COLUMBUS — The talent in the Ohio State running backs room hasn’t left.
Both of the backfield Buckeyes are also healthy and ready to contribute.
Now they either need some schemes that will allow them to shine, better blocking up front — or maybe both as J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber look to get rolling again after a handful of weeks now clearly struggling to provide the production Ohio State is used to getting.
“This bye week is going to give us an opportunity to evaluate some schemes,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said on Tuesday. “There are other things we do very well, and then there are things that we don’t.
“It’s glaringly obvious what they are. The red-zone offense and the ability to run the ball when you have to run it. … That’s what we’re working on.”
The Buckeyes surely never would have guessed that would be a weakness coming into the year for a variety of reasons, starting with the depth at tailback with both Weber and Dobbins having posted 1,000-yard seasons previously in their careers.
The size and strength of the offensive line and Meyer’s track record of building some of the most potent ground games in the country were obviously reasons for optimism as well, but clearly something has gone wrong for the Buckeyes coming off the disaster at Purdue. Ohio State is far too skilled to struggle so mightily in the red zone or have Weber and Dobbins finish a loss with 20 combined carries for 69 yards.
What exactly is weighing down Ohio State? Are the signs still there that Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins can continue to get the job done and get the Buckeyes back on track? Former Ohio State star rusher Beanie Wells returned to the Lettermen Row film lab for a BuckIQ breakdown of the rushing attack, offering his analysis on where the offense can go down the stretch after the off date.
Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.