Dwayne Haskins got a new cell phone number before the season, so his phone hasn’t blown up after every big performance in his first season as the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Maybe minimizing distractions has played a part in the redshirt sophomore’s success. He leads the nation in passing touchdowns (28) and ranks third in passing yards (2,331).
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Former Ohio State quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett prepared Haskins for his moment in the spotlight. They know winning the starting job at Ohio State makes a quarterback a celebrity in Columbus.
“I never really thought this would happen, the way it’s going,” Haskins said Tuesday, “but I’m excited for it. I’m enjoying the moment, and it’s a lot of fun out there, especially with coach (Ryan) Day and coach (Kevin) Wilson, the plays they’re putting together. It’s a quarterback’s dream.”
Haskins said the former starters gave him several pieces of advice:
• Enjoy the moment.
• Be leader when you need to be.
• Don’t let the pressure get to you.
Haskins said he didn’t have any idea of what to expect when he arrived at Ohio State in 2016. He just wanted to play. With the Buckeyes moving up to No. 2 in the rankings this week after a 7-0 start, he said, “It’s been everything and then some.”
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Opposing viewpoint: The Buckeyes travel to Purdue for a game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, who played quarterback at Louisville, praised the job Haskins has done.
“I think he’s a very efficient quarterback who throws the ball well and he likes to throw the ball,” Brohm said. “While he’s a good athlete and can run, he likes to throw the ball. He gets the ball out of his hands quickly. I think they do a great job on offense of spreading the field and give him numerous chances to get it out quick where he feels comfortable and he’s not taking a lot of hits and he’s not standing there too long. … I know they are Ohio State and have great talent and can run it any time they want, but they are a passing team that sets the run up by the pass and I like that myself. I like watching it and they have done great job with it.”
Health issues: With his team's preparations for a trip to Purdue winding down, Urban Meyer confirmed injuries have had a ripple effect on the Buckeyes lately.
“The scout team starts getting watered down because you take your redshirt guys or potential redshirt guys and start moving them into those backup roles and then the trickle-down effect takes place this time of year,” said the Ohio State football coach.
While acknowledging that has impacted practice, he also pointed out it is not unique to Ohio State.
“Any time you’re in week seven or week eight, whatever it is, you’ll have some of that you’re dealing with,” Meyer said. “It does impact practiced quite a bit to be honest with you.”