Ohio State: 6 players we'd like to see more of against Tulsa
Give credit to the Ohio State for not making it easy. While some across the country opened with Cupcake State and Directional Cupcake State, the Buckeyes had a road conference game and a marquee non-conference showdown. For many reasons then, it’s good news that the Buckeyes can (presumably) take a breath this weekend against Tulsa. And while they’re taking it a little easier, there are plenty of OSU standouts we were excited to see — and whom we’d like to see more of in Week 3. Here are 6 Buckeyes we hope to see get more snaps against Tulsa:
1) Jack Sawyer, DE
Ohio State’s pass rush was a little down last year — only 21 sacks in 8 games played. But this year … well, it’s been worse. With just a pair of sacks in Week 1 and nothing last week, OSU has to pick up the pass rush. Enter Sawyer, the highly regarded freshman who shone in OSU’s spring game, was talked about much of fall camp, and then … not much. We did see him on the field briefly against Oregon, but he’s still waiting for his first tackle.
2) JT Tuimoloau, DE
Ditto JT, who was a late addition to the team. That said, in his brief handful of snaps last week, he had a tackle and broke up a pass. Tyreke Smith and Zach Harrison certainly have the talent to make plays — but it might help jog their respective motors to see the next-up group of guys doing their thing. Tulsa and Akron over the next 2 weeks should give plenty of chances to let the new guys play.
3) Kourt Williams or Craig Young, Bullet
No offense to Ronnie Hickman, who is tied for team honors in tackles at 21. But considering that Young and Williams were perceived as in a virtual dead heat for the job at the bullet position throughout fall practice, it’s odd that we haven’t seen more of either. Given that OSU is allowing 5.4 yards per carry so far, having another aggressive presence able to help fill the box couldn’t hurt.
4) Emeka Egbuka or Marvin Harrison, WR
Certainly no offense intended to Olave or Wilson, who have been the All-Americans they are supposed to be. For that matter, Jaxson Smith-Njigba has done a good job locking down the third receiver role. But given that Olave and Wilson are both all but certain to be in the NFL next year, it’d be nice to find some snaps for two guys who might well be the other two ingredients of OSU’s future trio of star wideouts. Even the best players are one hard hit away from being on the shelf — you can’t have too many standout receivers, even at OSU.
5) TreVeyon Henderson, RB
Yes, he’s seen plenty of snaps. But 2 games in, Henderson has 14 carries and 2 pass receptions. Even given the impressive play of Miyan Williams, those totals should be about the weekly average for Henderson. On how many of those 16 touches has Henderson been one stumble or one desperate defender’s grab away from taking the ball to the house? Henderson gives OSU another gear on the ground — and while it’s the defense, not the offense, that has OSU fans frustrated, how can it hurt to be more explosive?
6) A backup QB
This one, like the call for Egbuka or Harrison above, has nothing to do with the starter. CJ Stroud has been about as good as he possibly could be. OSU’s offense is in good hands. But it’s a physical game — and it’s still a sport reeling from the implications of COVID-19. Part of preparation for the near future is being sure that every starter has a capable and ready back-up … especially the quarterback. Stroud still deserves the lion’s share of snaps, but it will be nice to get another OSU quarterback several series worth of experience.