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Buckeye Leaves: Rutgers
By John Porentas

COLUMBUS — If you are wondering if anyone failed to earn a leaf in a 58-0 win, the answer is "You're darned tootin'". Buckeye punter Cameron Johnston was completely shut out in this week's leaf derby. That will happen when you don't see the field. Beyond that there were lots of Buckeyes earned leaves.  


J.T. Barrett: It was a record-setting day and definitely leaf-worthy. J.T. was 21-of-29 for 238 yards passing, with four touchdowns and one interception. He also added 46 yards rushing and was his usual outstanding self in getting the ball to the right guy. I don't have a vote in the Heisman, but the people who do have to start looking at J.T. Barrett.

Mike Weber: He had 144 yards rushing on 14 carries, which included a 49-yard touchdown run. If you can't do quick math, that's 10.0+ per carry. Weber is quickly establishing himself as a runner to be feared. He may not have the top-end speed of Ezekiel Elliott, but he gets to the hole as quickly as anyone and is a bruising runner that does not go down easily. He's an offensive coordinator's dream and defensive coordinator's nightmare.

Offensive Line: This is a group award only because that unit functions so much as a group. An effective offense means an effective offensive line, and the OSU offense was really, really effective. The Buckeyes rushed for 412 yards and OSU quarterbacks had all day to throw. Rutgers managed no sacks against the OSU offensive line. Isaiah Prince, Billy Price, Pat Elflein, Michael Jordan and Jamarco Jones were dominant. The second-teamers who played most of the fourth quarter picked up right where those guys left off. It was complete domination by the offensive line. Watch Curtis Samuel's touchdown run on OSU's first possession of the second half. It's as well-blocked a play as you will ever see. 

Curtis Samuel: On a day when the ball got spread around to dozens (literally) of different play makers, Samuel led them all with 154 all-purpose yards. He is an incredible talent who lives up to his reputation every time he steps onto the field, and that included against Rutgers. He runs with both speed and power, is elusive and a superior receiver. All those traits were on display against Rutgers.

Demario McCall: Anybody out there not excited about Demario McCall? He scored a touchdown on a 20-yard run before he really broke a sweat. He's a talent that stands out on a talented team and he let that talent show in limited duty against Rutgers. He probably deserves more touches, but that would mean taking them away from Weber and Samuel. What a great problem for the OSU staff. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry on his 10 carries against Rutgers. 

Coaching: 58 points, 10 of 15 on third down, three of four on fourth down are plenty to make the coaching leaf-worthy, but none of those numbers are the most remarkable aspect of the coaching on Saturday. Late in game the Buckeyes played a whole bunch of players who rarely see the field, and under normal circumstances efficiency drops when that happens. It didn't happen last Saturday. Every guy who came into the game was competent, reliable, knew his job, and did it. It was amazing, and that's coaching at a high, high level.


Raekwon McMillan: 'Kwon led all OSU defenders with seven tackles, which included one TFL. Rutgers rushed for 83 yards and when that number is under 100, your middle linebacker is playing exceptionally well. 

Michael Hill: Hill didn't have gaudy numbers in the box score, but he did score highly in the bruise score. He ate up Rutgers blocking and allowed his teammates to get to the ball carrier. He is getting better and better and was at his best against Rutgers. 

Dre'Mont Jones: This was probably his best game as a Buckeye. He was around the ball all day and his five tackles was second-best for the Buckeyes. The OSU front dominated the line of scrimmage and Jones was one of the main reasons why.  

Chris Worley: His numbers don't jump out in any single category but what makes his performance notable is that he excelled against both the pass and the run. He had three tackles that included a TFL and was credited with a pass breakup as well. He helped take away the Rutgers passing game in the short to intermediate range. 

Tyquan Lewis: Lewis was around the ball all day. He had a sack, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Rutgers had no answer for him and wisely avoided him when they could. 

Nick Bosa: If you are thinking this is a legacy leaf think again. Bosa had four tackles, which included one of OSU's three sacks. He is already showing signs of being a dominant player. OSU's defensive line rotation probably isn't going to let any one defensive lineman rack up big numbers, but when he was on the field against Rutgers it was clear they couldn't handle him. 

Defensive Secondary: The entire unit earned leaf-mention but like the offensive line, this is a unit, and against Rutgers this unit - as a whole - was totally dominant. They simply suffocated Rutgers' receivers and allowed just three pass completions all day. It was total domination that Rutgers head coach Chris Ash acknowledged after the game. It was a group effort, so it's a group leaf. That's one each to each member of the group.

Coaching: The numbers say a lot. OSU gave up just 83 yards rushing and 33 yards passing. That alone is enough to say the coaching deserves a leaf, but like the offensive coaching, there is more to the story. Just like the offense, a lot of players played against Rutgers and they all knew what they were doing. The down-the-line players preserved the shutout and played like seasoned players. That's coaching.

Special Teams

Kick Coverage: After giving up a touchdown against Oklahoma the Piranhas were dominant against Rutgers. Rutgers managed 87 return yards on seven returns.

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