We saw a new wrinkle from the Ohio State football team on Saturday against Purdue. We saw them bring Devin Brown out to run read options near the goal line. It was a Tate Martell-like package that gave mixed results. He ran for a touchdown and also fumbled at the goal line.
Brown is faster than Kyle McCord, but not by a lot. I was surprised to see him out there when the game was still somewhat competitive to come out in this package. He’s not as fast as Martell was either so it’s not like he’s some burner who can run past defenders very often.
Is this a package the Ohio State football team should continue running? I understand they had issues running the ball in short-yardage scenarios prior to the trip to West Lafayette, but I’m not sure this is the answer to fix those problems. It was something no team had seen yet though.
Perhaps that’s why they ran it. Maybe they wanted to put something on film right before Penn State comes to town so it’s just something extra they have to prepare for. I would be surprised if they used it somewhere else not close to the endzone.
I don’t think this is a package they should continue with. Brown isn’t fast enough against good defenses like Penn State to be a true weapon as a runner. He’s not a great passer yet either, although that was a great throw to Brandon Inniss for his touchdown.
Brown simply isn’t a weapon that defenses would have to respect yet. I think the Buckeyes would do better to just run the ball with their own backs or have McCord keep it a time or two as he did against the Boilermakers. Keep your best players on the field and keep the ball in their hands.
It will be interesting to see if we see this package this weekend.