Ohio State Football: Without star RB, nearly 300 yards rushing?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Running back Mike Weber
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Running back Mike Weber /

Just how good can the Ohio State running attack be?

Most college football teams would like to have 200 yards rushing with their full complement of running backs. Ohio State easily exceeded that total versus Indiana even though the last year’s star running back didn’t play.

With Mike Weber sitting out the first game versus Indiana recovering from a hamstring injury, I think most people still anticipated the Buckeyes could muster 200 yards on the ground. After all, Ohio State has other talented running backs and J.T. Barrett is always a force carrying the football. But 292 yards rushing with the feature running back playing in his first collegiate game is very impressive to say the least.

Most thought J.T. Barrett would have something in the neighborhood of the 61 rushing yards he ended up with against Indiana. And J.K. Dobbins, Antonio Williams and the H-backs could probably contribute something around 150 yards or so as well. But that’s not exactly how things played out.

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Dobbins had a game like no other freshman has ever had wearing scarlet and gray for the first time. His 29 carries for 181 yards put his name in the record books. And redshirt freshman Antonio Williams added 44 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 carries.

And what makes the Ohio State’s rushing yard total even more interesting, there was barely any contribution from the H-backs. Parris Campbell had 1 carry for 6 yards, K.J. Hill was 1 for 0 and the spark plug Demario McCall was a no-show for the Indiana game. Just what cards are Kevin Wilson holding up his sleeve for next week’s game versus Oklahoma?

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Because Weber wasn’t needed in the season opener, but should be back at full strength on Saturday, who knows what to expect from the Buckeye running game going forward. Don’t you think Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops will be staying up nights wondering the same thing?