Ohio State-Wisconsin | Rob Oller’s Second Thoughts

Rob Oller
Keith Carpenter, second from left, of Whitehouse, Ohio, greets Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver K.J. Hill Jr., left, as he walks to Ohio Stadium with his team before a NCAA Division I college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, October 26, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

• Let’s talk Heisman and Chase Young. Could the junior become the first strictly defensive player to win the trophy? Possible but still not probable. I talked to a few national Heisman voters who think Young has a good chance of being invited to New York for the ceremony but that winning remains a long shot. Saturday’s four-sack performance certainly will increase the Heisman hype surrounding Young, but too many voters default to voting for quarterbacks and running backs. It helps Young that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out Saturday against Arkansas because of an ankle injury — no Heisman-winning QB has missed a game since Florida State’s Charlie Ward in 1993 — and that quarterback Jalen Hurts’ Heisman hopes likely died when Oklahoma lost to Kansas State.

• Coach Ryan Day showed a more emotional side during the pregame skull session at St. John Arena, actually yelling into the microphone that “Today is going to be tough. Today, we’re going against a great opponent, who is tough. They got good O-line. They know how to run the ball. So do the Buckeyes.” As the crowd roared, the preacher continued, “I hope it’s raining sideways. I hope it’s ugly. I hope it’s rainy. Because we’re going to find a way to win this game.” Honestly, I wasn’t sure Day had a “crazy coach” routine in him. But by gum he fired up the faithful. And, by the way, it rained sideways at times. And Ohio State found a way to win. A prophet, that Pastor Day.

• The foursome of quarterback Justin Fields, receiver Chris Olave, tailback J.K. Dobbins and defensive end Chase Young constitutes a monster to game plan against. Maybe the best quartet of talent to come along in awhile? Last season, Dwayne Haskins at QB, Parris Campbell at H-back and Nick Bosa at defensive end were top-notch, but Bosa played fewer than three full games, Young wasn’t quite elite yet and receiver Terry McLaurin was underused. The current skillset still takes a back seat to 2015, which had Zeke Elliott, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Michael Thomas, Joey Bosa and Gareon Conley, among others. Then again, give me Justin Fields over J.T. Barrett as a passer.


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