With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to kick off their 2018 season in just a few hours, here are 15 bold predictions for the scarlet and gray this fall. Why 15, you ask? If they want to have a perfect season, the Buckeyes will have to go 15-0.
Off-the-field distractions will only fuel the players
There comes a time when off-the-field stuff turns from distractions to just more fuel for the players in the program, wanting to prove the world wrong. The statement “Ohio vs. The World” has been said plenty of times, but this season, it seems even more important. The ugly off-the-field distractions all offseason will only add more fuel to the fire for each Buckeye and make them want to succeed even more than they already do.
Dwayne Haskins Jr. will break the single-season passing yards record at Ohio State
Ohio State hasn’t had a pass-first quarterback in ages. With a gunslinger that has an NFL-ready arm and can throw the ball wherever, whenever, it will be an unfamiliar site Buckeye fans. In his first year leading the offense, Haskins will break the single-season passing yards mark in program history, which is currently held by Joe Germaine, who threw for 3,330 yards in 1998.
Haskins’ touchdown-to-interception ratio will be at least 3-to-1
Having a good arm as a quarterback is important and so is not turning the ball over. With the entire offense on his shoulders this season, the redshirt junior will pass for almost 30 touchdowns while throwing less than 10 interceptions.
J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will each top 1,000 yards rushing
With so much talent in the backfield, it will be on the offensive coaching staff to find plenty of playing time for both Dobbins and Weber in order for them to get the correct number of touches that they should receive. They will not only do that, but the duo will each top 1,000 yards, thanks to opposing defenses needing to focus on the Haskins’ arm.
Buckeyes won’t have a receiver that surpasses 1,000 receiving yards
Haskins may break the single-season passing yards mark, but with such a deep group of wide receivers, not a single one will eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. There’s a chance that more than eight wideouts can receive significant playing time. Even though the gunslinger may have a pass-first mentality, with so much talent at skill positions, it will be tough to focus on just one player.
Tate Martell will have at least five touchdowns during meaningful, non-garbage time
His athleticism will be fun to watch. Martell will play during garbage time, especially early in the season, but the run-first quarterback will make a name for himself during legitimate playing time. He may just become a highlight-reel type player that fans will learn to love, even if he is only the backup quarterback.
Nick Bosa will break the single-season sacks record as a Buckeye
Already considered the top college football player in the country by many, Bosa will prove that he’s so good that opposing offensive linemen can’t block him even if he’s double- or triple-teamed. Vernon Gholston currently owns the single-season sack record with 14 sacks in 2007, but the younger Bosa will prove that he is (somehow) better than his older brother.
Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper combine for 15-plus sacks
Listed as co-starters on Ohio State’s first depth chart of the season, these two will benefit tremendously from opposing offensive linemen. If Young is single-teamed, which is most likely going to happen given the amount of time teams will spend on Bosa, he’s going to be dangerous. So dangerous that he could quite possibly end up as the team’s leading sack guy. With this combination, plus guys such as Dre’Mont Jones and Robert Landers, among others, the 2018 defensive line will be one of the best the program has ever had.
The Game between Ohio State and Michigan will determine the Big Ten East winner
The Buckeyes have dominated their biggest rival for quite some time. While that will continue this fall, the winner of The Game will go on to face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. Looks like it will be a rematch in that game.
Ohio State will be represented at the Heisman Trophy ceremony
Whether it’s Haskins, Dobbins, Bosa, or someone else, the Buckeyes will have a player at the Heisman Trophy ceremony at season’s end. When was the last time that happened? Troy Smith, over a decade ago, probably.
Kendall Sheffield will be a first-round pick in next April’s NFL Draft
As Ohio State’s CB1 this season, the cornerback will continue the first-round NFL Draft pick in next April’s NFL Draft. He may not get the hype that previous players got, but he has the speed and quickness that NFL teams will love. Now he just has to prove that he can dominate on the field.
Bosa will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft
Somehow, Nick will be better than his brother, Joey. Who saw that coming?
Ohio State will have three players selected in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft
Ohio State has basically become a minor league system for the NFL and that will continue this fall while heading into 2019. Whether it’s Bosa, Haskins, Dre’Mont Jones, or someone else, the Buckeyes will continue the tradition of having first-round NFL picks.
Buckeyes will make the College Football Playoff
I won’t say how they’ll fare in the Playoff because I don’t want to jinx it, but Ohio State will make the College Fooball Playoff, representing the Big Ten, per usual.
Take a look at our 2018 Ohio State Buckeyes Football preview prior to their season opener at high noon, if you’d like: