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With half of the season and a bye week in the books, the Ohio State Buckeyes are sitting pretty. This week they’ll take a 6-0 record into the ‘Shoe to play the Iowa Hawkeyes, but in order to move forward, it’s important to reflect.
There’s been no shortage of amazing plays powering the Buckeyes’ season. So, let’s take a look at the 10 best. This is your Eleven Warriors Mid-Season Top 10.
#10 Kenny Guiton to Jeff Heuerman, Florida A&M
We’ll kick things off with this grown man football play. After a 65-yard Philly Brown punt return to the Florida A&M 11-yard line, Kenny Guiton looked to his right and found TE Jeff Heuerman in the flat. A Rattler defender stood between Heuerman and the endzone. Heuerman didn’t care.
#9 Kenny Guiton 4th and 1 Option Keeper, Cal
Pay attention Pop Warner kiddos. This is how you run the option keeper to perfection. Faced with a fourth and one at the Cal 38, Guiton took the snap and immediately had a defender in the backfield. Un-phased, Guiton baited the defender who was keying in on the pitch then raced past him for 33-yards to the Cal 5.
#8 Ryan Shazier hit and forced fumble, Cal
One can only imagine the fear freshman QB, Jared Goff, experienced the moment he felt Ryan Damn Shazier’s breath on the back of his neck. A second later, his face was being forcefully smashed into the turf as he lost the football, which was recovered by Michael Bennett.
#7 Dontre Wilson Okie Doke Freak-Show, Wisconsin
Immediately following a Bradley Roby interception, Miller handed the pigskin off to freshman speedster, Dontre Wilson who sprinted to his left and found three Wisconsin defenders. He spun out of a tackle then switched directions, running all the way back to his right and into daylight for a 15-yard gain. Bonus points if you can spot the heady move to switch his ball-carrying arm mid-chaos.
#6 Michael Bennett Sack and Fumble Recovery, San Diego State
Here’s Michael Bennett the one man wrecking crew hitting the circle button and spinning away from his blocker then right into the body of San Diego State QB, Quinn Kaehler. The hit knocked the ball loose and Bennett recovered, just like defensive line coach, Mike Vrabel, drew it up.
#5 Braxton Miller Sideline Magic To Philly Brown, Northwestern
Down 30-27 in the fourth quarter with big MO on the Wildcat sideline, Braxton Miller and company desperately needed an answer. Facing a 2nd and 1 at the OSU 40-yard line, Miller was flushed out of the pocket and forced to roll to his left. With no one between #5 and the marker, it looked as if Miller would pick up the new set of downs with his legs, but Braxton had other plans. Miller tossed a dart down the sideline to Philly Brown who used some nifty moves to pick up 38 yards.
#4 Carlos Hyde Goal-Line Stretch, Northwestern
Facing a crucial 3rd and goal at the Northwestern 2-yard line, Carlos Hyde took the handoff and bull-dozed his way to the endzone. Falling to the turf backwards, Hyde had the presence of mind to stretch out his ball-carrying arm, breaking the plane and putting the Buckeyes up 27-23.
#3 Doran Grant Route Jump, Northwestern
Of course, the play above could never have happened without this straight banger. Down three and forced to punt after just four plays, OSU had their backs against the wall in the fourth quarter. Victimized for most of the night, the secondary came up with a big play here as Doran Grant jumped a Trevor Siemian pass and returned it to the Northwestern 16 yard line.
#2 Bradley Roby Punt Block, Northwestern
The importance of this play can’t be understated. Without it, Buckeyes have a lot of trouble escaping Evanston with a W. With the Scarlet and Gray offense stymied to the tune of a FG, fumble and punt, Bradley Roby and the special teams decided to take scoring into their own hands. Thank you Bradley, thank you.
#1 Braxton Miller to Evan Spencer, Wisconsin
Last and absolutely not least, we have arguably the greatest throw Braxton Miller has made in a Buckeye uniform. Make no mistake, this is big time. 99% of quarterbacks at the college level are NOT making this throw. Rolling to his left Braxton spun a dart to Evan Spencer on the move. Miller rolling out of the pocket + Tom Herman’s tutelage + improved mechanics = an absolute thing of beauty. Enjoy.