Ohio State saw several unlikely heroes step up in its 21-10 win over No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday. The Buckeyes named four Players of the Week on Sunday, none of which were labeled as established stars entering the 2022 season.
Second-year defensive lineman Mike Hall took home Defensive Player of the Week honors, while third-year running back Miyan Williams was named Offensive Player of the Week. Graduates linebacker Palaie Gaoteote IV and wide receiver Xavier Johnson shared Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
Hall was an instrumental part of Ohio State’s second-half shutout of Notre Dame, aiding the Buckeyes’ efforts to hold the Fighting Irish to just 76 rushing yards. The Streetsboro, Ohio, native accounted for four tackles — two of which were for a loss — and a sack of quarterback Tyler Buchner.
“I came out there and played my hardest and gave it my all,” Hall said. “I heard I was starting by Coach Johnson a couple of days before the game, I just took that to heart and came out and gave it my all.”
Williams set the tone for the Buckeyes’ rushing attack, churning out tough yards with his aggressive style of running the ball. He picked up 84 yards on 14 carries and extended Ohio State’s fourth-quarter lead with a two-yard plunge into the end zone.
Johnson earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors thanks to his huge tackle, just a play after his first-career touchdown, in which he forced Notre Dame to begin its next drive from its own 13-yard line.
“I’m not going to lie, it was crazy. I would just say, the team, and I love these guys, so with my legs empty, with all of that, none of that matters, I’m throwing that to the side. It’s all for the team and for the glory of God,” Johnson said. “It’s a testament to Coach Day. It’s a testament to Coach Hartline and Coach Marotti. They just put us in the position to succeed so that’s all I was doing. I was in my position doing what I was supposed to do.”