The Top 10 Plays of the First Half of Ohio State's Season

By Jeff Beck on October 14, 2013 at 2:30p
This Made The List


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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

#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.

He gone.

Comments Show All Comments

droessl's picture

no arguments here. Miller's TD pass to Spencer was an EFFING ROPE! 

dja.ohio's picture

I think #5 should be moved up higher in the list. That play showed situational awareness, confidence and excellent decision making. Miller could have run for the first down and made it by inches to a half yard, but instead got the big gain. More of this from Miller in the second half of the season please. 

bassplayer7770's picture

Good stuff.  #7 also provides an example of Dontre breaking a tackle, so I'm able to share that with a friend who didn't recall him breaking any tackles in that Wisky game.

holtzy's picture

Is that Miller that throws that block that gives him the corner?

BuckeyeDave's picture

Yes.  Monster block by Miller to let Dontre get the corner.

1MechEng's picture

The play with Kenny Guiton running on fourth and 1 also shows Corey Linsley absolutely de-cleating somebody with a block. That block alone maybe should have made the list. Both the run and the block in 1 play is pure gold.

Michael Citro's picture

I love that block so much. One of the snot knockers of the year.

wibuckeye's picture

I was there for #5 and I thought at the time Braxton was passing to the deep guy (6 or 9) and Philly jumped up and got it, no problem with that, but the deep guy would have scored.


Earle's picture

All great plays, but I think anything vs. FAMU should be eliminated from consideration.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

chicagobuckeye's picture

I would have had that right before the half pass from Braxton against Wisconsin up here pretty high, but other than that good list.

InHartWeTrust's picture

Agreed, I liked that throw possibly even more than #1, and it was a HUGE play. 
Having thrown the pigskin quite a bit in my life, that is a tough god damn throw to make (not that #1 isn't)...that thing was humming.  Both show his arm strength because both are on an absolute rope coming in hot.  When he is making throws like that, this offense is tough to impossible to stop.

Maestro's picture

HUGE play in that game and this season.  Don't know how it didn't make the cut.

vacuuming sucks

stittracer99's picture

Love these plays, but how could the longest play from scrimmage in Buckeye history not be included? Kenny G throwing bombs all over Berkeley.

CC's picture

I would also have the Braxton run/jump/stop/needle thread TD pass from the 1 yard line against Wisconsin.  That was on of those plays I had to watch 10 times to figure out how it happened.
That guy has a way of getting in the endzone (remember PSU in 2012..)

Spider1944's picture

I watched that play a bunch and 1) couldn't figure out where it was supposed to go, 2) how Braxton saw Philly, 3) how he flicked, threw, shoveled, what ever it was and got it to him 4) and finally how Philly snatched it off the turf?
all those passes against Wisconsin have gotten a lot bigger after the Wisconsin beat down of Northwestern. IMO

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

NCBUCKNUT's picture

How about the block on the line. Major pancake! Lots of great blocking on this play.

Make Will-Way your Way!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Guiton's second TD to Devin Smith against Cal, and Jordan Hall's forced fumble against FAMU should be on that list.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

whobdis's picture

Thanks guys..brightens up the day.

hooverbad112's picture

This list has a couple glaring omissions:
1) The TD throw to Philly Brown before halftime against Wisconsin was a) a great throw very similar to the one to Spencer on this list, b) changed that game completely due to when it happened. That has gotta be on here -- maybe even #1. 
2) The 4th and 1 stop by Josh Perry against Northwestern was arguably the team's biggest defensive play of the year. It iced the game.

wojodta's picture

Yeah I thought your 1) would be #1.

Stinson's picture

I mean, #1 was nice. But I expect a new #1 by the end of the regular season...

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

This list was welcome....perfect post bye week Monday pick-me-up.

Hoping there's room for plenty more "wow" moments left to see this season.

Buckabroad's picture

Great list, especially the Shazier forced fumble. My favorite play to date this season, however, was Bosa's sack vs. Northwestern. He was double-teamed and still managed to force one arm between both defenders to shove the QB to the ground. Dropped my jaw to the floor.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

avail31678's picture

Awesome list.  I love how about half of them are form NW.  Was an ugly game at times, but did have some great moments (with big impact and importance).

Corvas's picture

Completely agree with #1. It was even more amazing viewed from the north end zone, with Braxton throwing it in the opposite direction as he was running. That throw had a lot more power than it looks like from the TV view.
That said, we all knew it was going to be a touchdown the second we saw Spencer was 1-on-1.

Berniebucks78's picture

That punter for Northwestern could file assault charges against Roby for that block/hit. That dude went flying! Roby went beast on that dude.
Check out the view from the end zone. It is sick!
It was as if I heard Coach Coombs on the sidelines, "What are you whining about...Roby was just stretching and you're a punter!"

"Indecision may (or may not) be my downfall."

headina's picture

Guiton's to smith for 90 yards? Braxton to Philly right before half against Wisconsin? 


alust2013's picture

Love watching these, especially #5. Miller has certainly had more impressive passes than that this season (#1 and the one like it to Philly), but he has better awareness of the line of scrimmage than I think I've seen in another player, and he uses that to his advantage. It doesn't happen all the time, but when those situations arise (Wisky 2011, anyone?) he seems particularly adept at sucking in defenders for the run, then throwing an on-target pass to an open man at the last second. I liked that block that he threw in #7 too. He didn't drill the guy, but that wasn't the typical sissy QB block. These Buckeyes are one of the most fun and most maddening teams to watch that I can remember. 

...and Michigan still sucks.