 2007.

Takeaways From Buckeyes Shucking of Nebraska

J.T. Barrett has record performance in victory over Nebraska. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Here come the Buckeyes, out for blood and clicking at a time when it matters the most.

Ninth ranked Ohio State defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-14 Saturday night in Lincoln. It was a complete beat down from opening kickoff to final horn.

Here are my biggest takeaways from their matchup with Nebraska.

* Barrett starts hot, stays hot.

J.T. might as well stand for Just Touchdowns. Barrett was 8 of 10 for 72 yards in the first quarter, connecting with six different receivers. He finished the game with 27 completions on 33 attempts for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, connecting with 10 different receivers. He also rushed 10 times for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those seven touchdowns he accounted for tied a school record for most responsible in a game in Buckeye history.

The young receiving core has finally gained his trust and he’s showing it by letting it rip. Two of his attempts down field drew pass interference penalties. Even if they’re not connecting on them, the threat of going deep with the speed at receiver is enough to get defenses off-balance, opening up more room to be exploited in the run game.

J.T. is looking like the guy from 2014. The one Buckeye Nation believed in whole-heartedly. He is sneakily getting his name back into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

* Offensive line doesn’t miss a beat, dominates.

Eight consecutive possessions to start the game end all in touchdowns.

Even with the shake up in the trenches with the injury to Branden Bowens, the line kept things together and kept Barrett clean. They only allowed one sack and that was pretty much a coverage sack. On 3rd and 4th down conversions they were 12 of 16 and gained 41 total first downs. The “Slobs” led the way for 633 total yards of offense with earned them a school record of five consecutive games with 500+ yards of offense.

* The Silver Bullets are firing on all cylinders, but the pass defense still needs work.

Nebraska managed 393 total yards, but it wasn’t as impressive as the box score would lead you to believe. For the game the Cornhuskers gained 15 first downs, and were 5 for 15 on 3rd downs and 2 of 4 on 4th down.

The disappointment for the Silver Bullets were the two big pass plays they gave up to J.D. Spielman, one a 77-yard touchdown for the ‘Huskers first score of the game. The nephew of Buckeye legend Chris Spielman caught 11 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The Pass defense had bounced back to allow less than 100 passing yards in the previous four games after struggling against Indian and Oklahoma to start the season. Nebraska gained 349 yards through the air.

* J.K. Dobbins sets the tone.

Nebraska was giving up 147 rushing yards per game coming into the match up with the Buckeyes. So it was their weakness versus the Buckeyes strength. Ohio State took advantage to the tune of 279 yards for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.

The young freshman Dobbins set the tempo when he raced for a 52-yard touchdown run on first possession. He had 3 carries for 67 yards and one catch for 11 receiving yards on the first drive. He finished the game with 106 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

* Not-so-Special Teams and penalties.

The opening kickoff was kicked out of bounds giving the Cornhuskers the ball at their 35-yard line. That was the only miscue on Special Teams, but coming off of last week’s debacle, the last thing you wanted to do was start the game this week with such a flub. That and the penalties (7 for 53 yards) should be enough to give Coach Meyer the ammunition to stay on these guys during the weeks to come.

Next up… the highly anticipated match-up with Penn State in The ‘Shoe after the Bye week.

OTHER NOTES

With the victory, the Buckeyes got their 500th B1G conference win. It took them six fewer seasons than “That Team Up North” who got their 500th victory Saturday as well with their 27-20 overtime win over Indiana. The win also tied the Buckeyes with Nebraska for 4th most wins in NCAA history at 892.

Game balls go to J.T. Barrett and K.J. Hill Junior. Hill caught 7 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Takeaways From OSU’s Sloppy Win Over Maryland

Linebacker Dante Booker surveys the Maryland offense in the 62-14 win over the Terps. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Maryland Terrapins 62-14 Saturday in The ‘Shoe, but the game wasn’t as smooth or pretty as the final score would lead you to believe. During this stretch of the schedule where the Buckeyes are clearly the more dominant team, it’s more important how you look winning than just to get the W. Ohio State will have to be more impressive in their wins against inferior completion in order to impress the College Football Playoff Committee, especially with the Oklahoma Sooners losing.

With that being said, here are my takeaways from the Buckeyes win over the Terps.

* The Special teams unit was anything but, and is likely to get the brunt of the verbal attacks from the coaching staff this week. Everyone knows how seriously Coach Urban Meyer takes that unit. They allowed a 100-yard kickoff return by TY Johnson after scoring their second touchdown. On kickoffs, I always hated how they justified the lineup tight and to the left. Most teams spread the formation to create lanes of containment across the field.

From there the miscues poured in like a spring shower. A botched snap and hold on the extra point after their third touchdown, blocked kick on their fourth possession, shanked punt for 21 yards on the fifth possession, false start on a kickoff with 4:48 remaining in the 2nd quarter, and a 29-yard missed field goal by Sean Nuernberger on their first drive of the second half.

Individually these mistakes would be enough to drown the Buckeyes against a better opponent. Much like the block field goal at Penn State last season that essentially lost that game. This unit has been a problem for a while now. The two missed field goals against Michigan made that win more difficult than it had to be. And as much as I’d like to forget it, the two missed field goals against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal preserved the 31-0 shut out for the eventual National Champions. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. And it’s at its absolute worst right now. Coach Meyer cut his teeth on special teams and I have no doubt that he’ll correct these mistakes before it cost them again in 2017.

* Like last week, the penalties piled up for the Scarlet and Gray. Against Rutgers the Zebras hit them up 10 times for 106 yards. This week against Maryland it was 8 penalties for 85 yards. So I guess you can there was some improvement. The Buckeyes are 95th out of 130 in the NCAA in penalties, and are the most penalized team in the B1G.

* Speaking of penalties, the targeting rule is the worst rule in ALL OF SPORTS!! No hyperbole. Denzel Ward was ejected for putting his shoulder into the chest of Taivon Jacobs after he made a catch causing him to flip backwards and lose the ball­–it should have been called a fumble–which Ward picked up and was running for a TD when the play was called dead and the flag thrown.

Here’s my suggestion to improve the rule. Go ahead throw the flag and review it on the field.But there should be two levels of discipline like flagrant fouls in basketball. Flagrant one: for incidental contact above the shoulders and to the head and neck area. That would result in a 15-yard penalty. Flagrant two, the more egregious attack on the head and neck area that would bring a 15-yard penalty and ejection of the offending player. I think that would be pleasing to all parties. I agree that a rule is necessary to encourage player safety, but since its use in play the application of it has been ridiculous flubbed by officials.

The rule also shouldn’t come with an automatic suspension. The Monday after the game, have the play reviewed by the higher-ups at conference commissioners’ office, someone other than the game officials. Then decide if the offense is warranted of a suspension for the upcoming game.

* JT stays steady. Buckeye Nation is split on Barrett’s ability to put this team on his back and carry them back to the College Football Playoffs and a National Championship. But he just continues to get the job done. Saturday he connected with seven different receivers while throwing three touchdowns for 261 passing yards on 20 completions against 31 attempts. Oh and he ran for 59 yards and a touchdown.  Buckeye Nation, Just Touchdowns Barrett is fine!

* The defense was stout once again. Maryland was only able to gain 66 (50 rushing; 16 passing) 26 of those came in the first half when the first string was still in. They also only allowed 7 points. Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano’s unit has not given up 100 yards passing since losing to Oklahoma. I don’t care about the level of competition they’ve face since. In this era of College Football when everyone is putting up video game numbers, their play is very impressive.

It’s on to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:37 pm.

OTHER NOTES

Urban Meyer is now 10-1 versus his former assistant coaches turned head coaches. Maryland’s head coach D.J. Durkin was on Meyer’s staff at Bowling Green (2001-2002) and at Florida.

In their four game win streak, the Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 210-42.

J.K., This is Your Team Now

J.K. runs 52-yards for his second touchdown against Army. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com


Fifth-year Senior J.T. is NOT the focal point of the Buckeye offense. 
The Freshman J.K. is. He proved that in the Buckeyes 38-7 bounce back victory over Army.

Buckeye Nation learned how special Dobbins was in the season opener against Indiana when he rushed for a freshman debut record 181 yards, breaking a record set by Maurice Clarett in 2002. Dobbins was just as impressive against Army, going for 172 yards on 13 carries while getting into the end zone twice, one a 52-yarder.

Young J.K. is special like Ezekiel Elliott, the previously mentioned Clarett, Eddie George and dare I say Archie Griffin. Redshirt-Sophomore Mike Weber Junior has officially been Wally Pipped. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

The freshman is different. This is a man-child. He’s one of those rare backs that could’ve played in the NFL right out of high school, like Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Adrian Peterson, Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry. At 5’10” 208 pounds, he’s got the power to run over defensive lineman, the wiggle and the break away speed to beat out defensive backs. 

Ohio State’s offense looks and runs better, pun intended, when they play through the freshman. The passing game opened up in the second half versus Army after Dobbins successfully ran over and around every Black Knight defender. J.T. Barrett rebounded from last week’s poor performance against the Oklahoma Sooners with a stat line of 25 of 33 passing for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those Scarlet and Gray receivers were a lot more open when there were more defenders in the box and less in the secondary in coverage. 

Barrett may have 24 Ohio State passing records, and the B1G record for most touchdowns (107) responsible for in a career, but running the offense through Dobbins is the only way the Buckeyes will be able to run the table, win the conference and get back into the National Championship picture. Think of it like 2014 when Urban Meyer and then Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman ran through Zeke. 

There are several similarities to the 2014 story for this 2017 squad. An embarrassing home loss in a highly anticipated night match-up (Virginia Tech 21-35), followed by a blowout win. That season they also beat a Service Academy (Navy 34-17). Hopefully the coaching staff will follow the same formula by focusing the “O” on their supremely talented running back.

Thankfully for Ohio State fans, they’ll have three more seasons of Dobbins to be the lead dog. OSU is Running Back University once again.