Ohio State was undoubtedly a power house in 2019. The buckeye’s only loss in 2019 came at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in the semis of the CFP. Will they follow a similar path in 2020?
What They Lost
Chase Young and J.K. Dobbins
To answer this first we have to look at what they lost. At the end of 2019, the most notable buckeye goodbyes included DE Chase Young, RB J.K. Dobbins, and QB’s coach and co-offensive coordinator Mike Yurich.
Losing Chase Young and Dobbins is absolutely a hit. Young was arguably the best DE in the league last year. He notched 32 solo tackled, 16.5 sacks, and was considered for the Heisman as a defensive player. Then you have J.K Dobbins, who ammassed over 2,000 rushing yards, 21 rushing TDs, and almost 7 yards per carry.
The loss of Mike Yurich wasn’t as big as Young or Dobbins, but it still hurt. Yurich was in charge of developing Fields, who turned out to be a Heisman finalist.
What They Have
Fortunately for Buckeyes fans, Ohio State in 2020 will fill every gap from 2019 and more.
First off, Ohio State won’t miss a beat on defense. The Buckeye’s are bringing in the #4 recruiting class in 2020 (per 247 Sports). This class is littered with defensive 4-stars. Combine that with the talent that’s already on their roster, and OSU’s history of developing DB’s and I’m confident they’ll be just fine.
Related Article: Ohio State Is Officially DBU
Next up we have the RB position. For awhile I wasn’t sure how the loss of Dobbins would affect the Buckeyes. They had some injuries and missed out on a few key RB recruits in 2020 so there was definitely a gap. Fortunately, OSU just landed Trey Sermon from the portal. Sermon amassed 2,076 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons with the Sooners. His best year came as a sophomore in 2018, when he ran for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. It’s worth noting he suffered a leg injury that put him out for 5 games in 2019. Will he perform to the level of Dobbins? probably not, but as a talented grad transfer Sermon will have an immediate impact and fill a much needed hole for the Buckeyes, assuming he can stay healthy.
Related Article: Former OU RB, Trey Sermon, Headed To Ohio State
Justin Fields & The Rest Of The Offense
With a solid RB to support him, Justin Fields won’t miss a beat. Fields improved throughout 2019 and I expect him to follow that trend in 2020. He will be injury free, have some legtimate experience, and he returns with stud WR Chris Olave (among others).
Also, there isn’t much need to worry about the loss of Yurich, reports from the Letterman Row, suggest this move benefited both parties:
But multiple sources suggested there wasn’t a culture fit for either party, and a separation will probably help both Yurcich get what he wants as a play-caller and Day gets another crack at identifying the right guy for the Buckeyes.Austin Ward of Letterman Row
Whether his replacement is a home-run hire or not Ohio State’s offense likely won’t suffer. They still have their main OC, Kevin wilson, and Ryan Day is one of the best offensive minds in football with a star QB.
Ohio State In 2020
In 2020 Ohio State is likely to go undefeated, make the CFP, and have another Heisman finalist. Despite a few key losses, Ryan Day has patched the holes, and Justin Fields is gearing up for another big year.