Connect with us

If Justin Fields played full games, Heisman Trophy race would be over

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields tossed four more touchdowns in the win at Rutgers. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

If Justin Fields played full games, Heisman Trophy race would be over

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Justin Fields can do the math, and he knows what his numbers could look like for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes tossed the sophomore quarterback a bone on Saturday evening at Rutgers, giving him one extra series of work after halftime instead of putting him in bubble wrap on the sideline in yet another blowout. No surprise, Fields immediately led the offense down the field, delivered a pinpoint strike for a touchdown — and then took his seat on the bench.

That capper gave him a line that any passer would gladly take for a whole game: 335 total yards, four touchdowns and a 56-21 win that kept Fields undefeated for the No. 2 Buckeyes.

Now, imagine if actually got to play four full quarters once in a while. The Heisman Trophy race would be over and the engraver would already be working on adding his name to the statue.

“I have thought about that a few times,” Fields said with a laugh. “I mean, I can’t control that. I’m just glad I get to go out there and play with my guys, but I have actually thought about that.

“If [Chris Chugunov] and Gunnar [Hoak] can go get those snaps, I know they want to be in the game, too. I’m not going to be selfish with all those snaps, and I’m always going to listen to Coach Day when he pulls me out.”

Ryan Day-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State coach Ryan Day gave Justin Fields most of the second half off at Rutgers. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

There was some thought that maybe that hook would come for Fields after the second quarter, particularly on a day when Alabama lost its own starter and Heisman candidate to a season-ending injury when the score wasn’t really in any doubt.

The situation with Fields is a little different since he’s a first-year starter, making every rep in a game important to his development as he still grows into his role leading a national-title contender. And against the Scarlet Knights, Ohio State easily could have rolled the dice a little longer if it really wanted to boost his chances of earning an invitation to New York City next month.

At the rate Fields is going, he might wind up there anyway as he heads into the final two weeks of the regular season having accounted for 41 touchdowns even with his relatively limited workload. And while it’s a huge uphill climb with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow way out in front in the straw polling and the chance that Chase Young could restart his campaign when he returns next week, it’s worth a reminder that the ridiculous dominance of the Buckeyes may have actually made it harder for their guys to win any individual awards.

Not that they care about that when the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff are the goals they really want.

“Again, he only really played one half of football and the first drive of the second half,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “What did he have? 305 yards. J.K. [Dobbins] has 92 yards and we decided not to play him, even though he really wanted to play in the second half. We took those guys out, and it just goes to show you how unselfish they are.

Ohio State-Justin Fields-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is making a push in the Heisman Trophy race. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“It’s not about their stats. If you double those stats right there, [Fields] could throw for 500 or 600 yards. You know, if he’s playing in those games and playing for four quarters, then they’re saying he’s right there for the leader in the Heisman. But because of the situation we’re in, he’s not getting those kind of reps. …. I don’t think those guys should be penalized for that, because I think they’re two of the better players in the entire country.”

A third is on the way back for the Buckeyes now that Young is cleared, and it’s once again fair to project that any one of them could represent the program at the Heisman ceremony.

A closer look at the snap counts for all three of them and their absurd production per play would truly make for compelling cases that Young, Dobbins or Fields could have been worthy winners. But there’s still time, and maybe some competitive games over the next few weeks could help.

“I’m a competitive guy, so of course being out there on the field is important to me,” Fields said. “It definitely makes me happy. But I just do what Coach Day tells me to do. I’m not really a selfish guy, so it’s not like I’m asking him to play me more.”

Besides, Ohio State is already getting Heisman-caliber numbers anyway — and Justin Fields can do it in half the time.

26 Comments
avatar
10 Comment threads
16 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
Kid BuckeyeSteve DobmacdaddyAZ BuckeyeMarshall Redd Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Greg
Guest
Greg

I think it’s hilarious that some people are actually complaining about the game. The starters rolled out to a 49-7 lead. Against the Rutgers starters the 2nd and 3rd stringers gave up 14 points. The Buckeyes played it safe and made it out of Jersey unscathed. The final score in my opinon is irrelevant.

macdaddy
Guest
macdaddy

comment image

Brian yakata
Guest
Brian yakata

I was not happy with the 2nd unit. I thought the oline did not push rutgers dline around enough and our dline did not dominate. We do not need a malaise on our streach run.

Zack
Guest
Zack

The 2nd half of Rutgers game was bad by the Buckeyes, just trash, a stupid action and strategy by Ryan Day

Hominid
Guest
Hominid

That was mainly the 3rd unit, not the 2nd.

Brian yakata
Guest
Brian yakata

How much do you think is a comfortable lead vs penn st? Before you pull fields and dobbins etc?

Hominid
Guest
Hominid

Fields, Dobbins, and Chase are the three top candidates for the Heisman and all are posting far fewer numbers than they would be if they played more than half games. Imagine the numbers they easily could run up like Okla, Oregon, and LSU do every chance they get.

Buck68
Guest
Buck68

This thread… is a “discussion”? LOL.

Many of us are fans…

too many of us are ‘professional gamblers’ using ‘the kids’ as our chips, and each other as our foils.

IF only… we admitted we didn’t learn our lessons from last time… it might help us to see our common continuing situation more clearly now.

…nnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ! ;-{)}

GO BUCKS! It is the doers who fight for the [un-sooth] sayers…

Kid Buckeye
Guest
Kid Buckeye

If Urban was still head coach …Fields would have played more. He did it with JT so why wouldn’t he do it for Fields. Urban IMO wanted a Heisman not only for himself but TOSU also.

Steve Dob
Guest
Steve Dob

Ohio State is not the only team that pulls players early in games. Also you failed to mention/notice that through the first half Fields and Burrow basically had the same stats. I get your point, but you came at it from a very pointed perspective to make Ohio State/Fields look as good as possible.

Steve Dob
Guest
Steve Dob

I did the research you failed to do. Joe Burrow and Justin Fields have both been pulled in 5 games for more than than the final 2-3 possessions. They are identical in how many games they have handed over to the backups and how many they have stayed for over 90% of the games.

This article is a farce and has an extreme bias and obvious intention to its creation.

Meatchicken Sux
Guest
Meatchicken Sux

Get a life Steve! Burrow may have been pulled 5 times for 2-3 possessions, but he has not been pulled 5-6 times for close to an entire half…Your research needs some tweaking. And when Burrow plays our defense, we will shut him down like the little bitch he is.

Bucksaz13
Guest
Bucksaz13

uhhhhh, you’re literally lying right now, Steve…..Do you grasp OSU has a margin of victory of over 43 points? the second best team is FOURTEEN POINTS behind that. Fields has not once finished a game and only 2 of the 10 games has he seen a 4th quarter…get a life u imbecile

Steve Dob
Guest
Steve Dob

You guys are nutty, it took me all of 7 minutes to look at play by plays/box scores to find how long each QB on average has played. Fields has played 440 minutes to Burrow’s 515. So Averages of 44 min vs 51 min. So if you think Fields is going to sniff Burrows numbers with an extra 6 minutes a game then I dont know what to tell you. I think Fields is a great player and I am not comparing the two, but the article is making it sound like he is being kept down due to not… Read more »

AZ Buckeye
Guest
AZ Buckeye

75 minutes is a full game plus a quarter. You may research quickly…but try more thoroughly…

Marshall Redd
Guest
Marshall Redd

Add the stats from 1.25 games from his per game average then. It’s still is a good bit lower than others outside of the TDs and INTs. That adds like 250 yards passing and 45 yards rushing (not really close to the top in either category even with the extra play time).

AZ Buckeye
Guest
AZ Buckeye

“outside of his TDs and INTs.”
And more TDs and less INTs is a bad thing??? Burrow is a very good QB and I do think if Day played Fields as much as LSU plays Burrow it would be a tight race between the two QBs for the Heisman Trophy. LSU has had to play Burrow far more than OSU has had to play Fields because LSU’s defense isn’t as good this year. Also, LSU airs it out a lot whereas OSU leans more heavily on the run game.

Steve Dob
Guest
Steve Dob

I do not disagree with anything you are saying, I was never trying to compare the two as players. I was simply annoyed with the article stating that the heisman race wouldnt even be close if Fields played more than half a game. Which is extremely disingenuous to the actual situation. It would be a much closer race for sure, but given the big games and unwavering success in said games that Burrow has played in he would still be leading, but that’s not the point of why I even posted.

AZ Buckeye
Guest
AZ Buckeye

I agree that it would be a 2 person race if Fields played as deeply into games as Burrow does. Don’t agree that Fields would be a runaway winner at this point. We are way more of a balanced attack than LSU so that also hurts Fields’ stats.

Steve Dob
Guest
Steve Dob

That honestly is a much better argument as to why the gap is what it is. When you guys go up you lean REAL heavy on the run game even when Fields is in. LSU has done a lot of less of that this year on top of being in a lot of games where it was unwarranted.

Hominid
Guest
Hominid

You’re full of bah-loney. Fields has played way, way less than Burrow. Just as Dobbins has played far less than Taylor.

Zack
Guest
Zack

For the past month, Justin Fields and the whole first Offense unit, as well as the whole first Defense Unit played only half games. I am not sure how well can they perform when all of a sudden they have to play 4 quarters against Penn State, Michigan, and beyond. A player body and mind need to be tuned physically, mentally and emotionally to the length and demands of the game, yet both first units were on a vacation for a month. BAD coaching decisions to decide to impress recruits and other goals at the expense of readiness of the… Read more »

Hominid
Guest
Hominid

Yeah – they never push themselves to the limit in practice. Geez – you people are football illiterate.

Zack
Guest
Zack

Ask Ryan Day why is he sabotaging Justin Fields chance to win the Heisman Trophy?! On what basis?!

Hominid
Guest
Hominid

Don’t be a fool. The Buckeyes team success and keeping Fields from being injured by nothing teams is what matters way more than the Heisman..

holby
Guest
holby

On the basis of winning a national championship.

Avatar

Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

To Top