Ohio State Football: J.K. Dobbins still on record pace, RB unit strong


The Ohio State running back unit could become one of the best in the nation.

After week 6, J.K. Dobbins is still on pace to set the Ohio State freshman rushing record. But now he doesn’t have to carry the bulk of the load in the running game as three players have returned from injuries. All are playing well and the Buckeyes’ running back unit is rounding into form.

First let’s take a look at what Dobbins could accomplish by season’s end.

J.K. has rushed for 669 yards in the first six games, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Projecting his 111.5 yards per game, that would give him 1,449 yards after the 12 game regular season, plus one postseason game.

But with Mike Weber, Demario McCall and Antonio Williams back in the fold, Dobbins more than likely will average something close to his 13 carries in the Maryland game when he rushed for 96 yards. So let’s do the math projecting those numbers.

That production would enable Dobbins to break Maurice Clarett’s freshman rushing record of 1,237 yards. Ironically, his rushing total would match Clarett’s total offense record of 1,341 yards. If that were to happen, J.K. wouldn’t have to catch one more pass this season to break that record by 23 yards. That’s the number of receiving yards Dobbins has so far this season.

Now that Mike Weber, Demario McCall and Antonio Williams appear to be healthy, expect to see a new look running back situation moving forward. It will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will integrate the players into the backfield in the second half of the season.

With Weber and McCall returning for the UNLV game, and Williams on Saturday, coach Wilson  has had time to get each of these players some reps. How they have performed so far looks promising for the Buckeyes.

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Weber has carried the ball 23 times for 103 yards the last two games. He is again proving to be the power back Ohio State needs in third and short situations as well as when the Buckeyes reach the red zone.

Demario McCall is simply a big play waiting to happen. 103 yards on 11 carries, a score on a 48 yard touchdown run and a 35 yard TD catch against Rutgers is proof of that.

Williams has seen limited duty so far this season but has put up very good numbers. He has carried the ball 26 times for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Against Maryland Williams rushed three times for 22 yards and a score. It appears he could be that second power back to go along with Weber.

The interesting thing is that Weber, McCall and Williams have only carried the football 70 times between them so far this season, 18 fewer times than Dobbins. How many coaches can say they have one of the top freshmen in the country and three other talented running backs with fresh legs in their backfield entering the second half of the season?

Next: AP Poll: Washington State passes Ohio State, 3 SEC teams in Top 10?

Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson can say that. Don’t you think that may keep opposing defensive coordinators up late at night?