Maybe it wasn’t the coaching after all.

Hold on with the Justin Fields for Heisman campaign ($$).

Of Fields’ 131 passing yards, 98 came on a touchdown pass to Binjimen Victor. Fields flashed his quickness and athleticism on a few zone reads, one of which went for a 5-yard touchdown. Other than that, there were a lot of batted balls, hesitation on throws, overthrows and everything else you’d expect from a sophomore who is going through his first spring at Ohio State.

The TD pass came against the third-string defense.

Because Fields was a former five-star prospect ranked higher than any recruit signed by Ohio State in the modern era of recruiting (since 2001), the expectation was that Fields was going to “save” a program that just lost one of the best quarterbacks to ever wear a Buckeyes uniform. Fields was supposed to walk into Columbus, get his NCAA hardship waiver approved and waltz into the season primed to break records. This was supposed to be a seamless transition.

That still may be the case. After leaving Georgia, Fields did come to Ohio State and earn immediate eligibility, but this spring was a reminder that he’s a sophomore with limited playing experience (he threw 39 passes last season for the Bulldogs).

Just a reminder that Fields was 18-of-33 passing for 207 yards with a TD in last year’s G-Day game.

Fields has a rocket arm and oozes athleticism, but he clearly was worried about throwing interceptions and he was off the mark quite a bit.

That’s the sound of massive expectations being adjusted.  Maybe even Fields’.

“I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface,” Fields said. “If I had to grade myself out today, it would be like a C-plus. I am very hard on myself. I am kind of a perfectionist. I definitely see myself as having a bright future. … I know I can do better. I’ve done better in practice and of course there’s always room to improve. So I’m just going to go to work.”

C+ wouldn’t be enough to unseat Fromm, but with a wide-open field at Ohio State, maybe it will be enough there.

34 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football

34 responses to “Maybe it wasn’t the coaching after all.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Verry interesting.

    Like

  2. For the coach that prioritizes roster management and personnel, perhaps we should trust CKS. Given this, why question Fields’ or Demetrius’s limited playing time. Last year or otherwise. Smart decision?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. PTC DAWG

    I still say coddling him last year cost UGA big time.

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  4. Cousin Eddie

    C+, look at that stat line. I understand that the osu third string d is as good as anything he will face all year in the big 10 but dang. I would hate to see what a grade of F would look like.

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  5. Hobnail_Boot

    It’s gonna be nice to see Michigan finally get on the right side of that rivalry. Shame that Corch won’t be involved.

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  6. CB

    So you’re telling me that outside of this 98 yard underthrown TD that would have been picked (or at least deflected) if the corner wasn’t third string, Fields went 4-12 for 33 yards and 0 TD’s. IN A SPRING GAME!!

    Have the bagmen been sent to the Martell residence? I wonder if he would be immediately eligible to transfer back.

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    • Junkyardawg41

      What does that tell you about Martell? I think the folks in Miami who think Diaz is going to fix all that ailes Miami are going to be a bit disappointed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CB

        Tells me that tOSU’s new HC may have picked the wrong horse. It’s strange to me how Meyer’s retirement is almost just glossed over as nbd. Love him or hate him the dude is an all time great coach.

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  7. Starbreaker

    Pretty sure he will have a monster stat year and OSU will be at least 11-1 and there will be Heisman chatter about him…but this will not mean that UGA blew it with him. Two very different offensive schemes and OSU is a great deal more “plug and play” and what this likely means is Fields will have an awesome college career but not likely be too prepared for the NFL. UGA’s offense demands a lot of mental preparation, experience and execution. Not saying Fields couldn’t have gotten there, but he’s just too raw at this point. Obviously he would be great to have as a back up and developing, but that’s not what he has in mind. Really sort of a matter of wrong place at wrong time and just be prepared for “Georgia let a generational college QB go” talk, but I don’t think he would ever have been as successful at UGA as he will be at OSU, if that makes any sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. W Cobb Dawg

    Que the Ramsey v. Watson recruiting hindsight arguments. Now we find out we should’ve thrown everything we had into recruiting Trev Lawrence instead of wasting time on Fields;-)

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    • Hobnail_Boot

      Lawrence was always going to Clemson.

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      • Voice of Reason 1776

        Actually, he was going to TN first but that was a dumpster fire. Then, he was leaning to UGA and probably would have gone to UGA had Bobo not left. After Bobo left, it was Clemson all the way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • CB

          If Bobo had brought in Lawrence it would have absolved him for Ramsey over Watson, but he didn’t so… not absolved lol.

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          • UnderDog68

            From what I saw on the Dean Legge piece on what went wrong during the last year CMR was here, Lawrence was treated like a 3rd-rate recruit as a 10th grader when he came for a visit by Schottenheimer. After that visit, Lawrence told his father that he was never coming to UGA.

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            • CB

              I read a little of that. Had a lot of quotes from former jilted players as I recall. Kinda felt like Dean already a story in mind and made a point to get the interviews he needed to confirm his predetermined narrative. Not saying the Lawrence thing isn’t true, but I took that whole piece with a bowl of salt. Mainly because I can’t take Legge seriously. I know he has connections, but he doesn’t come off as well read in his videos, and he downright can’t spell in his articles.

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    • Argondawg

      Yeah but we would have had Bailey Hockman instead of Fromm or maybe my memory fails me. Maybe that was Schottendisaster

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  9. BosnianDawg

    Fields doesn’t know the playbook or he is at least struggling very much to learn it. I remember a run play from the second half of the last season with Fields in the game that convinced me of this. The run was designed to go to the left and the line and RB all went to the left except for Fields who turned to his right to hand the ball off. That screwed up the play and we lost a yard or two. I remember thinking “How the fuck did he just screw this up?” I don’t think there are many simpler play calls for the QB than a straight up the gut run like that and yet Fields couldn’t execute it correctly after months of practice. To me that points to either him not putting in the required effort or him not being able to learn it in the given time for whatever reason. Maybe he was very far behind in developing his football understanding or maybe our coaches’ approach to teaching didn’t work for him or maybe he thought he didn’t need to learn it and could dominate based on his instincts and skills alone. Whatever the reason for it, I think all of his struggles were from his inability to understand what his teammates are supposed to be doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Normaltown Mike

    I wish him well.

    What I dread is the fans who will use his stat line as a constant “KIRBY SUCKS AZZZ!” screed.

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  11. tbia

    I watched some of that game…he handed off good as F***

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Bulldog Joe

    If Justin has taken his lesson to heart, internal competition should make him better against external competition this time.

    Like

  13. Muttley

    A redshirt year would have been ideal for him if he’d only had the patience. Coming in off a redshirt in 2002, Shockley had great poise from the opener with Clemson on- and really won us that game off the bench.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      I think Shockley had a legitimate shot to take over the job that year if he hadn’t gotten hurt. By the time he was back, Greene had settled in, and Georgia was rolling.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Bill Glennon

    Say what you want about Meyer’s character, but he was a Hall of Fame OTF head coach who got the most out of his teams. The expectation that Ryan Day will continue at that level without a drop-off is very hopeful. Plus, OSU has not recruited nearly as well in the last 2 years.

    Even if Fields exceeds expectations, it is very questionable whether OSU will still be an elite team.

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  15. Tony Barnfart

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict Justin Fields as a total bust. I have not seen (or now heard) anything at the collegiate level to make me nervous in that prediction.

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  16. Go Dawgs!

    Hey Justin, if you’re giving yourself a C+ with THAT kind of stat line and performance, then, no… you aren’t very hard on yourself at all.

    Liked by 1 person