Land of 10/file photo
Ohio State potentially could play both Dwayne Haskins (left) and Tate Martell at quarterback in the 2018 season.

Ohio State football: Is 2-quarterback system workable for Buckeyes?

Austin Ward

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

At this point, I would have to agree that Ohio State is probably better off picking a quarterback and letting him take the reins on a full-time basis. Leadership and establishing a rapport with the deep, veteran group of wideouts in Zone 6 is certainly part of that equation, but more importantly, there’s a chance that rotating multiple players at the most important position on the field could make it more difficult to establish a consistent identity for the offense.

It’s been well documented that Urban Meyer has had success in the past using two quarterbacks. And based on the way Tate Martell already has developed in just a year and the endless options he presents offensively, there’s no reason to think the Buckeyes won’t experiment with him in the mix ― assuming Dwayne Haskins wins the job as expected. But as explosive as Martell appears to be, carving out a package of plays and touches for him could come at the expense of other playmakers such as J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber or potentially Parris Campbell if his role at H-back continues to expand.

Joe Burrow-Ohio State-Buckeyes-football-quarterback-depth chart
Joe Burrow could be an X-factor in Ohio State’s quarterback competition. (Land of 10/file photo)

Maybe Martell could emerge as somebody this season who is just as dangerous as those veterans and needs the football in his hands. Maybe putting him on the field would only open up more room for Dobbins on the ground. But the other player who obviously would be impacted by putting Martell on the field is Haskins, and it just seems like the risk of a two-quarterback system would be greater than the reward.

Ohio State has no shortage of weapons at the skill positions and really shouldn’t be in situations that require digging that deep into a bag of tricks for a spark. Haskins doesn’t have track-star speed, but he can do all the things required of an Ohio State quarterback in the zone-read rushing attack. He also showed in the comeback in The Game that he can be an effective scrambler when he needs to be. If Haskins solidifies the belief that he’s the guy to take the torch from J.T. Barrett, he should be given the same opportunity as his predecessor to handle the full workload at that crucial spot.

Maybe that’s something of an old-fashioned notion when it comes to quarterbacks. If anybody can make the two-quarterback system work for the Buckeyes, it’s Meyer. And if any collection of personnel can create the perfect opportunity to try it, Ohio State surely has it with a big, strong-armed passer and an athletic, dual-threat candidate behind him. Everything points to Meyer at least toying with the use of multiple quarterbacks this season, but that doesn’t mean two necessarily will be better than one.

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