K.J. Hill

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J.K. Dobbins makes Heisman statement as No. 1 Ohio State blasts No. 13 Michigan (again)

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Another year, another victory for No. 1 Ohio State (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) against No. 13 Michigan (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten) in the Jim Harbaugh era. The Ryan Day era picks up right where the Urban Meyer regime left off in this series. The Buckeyes roared past the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoon with a 56-27 beat down of their rivals from north of the state border. Behind a strong running performance by J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State extended its winning streak over Michigan to eight straight, sending yet another senior class off without a loss to Michigan.

Dobbins rushed for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns. This was the second time Dobbins eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the ground, and he moved up the school’s all-time rushing list earlier in the game, moving past Ezekiel Elliott and moving in behind two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. In the process, Dobbins may have made his own case to head to New York to lay claim to his own Heisman Trophy.

In a showdown of former SEC quarterback who transferred to the Big Ten, Justin Fields certainly had a better performance compared to Michigan’s Shea Patterson. Fields didn’t have an excellent day with completion percentage, but the passes he did connect on were huge. Fields still ended the game with 302 passing yards and four touchdowns with one touchdown pass to four different Buckeyes (K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Chris Olave, and Garrett Wilson). Patterson had a rough day throwing the football but also had a 300-yard day (305 yards) but with just one touchdown pass. Patterson was also dropped for a loss of 20 yards in the game and had a crucial red-zone fumble in the first half.

The 56 points given up by Michigan was the most points allowed to an opponent in Michigan Stadium in regulation in program history. Illinois scored 65 points in 2010 for the most points scored by a visitor in Michigan Stadium, but 20 of those points were scored in overtime of a thrilling 67-65 victory by the Wolverines.

For Ohio State, the ultimate goal falls above simply beating Michigan. The top-ranked Buckeyes appear to be locked into position for a run to the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State now will prepare for its third consecutive Big Ten Championship Game. But first, the Buckeyes will sit back and watch to find out just who they will be playing. Ohio State will meet the winner of today’s Minnesota-Wisconsin game, which will crown a division champion in the Big Ten West to determine Ohio State’s next opponent. The Buckeyes will essentially lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win next week, but even a loss may not eliminate an Ohio State team that will end the regular season with good quality wins against a top 10 Penn State and a top 15 Michigan to go along with an earlier win this season against Wisconsin and Cincinnati.

The loss for Michigan will knock the Wolverines out of the running for a possible spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup, so a landing spot in the Citrus Bowl may be in the cards for Jim Harbaugh his program. Harbaugh is now 0-5 against Ohio State. The Wolverines will visit Ohio State next season.

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

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Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)

K.J. Hill announces return to Ohio State in 2019

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Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill had some good news for the Buckeyes on Tuesday. He’s coming back for another year of football in Columbus. Hill announced his decision to return to Ohio State with a statement shared on his Twitter account.

“First I would like to thank Coach Urban Meyer for giving me a chance to be a Buckeye,” Hill said in his statement. “It was by far, some of the best moments of my life. With that being said, and with the guidance and mentorship of Cris Carter, and my family, I have decided to take one last ride with my brothers, my coaches, and you, Buckeye Nation!”

Hill was Ohio State’s second-leading receiver with 865 yards and six touchdowns this season. Although he was used on special teams to return punts, Hill had just 76 return yards on 14 punt return attempts, an average of just 5.4 return yards per game.

Ryan Day’s first staff decision removes interim tag for Brian Hartline

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Ryan Day may have to wait for one more game to really be Ohio State’s head coach, but the successor to soon-to-be-retired Urban Meyer is already working to put together his coaching staff in Columbus. On Saturday, Day’s first official staff decision was made with the removing of an interim tag for wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Hartline was officially elevated to being the permanent wide receivers coach for Ohio State moving forward.

“Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now,” Day said in a released statement. “Brian was displaying outstanding leadership qualities when he was a quality control coach, and his efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl.”

Hartline joined the Ohio State coaching staff in 2017 as a quality control coach with the wide receivers. He was named interim wide receivers coach following the dismissal of former receivers coach Zach Smith this summer.

Ohio State wide receivers played a huge role for the Buckeyes this season en route to a Big Ten championship run that will take the team out west to play in the Rose Bowl next month. Ohio State receivers caught 291 passes for 4,211 yards and 43 touchdowns, fueling a run to being a Heisman Trophy finalist for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. All are new school records for receivers, which were led by Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill. Freshman Chris Olave proved ready to step up in a big spot too with a breakout performance in the regular season finale against Michigan to clinch the Big Ten East Division.

Time will tell if Day feels a need to make any further staff changes once the season is complete and the Buckeyes officially move into the post-Meyer era under Day’s leadership.

No. 10 Ohio State makes B1G statement as they dump No. 4 Michigan from playoff chase in 62-39 rout

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If you wanted a bit of a shakeup in the College Football Playoff picture, then No. 10 Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) delivered. The Buckeyes were a rare home underdog against No. 4 Michigan (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon but they sure did not play like it. Ohio State scored the most points they have ever scored in a game against Michigan in a 62-39 blowout of the rival Wolverines. The win not only sends Ohio State back to the Big Ten championship game next week as two-time defending East Division champions, but the Buckeyes just scored a loud playoff statement worth considering against one of the nation’s top-ranked defenses.

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins passed for 318 yards and five touchdowns in the win. His fourth touchdown pass, a short pass to K.J. Hill in the fourth quarter, set a new Big Ten single-season passing touchdown record with his 40th of the year (he later added a 41st for the season). The previous record was set by Drew Brees of Purdue in 1998.

Ohio State freshman wide receiver Chris Olave had himself a career day out of nowhere for the Buckeyes. Playing in just his fifth career game, Olave scored his first two career touchdowns in the first half and he blocked a Michigan punt in the second half that was returned for a touchdown to push the Ohio State lead to 34-19. It was pretty much over from there, as Ohio State turned a Michigan interception by Shea Patterson into a touchdown with a short run by Mike Weber to extend the lead to 41-19 just about 90 seconds later. Michigan didn’t roll over and quite, but enough damage had been done.

Ohio State scored the most points they have ever scored in the history of the storied rivalry since hitting 50 points in 1961 and again in 1968. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has now been the head coach of the Wolverines for two of the worst defensive performances against the Buckeyes after giving up 42 points in 2015 and now 48 points this season.

Michigan also got banged up on the field with injuries to key players. Devin Bush was treated for a thigh injury early in the third quarter. Later in the same quarter, Zach Gentry had to be helped off the field with a possible head injury. And in the fourth quarter, Shea Patterson was taken off the field for evaluation on his knee, the same one he previously injured at Ole Miss.

With the win clinching the East Division of the Big Ten, Ohio State will now head to Indianapolis to play in the Big Ten championship game for a second straight season. It will be Ohio State’s fourth trip to the conference championship game with a 2-1 record in the game entering next week against Northwestern. The Wildcats will make their first appearance in the Big Ten championship game after winning the West Division a few weeks ago. Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northwestern, 61-14-1, with a six-game winning streak in the series, although the two have not played each other since 2016.

Ohio State fans will also be eager to see where the Buckeyes move in the next batch of rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee. The Buckeyes will absolutely be moving up in the rankings on Tuesday, jumping Michigan and a handful of other programs on the way, most likely. Where Ohio State ranks compared to Oklahoma will be what to pay close attention to as the Buckeyes and Sooners could be battling to impress the selection committee the most next week with a potential spot in the playoff up for grabs now that Michigan will tumble out of the fourth spot and Alabama or Georgia is guaranteed to lose next week in the SEC Championship Game (Georgia entered the week No. 5 in the rankings and will likely take over the fourth spot before championship week).

It remains to be seen if Ohio State will be in the College Football Playoff, the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champion, or some other bowl. For now, the range of bowl possibilities is pretty wide for Ohio State. For Michigan, the chance to still play in the Rose Bowl is a possibility, but it would only be an option if Ohio State is selected for the College Football Playoff. If the Rose Bowl is out of the mix though, a spot in a New Years Six bowl should still be on the table for the Wolverines, as they will more than likely remain within the top 12 of the playoff committee’s rankings, which would make them eligible for consideration for an at-large invite to an open bowl spot in the New Years Six lineup.

But for now, we sit and wait to see what comes next for Michigan and Ohio State. The one things we do know is Ohio State will begin preparing for Northwestern.