Win or lose, every week there are a handful of Ohio State players who stood out above the rest.
Following the tradition of the helmet stickers that dates back to the days of Woody Hayes, Lettermen Row shares out our version of the award every Sunday morning for the best performers on offense, defense and special teams for the Buckeyes.
COLUMBUS — Ohio State defensive end Chase Young continues to prove why he’s the best defensive player in America.
The junior defensive end made sure to remind the entire country of that for the fourth consecutive Saturday when the Buckeyes delivered a 76-5 throttling of Miami (Ohio) in Ohio Stadium.
Any ideas on how to block Young? Contact your local offensive line coach. Young has torn through every offensive tackle tasked with the losing battle that is trying to block him. The latest example of Young’s supreme excellence included two strip sacks of RedHawks quarterback Jack Williamson.
Those sacks brought Young’s total to seven on the season — he’s already halfway to the school record for sacks in a single season. Burt those aren’t what Young was talking about after the game. Miami starter Brett Gabbert slipped away from Young in the first quarter, or else he would have had a hat trick in the sack department.
“I was really mad at myself for that one,” Young said. “But you have to forget about it. Next play. That’s how I try to play.”
Young did just that, and he will enjoy the way the defense is playing.
But the Buckeyes don’t truly know how good they are yet. Sub-par competition has allowed Ohio State to barrel through a pseudo-preseason and gain its footing.
“I think maybe midway through the season we’ll have a better idea,” Day said. “I do think that we’re playing with a lot of passion and playing hard and tough. It’s clear to see. But we go on the road next week, and that’s a big test. I think I’ll have a better idea next week.”
The All-America team isn’t awarded in September, but Young is well on his way to landing a tree in Buckeye Grove. As always, Lettermen Row has some Buckeye Leaves to hand out for Ohio State and its dominant win, and Young’s performance certainly earned him one.
QB Justin Fields
Fields only played one half of football, but his final stat line was impressive for 30 minutes of action, especially when the first drive of the game was a two-play sequence that ended in a safety for Miami. Fields had six touchdowns — in the second quarter — including a career-long 53-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Hill for his first touchdown of the day. Fields now has 19 touchdowns on the season, a total that would top Dwayne Haskins’ mark from this point a year ago.
And he’s only four games into his Ohio State career.
DE Chase Young
Another Saturday, another multi-sack performance from the best defensive player in the country. Chase Young was unstoppable in the first half — the only two quarters he played. Young had a casual two strip sacks of RedHawks quarterback Jack Williamson, who didn’t stand a chance against Young once the Miami offensive line conceded.
Just four games into the year, Vernon Gholston’s single-season record for sacks is in serious jeopardy. Young has seven sacks this year; he’s already halfway to the record with at least eight games to play.
CB Sevyn Banks
In a 76-5 rout of a far lesser opponent, things such as a blocked punt that didn’t even score points could get lost in the scoring onslaught. But this is the second consecutive game the Buckeyes have blocked a punt — the first one coming courtesy of Chris Olave last week against Indiana. Banks seems to be in on big special teams plays. The sophomore scooped up Olave’s blocked punt in last year’s Michigan game and returned it for a touchdown. If Banks can continue to find ways to impact the game on special teams, he’ll have a huge role in getting the Buckeyes back to the Big Ten title game.