Georgia transfer QB Justin Fields shined in his first game versus Florida Atlantic this past Saturday kicking off the 2019 College Football Season. There was much anticipation for his debut as the former 5-star recruit was one of the biggest stories in the offseason.
Fields came out of the gate hot running for a 51-yard touchdown to open up the game. The touchdown came on a read-option in which Fields faked a handoff to running-back JK Dobbins before scampering to the endzone. The first four Ohio State possessions saw Fields in sync with his new crop of receivers. Fields connected with Jeremy Ruckert on a twenty-one-yard pass to give the Buckeyes a fourteen point lead early in the first quarter. After a three and out by Florida Atlantic, Fields and the Ohio State offense took the field once again. Fields later connected on a thirty-two-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Victor topping off another impressive drive. Fields finished up the first quarter with a twenty-nine-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave giving the Buckeyes a twenty-eight point lead to end the first quarter.
The highly anticipated debut of Fields could not come soon enough for Buckeye fans after losing Heisman finalist QB Dwayne Haskins to the NFL this past April. Fields has big shoes to fill, but first-year Head Coach Ryan Day has a history of developing QB’s and scheming up great offensive gameplans. Fields finished the game completing 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and 4 total touchdowns.
Fields entered the University of Georgia last season as the second-ranked high school player in the nation just behind Clemson’s QB Trevor Lawrence. After losing out on the starting job to QB Jake Fromm, Fields entered the transfer portal where he was picked up by Ryan Day and his staff. Fields is sure to be a great fit in the Ohio State offense which features a strong running game with junior running back JK Dobbins and a speedy receiving core headed up by Benjamin Victor and KJ Hill. Last year the Buckeye offense struggled to run the ball, especially in short-yardage situations. As a result, the Haskins led offense was forced to throw the ball much more than a typical Ohio State offense would throw in past years. Fields can be described as a combination of past Ohio State QB’s Dwayne Haskins, and Braxton Miller. Fields possesses the speed and athleticism of Miller, and the potential throwing abilities of Haskins. Fields has much improving to do as a passer before one can put him in a category with Haskins, but the potential is surely there.
Ohio State fans are hopeful that Fields can lead the Buckeyes back to the College Football Playoff, a place the Buckeyes have missed the past two years. Next Saturday Ohio State takes on Cincinnati, a team coming off an impressive opening win against UCLA. Let’s see what Fields and Ryan Day have in store for former Ohio State defensive coordinator and now Cincinnati Head Coach Luke Fickell.