Olave and Wilson are missing out on chance to be best-ever Buckeyes’ WR combo
I know it seems selfish to focus on personal statistics in a team sport.
But I can’t help but think about all the things we’re missing as game after B1G game gets canceled. Yes, these missing contests will probably throw the B1G title game into a tizzy. They can affect polls and rankings. They can change the College Football Playoff.
They can also ruin what looked to be another record-making year for Ohio State’s offense — particularly for the pair who are widely considered to be the best wide receiver combination in the country: Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.
Throughout their first four games, these two looked to be on the same level as Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill, who both had an enormous number of catches in 2018. But COVID-19 re-routed college football, and with it went Olave and Wilson’s claims to the best Ohio State wide receiver combo in school history.
Still, these two should be recognized for what they’ve done in such a short amount of time.
Here’s what I call the five greatest seasons for a wide receiver combination in Ohio State history.
5. Garrett Wilson (31 catches, 513 yards) and Chris Olave (26 catches, 389 yards)
2020 season: 4 games
What these two have done in just four games is astonishing, especially when you look at the per-game averages. This pair has accounted for 14.3 catches and 225.5 yards per game by themselves — an extraordinary accomplishment for any tandem. Hell, there are some entire offenses that don’t produce 225 yards per game. Ohio State is getting that out of a pair of wide receivers.
There are five 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Ohio State history. These two were on pace to become the sixth and seventh.
The only thing that kept them from being higher on this list is COVID.
4. Cris Carter (69 catches, 1,127 yards) and Anyone Else — in this case it was Nate Harris (30 catches, 496 yards)
1986 season: 13 games
Carter’s 1986 season will always be the standard by which all Buckeyes wide receivers are measured. He was such a major factor on offense, it seemed silly to pair someone with him, but pairs are the point here, so Harris gets a mention. Together, they reeled in 7.6 catches per game for 124.8 yards.
Still, there are other wide receivers who bested Carter — and other pairs who deserve to be higher.
3. Parris Campbell (90 catches, 1,063 yards) and K.J. Hill (70 catches, 885 yards)
2018 season: 14 games
Coach Ryan Day discovered stars in Campbell and Hill, who helped lead a legendary offense in 2018 by averaging 11.4 catches and 139.1 yards per game. But they got to do it over an entire season — 14 games.
Just think of the total production Olave and Wilson could’ve generated in that same system over that number of games. Just going by the averages, it would be something like 200 catches and 3,150 yards.
2. Terry Glenn (64 catches, 1,411 yards) and Buster Tillman (30 catches, 538 yards)
1995 season: 13 games
I’m not sure anyone ever thought a wide receiver could have a better statistical season than Cris Carter. But in 1995, Terry Glenn did just that. He was a machine, flying down the field and topping the 1,400-yard mark, and he did so with less catches than Carter.
Tillman has the Nate Harris role here of a player with a steady season, but one who is completely overshadowed by a star. But again, we’re talking pairs, and this pair averaged 7.2 catches and 149.9 yards per game — the majority of which came from Glenn.
But there’s still one pair that beats them all.
1. David Boston (85 catches, 1,435 yards) and Dee Miller (59 catches, 915 yards)
1998 season: 12 games
Amazing. David Boston has one of the greatest offensive outputs anyone has ever seen in college, but Ohio State also has another star in Miller, who almost joins Boston in cracking the 1,000-yard mark.
Boston has an amazing 85 catches and bests Glenn’s yardage title by 20. But Miller isn’t just playing second fiddle like Harris or Tillman. Miller could have been a stud all on his own with his impressive numbers. Together, the pair make up the most explosive duo at wide receiver the school has ever seen, averaging 12 catches for 195.8 yards over 12 games.
That’s tough to beat.
But I sure wish I could’ve seen Olave and Wilson give it a shot over a full, COVID-less year.
I think they would’ve done it.
Still, the only thing that matters is wins and losses, right?
“Where do we compare?” wide receivers coach Brian Hartline said in an interview with Cleveland.com. “Give me the win-loss column at the end and then I’ll let you know. When put in the clutch moment, do we make the play or don’t we?”
Yeah. Okay. I guess he’s right.