Dwayne Haskins excited for opportunity to compete ‘blow for blow’ with Penn State’s McSorley

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Postgame interview: Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins after beating Tulane

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Buckeyes play on the road at 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had the quote of the night Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Asked about the play of quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award twice in his first four career starts, Wilson said, “He’s very accurate. If he went to the county fair, he’d win a lot of prizes.”

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Haskins has completed 87 of 115 passes for 1,194 yards. He ranks second in the nation in completion percentage (75.7), second in touchdown passes (16) and third in quarterback rating (207.04).

Even Haskins has had to slow the hype. After practice Tuesday, he said, “It’s only my fourth game. I feel I can only get better. Just keep executing. Make minimal mistakes. I just feel like I’m doing a great job managing the offense, managing downs and situations. So just keep getting better at that every week.”

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Haskins passed his first big test by engineering a second-half comeback in a 40-28 victory against Texas Christian on the road. He faces his second big test Saturday night when No. 4 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0) plays at No. 9 Penn State (4-0, 1-0). He doesn’t think winning at AT&T Stadium will give him much of an advantage when it comes to this game.

“There’s nothing like Happy Valley,” Haskins said. “Nothing really helps.”

Haskins was a freshman the last time Ohio State played in State College, Pa. He was on the sideline when the Buckeyes lost 24-21 in 2016. That defeat kept Ohio State out of the Big Ten championship game.

“I didn’t play,” he said, “but I was upset we lost that game.”

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Haskins remembers the atmosphere in front of a sold-out, white-out crowd and expects the same this weekend.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re ranked or unranked or winning games or losing games,” Haskins said. “They can win at any time in that stadium. You’ve got to play your best when you play there. I look forward to every game, but a game like this just makes everything that much more worth it. I’m definitely excited to play in Happy Valley on Saturday. I know a bunch of players on that team. Me and Trace (McSorley) used to work out together back in high school. To have an opportunity to compete against him blow for blow, I’m excited for it.”

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