Ohio State football: Young and Dobbins are double dose of talented 2s
Opponents must breathe a big sigh of relief when the guy wearing the No. 2 jersey for the Ohio State Buckeyes comes off the field after a drive.
Then they breathe a sigh of despair when the other player wearing a scarlet and gray No. 2 comes onto the field in his place.
It doesn’t matter which one, because the guys wearing No. 2 jerseys for the Buckeyes have an argument for being the No. 1 players at their positions in all of college football.
Chase Young and J.K. Dobbins. J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young.
Defensive coordinators must center their game plans around trying to stop Dobbins, who last week became the first Buckeyes running back ever to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
Offensive coordinators must center their game plans around trying to stop Young, the junior defensive end who was a preseason first-team All-American and, if anything, has exceeded the high ceiling expected of him.
This season the two players wearing No. 2 for OSU are doing things that are second to none.
Ohio State released a hype video this week highlighting Young and Dobbins, calling it ‘2 Much Sauce’ to touch on their highlights.
They are worth every moment of film.
In Saturday’s 38-7 rout over Wisconsin, Young tied two school single-game records with four sacks (the fifth time by an OSU player, most recently by John Simon in 2012) and five tackles for loss (sixth time, most recently by Ryan Shazier in 2015). For good measure Young forced two fumbles.
Suddenly he not only had 100,000 fans per week in person at Ohio Stadium, he got some serious media love as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Michigan’s Charles Woodson (1997) remains the only defensive player to win the award. Young was also named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.
On a rainy day when passing was difficult, Dobbins perhaps did as much damage to the Badgers on offense as Young did on defense. Dobbins gained 163 yards on 20 carries, averaging 8.2 yards per carry, the sixth time in his career he has averaged at least 8 yards on 10 or more carries in a game. He added 58 receiving yards on three crucial catches — gaining a first down all three times — for a career-high 221 total yards.
All of that was against, statistically, the No. 1 rush defense and No. 1 total defense in the nation.
Buckeyes coach Ryan Day heaped plenty of praise on his two talented No. 2s after the Wisconsin game, calling Dobbins “the best running back in America” and Young “the most dominant player in college football.”
The destructive duo has joined other greats to wear No. 2 at Ohio State:
- Cris Carter (WR, 1984-86): The 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee is still all over the OSU record books more than 30 years after his last college game. He’s second in school history in career catches.
- Mike Doss (S, 1999-2002): He is one of eight three-time All-Americans in Buckeyes history and was the defensive MVP of the national championship victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl to cap the 2002 season.
- Malcolm Jenkins (CB, 2005-08): The 2008 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back was part of four consecutive Big Ten championship teams.
- Marshon Lattimore (CB, 2014-16): Lattimore only started one season but made quite an impact, becoming a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Other notables are Christian Bryant, a 3-year starter at defensive back from 2011-13 and a team captain as a senior; and Shaun Gayle, a 3-year starter at cornerback form 1981-83.
This season’s two No. 2s, both juniors, are probably playing their final season at Ohio State (Young, at least, seems like a lock to be a very high NFL Draft selection, assuming he declares for the draft). But there is one more bit of unfinished business.
At season’s end, the two guys wearing No. 2 want to make the Buckeyes No. 1.