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Buckeye Leaves: Marvin Harrison Jr., Cade Stover, Jermaine Mathews Jr. Stand Out In 20-12 Win Over Penn State

By October 21, 2023 (3:48 pm)Football

No. 3 Ohio State was able to grind out an ugly 20-12 win over No. 7 Penn State on Saturday to move to 7-0 on the season, with the defense in particular standing out by holding the Nittany Lions to just a single third-down conversion on 16 tries.

But there were standouts across the field for Ohio State in the win. Here are our selections for players worthy of receiving Buckeye Leaves:

Patrick Engels: Ohio State’s offensive performance was subpar at best, but they still received some significant production out of tight end Cade Stover. With quarterback Kyle McCord and the offense sputtering through two-and-a-half quarters, Stover helped steer the unit in the right direction with an impressive 30-yard catch down the middle over standout Nittany Lions corner Kobe King which put the Buckeyes at Penn State’s 39-yard line.

Although Ohio State would fail to get any points on the board on that drive, “Farmer Gronk” would come through again early in the fourth quarter with a key 29-yard reception up the middle of the field that put the Buckeyes in prime position to score again, this time rumbling to the Ohio State 35-yard line. This would set up for a Jayden Fielding 37-yard field goal to push the Buckeyes’ lead to 13-6, a lead they would never relinquish.

Stover, who finished with four catches for 70 yards, once again proved to be a reliable target for McCord, yet another strong game in what might be a career-year for the tight end.

Braden Moles: With cornerback Denzel Burke out in Ohio State’s biggest game of the season – at least so far – my Buckeye Leaf goes to cornerback Jermaine Mathews Jr., who filled in admirably for the injured Burke.

Mathews, who lined up for most of the game opposite Davison Igbinosun, helped the defense limited Penn State and quarterback Drew Allar to just 191 passing yards, while Mathews himself finished with three tackles and a pass breakup.

While the missing presence of someone like Burke would usually be noticed, the Ohio State secondary mostly did not skip a beat with Mathews stepping up to the plate.

Greg Wilson: My Buckeye Leaf goes to Marvin Harrison Jr., who put together yet another 100-yard game, yet again proving that he’s the best wide receiver in the country. He finished with a career-high 11 catches for 162 yards and an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that put the game away, and overall was the main driving force for an offense that struggled immensely to get points on the board.

After a quick start, picking up three catches for 28 yards on the first drive, Penn State’s coverage became a little tighter on Harrison, and Kyle McCord misfired on multiple throws to him. In a game where it was almost impossible to get the offense going, Harrison was still the bright spot he normally is.

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