Ohio State may have sleepwalked throughout much of their win over Indiana last Saturday, but quarterback Dwayne Haskins sure didn’t. In fact, he and the receivers seemed to be one of the only reasons why the Buckeyes were able to remain undefeated.
Prior to this season, just one quarterback in Ohio State history — Art Schlichter in 1981 — threw for over 400 yards in a single game. With his 412 yards through the air against the Golden Gophers last weekend, Haskins has now done so in back-to-back weeks after throwing for 455 yards against Indiana the week prior.1 He’s the first Buckeye quarterback to do it twice and it’s likely that he will do it a third time before the season is over, which is truly incredible when you think about it.
After totaling 412 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air while completing 33-of-44 passes against Minnesota, Haskins climbed back into second in terms of odds to win the Heisman Trophy at season’s end. Last week, he was just behind Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, now they both are tied, sharing 3-to-1 odds, according to Bovada. He’s now thrown for 2,331 yards and 28 touchdowns while completing 175-of-242 passes (72.3 percent) and just four interceptions. He also has 30 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground as well.
The top-10 odds:
Tua has been considered the clear favorite for a few weeks now, but Haskins and Murray aren’t making it easy. Even without much help from the running game the last couple weeks, the Buckeye has single-handedly led Ohio State’s offense. Whether it’s deep balls or finding the open man no matter where he is on the field, Haskins seems to be doing everything right. He’s only going to improve with more experience as well.
Haskins is not only inching closer to Tua in the Heisman odds, but he’s getting closer to achieving seems program records as well. Keep in mind, he is just six starts into his career as well. Not bad for a first-year starter.
Just seven games into the season, Dwayne Haskins is marching through the Ohio State record book. pic.twitter.com/7YQQLjgjAM
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) October 14, 2018
Any other year, it’s like that the Ohio State quarterback would be a huge favorite to win the Heisman, but this year is different. Tua is special. Looking back at previous Heisman Trophy winners, it’s clear that Haskins might just have too tough of competition for college football’s most prestigious individual award at season’s end.
Through seven games:
2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson: 2,161 passing yards, 18 TD
— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) October 13, 2018
Much like Bovada, ESPN experts also had Tagovailoa as the clear favorite but Haskins and Murray are inching closer. Tua has 49 points (nine first-place votes), while Haskins (36 points, one first-place vote) and Murray (30 points) are doing their best to catch up.
He may be behind in the odds and rankings, but ESPN’s David Hale isn’t buying all of the hype for the other players. In fact, he believes Haskins will be the one who takes home the Heisman Trophy in December.
If the midpoint gives us a fairly clear picture of the playoff contenders, we tend to have a little worse track record predicting the Heisman. Tua Tagovailoa has been sensational so far, but he also has played limited second-half snaps, is currently battling an injury and lacks many marquee games to build a great Heisman narrative. Instead, Haskins can point to some big come-from-behind moments against TCU and Penn State and still has some huge matchups awaiting him. Moreover, he’s on the field a whole lot more to pad that résumé.
If the redshirt sophomore continues his dominance, it will be very tough not to name him the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. Tua is having himself one heckuva season so far, but so has Haskins, and if the Buckeye continues his impressive play while leading his team to more and more wins, he might just take over the lead. Then again, he shouldn’t be worried about that. The gunslinger just needs to keep playing the way he has while leading Ohio State to more and more wins and everything else will work itself out. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like Haskins is worried about winning the Heisman either, instead focusing on team success while knowing that if he continues to do well, his team will too. That’s all you can ask for from the first-year starter.