5. Tulane will struggle to keep the Buckeyes’ offense off the field
The Buckeyes’ offense showed up against TCU. That doesn’t mean they were great, but they were good. The offense committed no turnovers and moved the ball relatively well all night. There were times where the movement stuttered though which made things a little difficult.
The defense ended up scoring two touchdowns making up 14 of the Buckeyes’ 40 points. Though, the biggest problem was the Buckeyes’ struggles in the first half as the offense did not score a single touchdown in that time. Yes, they almost scored on the first drive but it shouldn’t be forgotten that they missed on other opportunities to score in close.
Haskins responded well to TCU’s defense bringing pressure with their pass rush as he was able to avoid pressure and be decisive in the pocket. There always seemed to be a receiver open for Haskins to avert to in dire situations. This is largely thanks to junior H-back K.J. Hill. He has been a terrific safety valve for the Buckeyes’ offense this season and has become a favorite target of Haskins.
This was evident previously but Hill made it very clear to everyone in this game that he’s for real. He wasn’t mentioned very often before the season as an impact receiver for the Buckeyes as receivers like Mack, Parris Campbell, and Terry McLaurin overshadowed him. Hill now leads the team in receptions and total receiving yards.
The lack of praise for Hill should come to an end as he’s done most of the dirty work over the middle of the field. He may not be flashy, but the plays he makes are the difference between a productive passing game and one that’s not so fluent. Hill was also a favorite target for J.T. Barrett as he broke out for 56 receptions after he had just 18 during his freshman season.
Ohio State has punted just 11 times all season with six of those punts coming in one game against TCU. Last weekend, the Buckeyes faced what was most likely one of the better defenses they’ll face all season. With running backs like Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins averaging an upwards of six yards a carry plus an efficient quarterback in Haskins, the Buckeyes may have to punt just once or twice against Tulane. Expect the Buckeyes to easily dominate on offense against Tulane.