Favorite Stat of the Game: 474 yards passing. I know it’s UNLV but anytime you set a school record it’s a good thing in my book. And 13 guys caught passes. To me, this is Kevin Wilson getting settled in more, and that’s a good thing, cause if Urban can trust him like he did Herman. We may be partying like it’s 2014.
Favorite Moment of the Game: Rashod Berry’s touchdown. He shrugged of the first 3 tacklers and then 4th with a wicked stiff arm. I had the perfect angle of that play. It was amazing, and I love seeing these young guys who don’t get a ton of time like Berry and Saunders who are hungry and play like it.
Favorite Player of the Game: C.J. Saunders. How did I not know about this guy, and how is he not playing more?! Well, I know why he’s not playing more, we’re effing loaded with talent and speed especially at receiver. However, this kid played with heart that I would want to get on the field as much as possible because I think it can be contagious. With 6 catches, 102 yards, and a touchdown, I think Saunders has earned himself some more playing time. I was so impressed with this guy that if he can’t get on the field in the Shoe, I wouldn’t mind seeing him transfer and rooting for him wherever he landed as long as it wasn’t up north.
Ryan Shazier-Devin Smith Award: This one must go to Dwayne Haskins, especially since we probably won’t see a ton more of him this year. Whether he sits behind Joe Burrow (which I hope he does because I love Joe Burrow) or is the heir to the QB throne and starts next year, we’re going to have fun seeing this kid QB the Buckeyes. He had his freshman mistake, but still looked good in going 15 of 23 for 223 yards and 2 TDs.
Dane Sanzenbacher Award: Denzel Ward. In a secondary that seems to be in a weekly battle to defend the pass and improve in doing so, Denzel Ward seems to have quietly settled down in the most reliable guy there and the next big star from DBU. He even looked back toward the ball to tip it and get Webb his interception!
Taylor Decker Award: (Bouncing back) J.T. the Distributer is back! I hope! 5 touchdown passes to 5 different guys. This game reminded me of the 2014 Kent State game when after Virginia Tech everyone said all J.T. needed to do was get the ball out of his hands quickly and to his playmakers on the outside and boy did he do it that year and he did it against UNLV! Another parallel to 2014 (and maybe I’m reaching here) is we have this running back who was hyped coming into the year and is living up to the hype now, especially when we get him the ball. Every epic journey starts with a single step.
Fedora Award: This week’s Fedora Award goes to Billy Price. Now I know he didn’t exactly face all-American defensive lineman, and that Price is a fourth-year starter, All-B1G, and will probably get his own tree in Buckeye Grove, but he’s filling some huge shoes! And he’s doing it seamlessly. Cory Linsley is now playing center for Aaron Rodgers, Jacoby Boren was one of the toughest players to ever run block (he’s a Boren after all), and Pat Elflein is playing for the Vikings. The center has been an All-American caliber player for the entire Urban Era and Billy Price is keeping that going.
Sweater Vest Award: Parris Campbell’s 82-yard kick return would have made Tressel at even his most stone-faced moment, smile. Campbell wins the Sweater Vest Award, and I’m particularly proud that he didn’t let that fumble get to him. That was a tough pill to swallow but the defense got a safety and I like that Campbell was doing his darnedest to score!
Archie Award: This week’s Archie Award came off the field and after the game. An older gentleman was standing at a corner on campus, staring at a map of the campus. A young student walked up to him and said to the effect; ‘Sir, are you lost?’ The man said no, he was just waiting at that sign to meet his wife and daughter. He thanked the student and both parties went about their business. Also from last week, a student bumped into a woman causing her to spill part of her nachos or French fries, the student apologized very sincerely. And then he offered to buy the woman another order of fries or nachos. She smiled and said that wasn’t necessary as she had only spilled a little and there was plenty still to eat. Now these may not seem like a big deal to you, but after worrying about fights during the Oklahoma game, and thinking of the very venomous and bitter world we live in, in the 21st century, these moments made me have a little more hope for humanity, for America, and (I didn’t think this possible) made me even more proud to be Buckeye. If those aren’t instances of class, I don’t know what is.
Horned Rimmed Glasses Award: Watching the ROTC warm up. Yes, the ROTC warms up! They were out there in their civilian clothes practicing raising and lowering Old Glory, so that they too are in their best form when in uniform and the Star-Spangled Banner is being played. It was impressive, made me proud, and would’ve made Woody proud.
Bad Coaching Moment of the Game: There didn’t seem to be many in this one. The only really thing to gripe about is maybe not running as much as us arm chair coaches would like us to inside the 10 yard-line. You know it’s a good game though when there isn’t much to complain about concerning the coaching.
Good Coaching Moment of the Game: GOING FOR IT ON 4th DOWN! 4th and goal at the 3 to start the 2nd Quarter and a one-on-one fade to Ben Victor that had shades of Noah Brown against Wisconsin last year on it for the touchdown. I’ve missed it and I love it! Going again at the 9:37 mark in the second quarter, and bam, got it. And again on 4th and 5 late in the 4th quarter, and almost got that one.
Glass Half Empty: The defense let Lexington Thomas and UNLV bust a huge run on them and then were flagged repeatedly in defending the pass against a team that lost to Howard.
Glass Half Full: The defense had 13, that’s right, 13 tackles for a loss! 4 sacks, they also had 6 pass break ups and 2 INTs!
2014 Moment: Haskins to Saunders. This isn’t a knock against J.T. or a pro Haskins point but as I’ve already established, I’m a Saunders fan. That was a good throw against good coverage and a good catch against good coverage. 12 Gauge and DS9 would be proud.
2002 Moment: The Safety. The Rushmen lead by Dre’Mont Jones busted through the line to get the tailback for a safety. Bosa, Jones, Lewis, Holmes, Hubbard, and Landers could join their 2002 brethren Petterson, Anderson, Smith, Scott, Thompson, and Fraser if they keep playing like that.
1968 Moment: This isn’t a football moment, but another human moment, and I didn’t notice it until I got home but it’s worth mentioning. Urban Meyer became a grandfather last year, and in a really awesome moment he was holding his grandkid on the field while his wife took a picture. Coach Meyer commented afterward that, that picture on a canvass print would be his Christmas Present. Like most things I like to think of when using the term old school, it’s something that never goes out of style and is always a classic. Family certainly fits that definition perfectly.
Something that was different but very cool today was when Urban lead the team across the field from the Skull Session to the locker room, he (at least I think it was Coach) double high fived every single one of his players as they walked into the tunnel. Say what we will about Urban Meyer but he loves his players.
I didn’t like getting up at 6:00 AM on my Saturday, but watching the sun rise to my right as I drove up I-71 was awesome. The sun rising on the best place in the world, my home, on a day our state unites behind the men of the Scarlet and Gray was truly beautiful.