The game came down to literally the final second, and Chip Trayanum got the ball into the endzone by inches. A game could not be closer than this one was, but the Buckeyes ended up coming out on top by a score of 17-14.
Here are our picks for players deserving of Buckeye Leaves following the win.
Patrick Engels: I’m extending my Buckeye Leaf to safety Lathan Ransom, who was a key contributor for Ohio State’s run defense. Ransom showed his physicality on the defensive side, striking towards the line of scrimmage for a number of big hits on Audric Estime and Sam Hartman.
Ransom’s second-down hit on Estime in the second quarter changed the tenor of that drive, leading to a temporary change of momentum in the Buckeyes favor. He also was involved in the big fourth down stop of Hartman in the third quarter, which helped spur Henderson’s long touchdown a few plays later.
Braden Moles: My Buckeye Leaf goes to defensive tackle Tyleik Williams, who continued his coming out party with 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass breakup.
Williams has been dominant in the trenches this season, and while Ohio State’s defensive line as a whole struggled against the Fighting Irish, he was still able to make an impact, especially in the run game, which finished with just 4.5 yards per attempt on the evening.
Greg Wilson: My Buckeye Leaf is for tight end Cade Stover who was yet again Kyle McCord’s favorite target Saturday night, and he made the most of his 11 targets with seven receptions for 52 yards. There were times when he was the first read, and he was open quite a bit, but he was also available in emergencies for McCord when he was able to go through his other options and nothing was open.
Late in the third quarter on a third-and-4 on the Buckeyes side of the field, McCord was in trouble facing a lot of pressure in the pocket and tried to make a desperate attempt for a first down. The pass was deflected by the Fighting Irish, and looked to be a possible interception with defenders swarming where the ball was coming down, but Stover was able to keep calm and make the catch on one knee to convert the first down.
This didn’t end up turning into points for Ohio State, but it was a great summary of how Stover was an anchor for the offense when they most needed it. He was on the receiving end for four first downs for the Buckeyes and was consistently used throughout the game.
Trayanum scored the game winning touchdown with one second left on the clock to give the Buckeyes the win over Notre Dame. He finished with six carries for 13 yards, so he wasn’t much of a factor early on. He still ended up with the biggest play of the game, barely getting over the goal line for Ohio State to remain undefeated.