Ohio State: How Buckeyes offense will operate if Dwayne Haskins plays vs. Wisconsin

All week long, our Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes will address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our new daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

For starters, J.T. Barrett expects to play, and it would be a surprise if Urban Meyer does not keep him in the lineup if he’s anywhere close to full strength. Now, with that important caveat up front, let’s dive into those questions about how the Buckeyes might look if the second coming of Cardale Jones needs to come off the bench to lead the offense to another huge victory.

The biggest difference in the play calling with Dwayne Haskins in the lineup likely would be an even greater emphasis on the rushing attack with J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, and I would argue that actually might be a positive for the Buckeyes. Thinking back to that wakeup call against Iowa, the offensive staff appears intent on not letting Dobbins and Weber slide out of the attack again. Coaches are finding creative new ways to get the football in their hands, including as receiving threats out of the backfield. A significant part of the success when Cardale Jones took over was the incredible emergence of Ezekiel Elliott, who had at least 20 carries in each of the postseason victories. With a healthy Weber and the tantalizing skills of Dobbins, this Ohio State team has two players it can feature prominently to handle that workload.

An area where Jones never got enough credit and Haskins might not be getting it now is for their mobility. In terms of straight-line speed, neither one will be confused with a track star. But they have enough quickness to create plays in the zone-read attack and extend plays, and their powerful builds help in both of those areas as well. It takes a lot of effort to get those guys on the ground, which can produce extra yardage as a rusher or allow potential sacks to turn into big plays instead.

Clearly the most obvious difference between Barrett and Haskins is the strength of their arms. And it would seem likely that Ohio State would be willing to go vertically with Haskins more often than it does with Barrett, with play-action bombs down the field potentially stretching defenses intent on stopping the rush. Haskins also showed a good feel for those underneath crossing routes and seems comfortable with the package of plays already at his disposal, at least based on those 6 pressurized completions in 7 attempts against Michigan.

Much of the offense would probably look pretty similar. The zone-read plays aren’t going anywhere no matter who’s on the field at quarterback, for example. So, a dramatic overhaul isn’t necessary if Haskins needs to play the Cardale Jones role again on Saturday night against the Badgers — but there could be subtle tweaks made that might just make the Buckeyes a different kind of dangerous.

Read more answers to questions about the Ohio State Buckeyes here

The post Ohio State: How Buckeyes offense will operate if Dwayne Haskins plays vs. Wisconsin appeared first on Land of 10.

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