Ohio State-Cincinnati | Rob Oller’s Second Thoughts

Rob Oller
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (17) makes a catch and heads up field against Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Cam Jefferies (14) during the 2nd quarter of their game at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2019. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

• Last week, I second-thoughted (it’s a new word, don’t @ me) about whether J.K. Dobbins and/or the offensive line were up to snuff. Both the tailback and the hogs answered with a strong showing against what was supposed to be decent Cincinnati run defense. Dobbins rushed for 141 yards on 17 carries (a stout 8.3 average) behind a line that gave him plenty of room to operate. (By the way, bruising backup Master Teague gives the Buckeyes a nice one-two punch.) Dobbins isn’t incredible, but combined with dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields, he’s plenty good enough.

• Coach Ryan Day could not have gushed over a player more than he gushed over Fields. Sample: “It was some really accurate throws out there. The touchdown to Garrett Wilson was off the charts. That throw and catch … was NFL material.” It wasn’t just talk, either. Fields did almost everything right against UC, showing poise in the pocket and polish when throwing on the run. Don’t take this as a cheap shot against Tate Martell or Matthew Baldwin, but the Buckeyes got the guy they wanted. And needed. Fields is good enough to get you to the playoffs.

• Chase Young is a beast. Plain and simple. He is the kind of player needed in the biggest games, attracting double teams that give Ohio State the edge. The junior defensive end recorded 1 1/2 sacks, blocked a field goal to preserve the shutout and woulda, coulda, shoulda had an interception that might have resulted in a touchdown. Showing why he plays defensive line and not in the secondary, Young dropped the UC pass, nearly crippling his coach in the process. “I almost blew my Achilles jumping up and down because I thought we had that,” Day said. “It still feels a little loose there.”

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