The common consensus for Ohio State in 2019 was that they would go as far as Justin Fields would take them. Are the Buckeyes relying on the second-year starter exclusively in 2020?
Remember with me to the Michigan game in 2019 when the Buckeyes are driving the ball with just over 7 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.
The game is all but wrapped up at this point and Ohio State fans are starting to think about playing Wisconsin again for the Big Ten Championship.
Many eyes are turned to LSU as the two teams battled for the number 1 ranking in the polls. Visions of the playoffs are rampant when suddenly Justin Fields is hit. And he stays down.
All future vision dissipates as Buckeye fans across the country realize if Fields doesn’t get up, the season is all but over.
When he comes back in the game, scrambles, and launches a perfect touchdown pass, Buckeye Nation lets go a huge sigh of relief.
Last season, Ohio State had no other options to win a championship if Justin Fields was not the quarterback.
If he goes down in 2020 is it game over?
Not as bad as last year.
Last year the backups behind Fields were Gunnar Hoak and Chris Chugunov. This was a collection of grad transfer who came in after Ohio State lost depth at the position.
This year the future looks much brighter. There is a pair of promising young freshman quarterbacks on the roster in C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller III.
Both of these young men were brought in to compete to be the quarterback of the future for this program. Ryan Day should feel much better about handing the ball over to whoever ends up the second-string quarterback.
While the offense will be very different, and it would be much harder to win in the playoffs with a freshman quarterback, the future looks much brighter should Justin Fields go down.
This is all worst-case scenario. Let’s just have Justin Fields win the Heisman and worry about a quarterback battle next year.