Ohio State answered many doubters with a 52-3 victory at Northwestern. Here are the players that stood out to the members of the BSB staff.
Ohio State thoroughly dominated its opponent for the seventh straight week, and the offense really found a way to shine against a tough Northwestern defense.
Justin Fields was on his game, but he found the most success going to sophomore wide out Chris Olave, who I am giving my Buckeye Leaf to.
Olave finished the game with five receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns, all team highs. Two of his catches also came on crucial third downs early on to allow the Buckeyes to really set the tone and take the Wildcats out of the game before any momentum could be found.
There wasn’t anything particularly flashy from Olave in this game, but he did exactly what he needed to do to get Fields and the Ohio State offense in the groove, and continues to show promise as a star receiver both now and in the future.
Malik Harrison deserves a Buckeye Leaf for his stellar performance in the Buckeyes’ 52-3 win at Northwestern.
The senior linebacker made plays all over the field against the Wildcats, having an impact from the first drive of the game to his last series before giving way to the backups.
Harrison recorded nine tackles (seven solo), including a half tackle for loss along with one quarterback hurry.
The 6-foot-3 linebacker from Columbus did not just jump on the pile or chase ball carriers down the field for his production.
Harrison frequently met ball carriers near the line of scrimmage, with solo stops on gains of only three, two, one and zero yards. The Columbus Walnut Ridge product also teamed up with Davon Hamilton for a one-yard stop and partnered with Robert Landers for a one-yard loss.
Quarterback Justin Fields continues to impress in all facets of the game, whether it’s making plays with his arm and his legs or in his overall decision making and efficiency.
Fields completed 18 of 23 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns — matching his career high for scores through the air. He now has 22 passing touchdowns and 30 overall this season, which is one more than Dwayne Haskins had at this point last season, and he went on to set the school single-season record with 54 touchdowns responsible for.
If Fields, who has thrown just one interception this season, continues to play this well down the stretch, it’s hard to fathom any team on the schedule keeping up with the Buckeyes’ offensive attack. And that will likely lead to a second straight Heisman Trophy ceremony appearance by an Ohio State quarterback.
Things weren’t always easy for J.K. Dobbins during Ohio State’s 52-3 victory over Northwestern on Oct. 18. While his final statline – 121 yards and a score on 18 carries – doesn’t reflect it, Dobbins had some traction issues in Evanston, but literally and figuratively. On a slippery, seemingly wet field, Dobbins struggled with getting his footing early on, but once he did, there was no looking back.
A 68-yard run followed by a five-yard touchdown run a play later served as a bit of a dagger for the Buckeyes early in the second quarter as it gave them a 21-3 lead against a hapless Wildcats offense.
Dobbins didn’t just contribute on the ground either. Prior to his one-man touchdown drive, Dobbins gave Ohio State its 14-3 lead on a 19-yard reception, beating linebacker Blake Gallagher across the middle. Once he got his footing and some help from his offensive line, Dobbins was as dominant as ever, and helped pace the Buckeyes on the way to another massive victory over a Big Ten foe.
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