The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today on the opening touchdown of the season? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.
How will the Buckeyes score their first TD of the season?
— Benny (@FLBuckeye14) August 16, 2018
The problem with all the weapons Ohio State has returning on offense is that it makes bold predictions about who will score and how a real challenge. Of course, that’s probably a much bigger headache for Oregon State as it tries to find a way to slow down the fired-up Buckeyes on Saturday at the Horseshoe.
So, what’s it going to be for Ohio State? J.K. Dobbins could unleash an explosive run to pick up where he left off as a freshman. Dwayne Haskins could flash his arm strength and immediately launch a Heisman Trophy campaign. Maybe the Buckeyes will march down the field and plug Tate Martell in for a red-zone package that allows him to open the scoring. Or there’s all those potential threats at H-back who could make a mark.
Hell, if Oregon State gets the ball first, the vaunted Ohio State secondary might beat everybody to the punch with an interception return for Jordan Fuller or Damon Arnette. And if the Beavers punt, Demario McCall might have the first crack at putting points on the board.
Out of all those scenarios, the pick here is a play-action deep shot from Haskins that sets a new tone for the offense this season. The playbook itself isn’t going to be dramatically different from what the Buckeyes have used since Urban Meyer took over the program, but there is almost certainly going to be a difference in what the passing attack can do thanks to the arm strength Haskins brings to the position. And with defenses needing to always be concerned about Dobbins and Mike Weber in the backfield, Ohio State should be able to regularly expose opponents selling out against the run by getting Haskins wide-open targets down the field.
Given all those potential options, of course, this is a bit of a crapshoot. But right here, the pick is Johnnie Dixon as the odds-on favorite to haul in the first bomb of the season from Haskins and get the Buckeyes off to an explosive start.
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