“Where is Curtis Samuel?”
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It's a question we’ve heard on a number of different occasions this season. Ohio State’s do-it-all offensive weapon has disappeared at times — to no fault of his own.
On Saturday night, however, in the Buckeyes’ 62-3 rout of Nebraska, the answer to the question was rather simple. Curtis Samuel was everywhere.
Samuel touched the ball 13 times against the Huskers. He would have touched it more had Ohio State not pulled its starters in the third quarter. Samuel carried it five times for 41 yards and had eight catches for 137 yards. He crossed the goal line twice.
Nebraska simply had no answer for the Buckeyes’ most dynamic playmaker.
“Today I just took advantage of the opportunities,” Samuel said. “Coach gave me the ball and I’m supposed to go out there and make plays so that’s what I tried to do.”
It’s no secret Ohio State is at its best offensively when Samuel is heavily involved. And, from the get-go Saturday night, the Buckeyes got the ball to Samuel as much as they could.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said all week he felt his offense lacked some explosion over the last month of the season, that the Buckeyes hadn’t hit as many big plays as they needed to truly reach their potential.
On the very first play of the second half against Nebraska, Ohio State lined Samuel up in the slot. Seconds later, it was a 75-yard touchdown after Samuel hauled in a pass from J.T. Barrett and did the rest.
The big play returned.
“Curtis was outstanding,” Meyer said.
It’s been that case all year, really.
No player in college football history has ever recorded a season with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards. With Ohio State guaranteed at least four more games, Samuel has a chance at becoming the very first to do so. Through eight games, the junior from Brooklyn has 676 receiving yards and 599 rushing yards.
That’s pretty difficult to comprehend.
“[Meyer] is going to give the ball to me however many times he feels the need to,” Samuel said. “I just gotta take advantage of the opportunities I get.”
On Saturday night, Ohio State’s most explosive player did just that.