Welcome to Maryland week.
We have a lot of good stuff in today's Skull Session. Spoiler: It starts with Kamryn Babb.
Let's have a good Monday, shall we?
WHAT A MOMENT. Kamryn Babb caught his first career pass and scored his first career touchdown for Ohio State on Saturday. After five years of perseverance, he finally had his time to shine. Is it even possible to describe how freakin’ cool that was?
This will be the best thing you see today. Guaranteed. Kam Babb for six. pic.twitter.com/k9frEtXYBn— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2022
Kam Babb. What a moment. pic.twitter.com/fSGxMpfMRw— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2022
Babb‘s effort to return to the field for Ohio State after four torn ACLs deserves plenty of praise. It was a journey full of hardship for Babb. However, the St. Louis native said after the game that he would do it all over again if given the choice.
It's an unbelievable story – one that Ryan Day said makes people appreciate and fall in love with the game of football.
And the best part about Babb's return on Saturday? It's only the beginning. Who knows what he can do in the final two contests of the regular season and the expected games after that? Should he return for his final year of eligibility, what role could he play for the 2023 Buckeyes?
Just an incredible story. One that we will hopefully talk about for a long, long time.
“MARVELOUS MARV!” Marvin Harrison Jr. has made several crazy catches as a Buckeye, but he may have secured the craziest of them all on Saturday.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is unreal. pic.twitter.com/suwsFMY2Km— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2022
Eleven Warriors recruiting expert Garrick Hodge, who also takes our (consistently excellent) photos during Ohio State football games, captured a picture of Harrison's catch, and – folks – it was even more bonkers than the FOX television angles could show you.
I know Marvin Harrison Jr. making incredible catches is nothing new, but this one on the sideline is something else.— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) November 12, 2022
Look at where his body is, and where his foot is. pic.twitter.com/RUx4u2NA2G
There are no words to describe how incredible this snag was from Harrison. How did he not break an ankle, tear up his knee or dislocate his hip? Fill in the blank with whatever injury or ailment you want. The way his body looks in that photo is not normal, but by golly, he caught it and he's doing fine.
Harrison's performance against Indiana was much more than the impressive catch on the sidelines. The second-year receiver caught seven passes for 135 yards and a score on Saturday, earning a signature call from FOX's Gus Johnson on his touchdown reception.
"Marvelous Marv!" pic.twitter.com/6Kj1tYLUCo— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2022
Oh, and let's stop and talk about the body control on this catch, too.
After the game, former Ohio State linebacker and current Big Ten Network analyst Joshua Perry spoke a Heisman Trophy campaign into existence for Harrison, who leads the Buckeyes with 60 receptions, 969 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"I'll go out on a limb and say this: The best, most consistent player on this Ohio State offense, probably needs to be in the Heisman conversation."— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) November 13, 2022
- Joshua Perry (@RIP_JEP), on @OhioStateFB star WR @MarvHarrisonJr pic.twitter.com/gCdpjgIIte
It's a take I can get behind, but let's be honest, if anyone on Ohio State's roster is destined to win the award for the best player in college football, it's the quarterback that wears No. 7.
#HE7SMAN. C.J. Stroud added another strong performance to his Heisman Trophy resume on Saturday, collecting 297 yards and five touchdowns against the Hoosiers.
C.J. Stroud's Heisman Trophy campaign continued with another strong performance on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/56OhPU6hNh— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 13, 2022
With his efforts on Saturday, Stroud boosted his season totals to 186 completions on 277 attempts (67.1%) for 2,750 yards, 34 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also became the first player in Big Ten history to throw for 30 or more scores in consecutive seasons and joined J.T. Barrett as the only players in conference history to meet that mark across multiple years.
C.J. Stroud is the first QB in Big Ten history to throw 30 Pass TD in consecutive seasons.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2022
The only other player in Big Ten history to throw 30 Pass TD in multiple seasons was J.T. Barrett who did it in 2014 & 2017. pic.twitter.com/paH5L4TI52
Additionally, Stroud continued to distance himself from the other quarterbacks in Ohio State history regarding five-touchdown games as the team's signal-caller. The Inland Empire, California, native now has nine such games in his career.
(Also, please note that Dwayne Haskins had five games with five or more touchdowns in his lone season as the Buckeyes' starter in 2018. That's nuts.)
Stroud will have one more tune-up performance against Maryland this weekend – who dropped to 6-4 and was blanked 30-0 by Penn State on Saturday – before the performance that really matters for his Heisman Trophy candidacy, that being a matchup with No. 3 Michigan in The Game.
If Stroud can win that one for the Buckeyes and look good doing it, he could lock up the Heisman, becoming the first Ohio State player to win the award since Troy Smith accomplished that feat in 2006 – when he led the Buckeyes to victory the last time OSU and Michigan were both undefeated entering The Game.
THE ADVENTURES OF JACK SAWYER. Each week, the 11W beat team offers our final thoughts, asks some questions and picks some players to watch before Ohio State faces its opponent on that Saturday.
For Indiana, my final thought was that the weather shouldn't matter for the Buckeyes against the Hoosiers. It didn't – thank the Maker. Additionally, my player to watch was Jack Sawyer. And, boy, did the second-year defensive end deliver in what was undoubtedly the best performance of his Ohio State career so far.
Sawyer racked up three tackles with 1.5 sacks against the Hoosiers. It was a welcomed performance for the young Buckeye, as the former five-star and top-five overall prospect in the class of 2021 had yet to have a breakout game despite playing the third-most snaps among Ohio State's defensive ends through nine games.
After the game, Sawyer said he and several other defensive linemen have been close to sacking the quarterback and taking down ballcarriers in the backfield this season. Against Indiana, Sawyer finished those plays and made his presence felt in the box score.
“It feels good to finally get home a couple of times,” Sawyer said. “As a unit, we've all been so close a lot this year. We have so many pressures, and we still have a decent amount of sacks, but being able to finally get home a couple of times today definitely felt good.”
Things you love to see from Jack Sawyer = This. pic.twitter.com/wkyGEB6aYo— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 12, 2022
Will Sawyer's Indiana performance be a catalyst for the Pickerington, Ohio, native to become consistently disruptive in the backfield? Buckeye Nation would love to see him establish frequent meetings with J.J. McCarthy and Blake Corum on Nov. 26.
SONG OF THE DAY. “At Last!” by Etta James.
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