C.J. Stroud remains hot as Ohio State throttles Michigan State

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There might not be a hotter college quarterback right now than Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

The redshirt freshman remained red-hot on Saturday, as the Buckeyes toppled Michigan State in Columbus. Stroud got off to an incredible start, connecting on 23 of his first 25 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns, as Ohio State built a 42-0 lead well before halftime.

Stroud and the Buckeyes got on the board first, as he hit talented wide receiver Chris Olave on a route between the safeties to open the scoring:

Stroud plays this to perfection. He opens to his left, but then comes to Olave in the middle of the field. He climbs the pocket with ease, and puts this throw in a perfect spot for the game’s first touchdown.

A similar scenario played out on Ohio State’s second touchdown of the game. Again, you’ll see Stroud open to his left, slide forward in the pocket and throw an absolute rope to Garrett Wilson, another of Ohio State’s talented wideouts, for a touchdown:

His fourth touchdown of the day came on this play-action concept:

What stands out about this play? Stroud begins under center and shows a run fake to the right, before coming back to his left and throwing the stutter-and-go up the seam with perfect velocity and placement. A short throw, but high-level execution and footwork from the quarterback to show run action to the right and flip back to the left.

Stroud finished the day with an eye-popping stat sheet, completing 32 of 35 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns. He gave way to backup Kyle McCord in the second half, as the Buckeyes cruised to the victory. Michigan State did not get on the scoreboard until the start of the fourth quarter, getting a touchdown pass from Payton Thorne to Keon Coleman.

After a shaky start to the season, Stroud has certainly come on down the stretch. That traits that he put on display today were noticeable a few weeks ago, in games like Ohio State’s win over Penn State. For more on that outing, you can dive into this video breakdown:

Just a redshirt freshman, the NFL community will need to wait on Stroud. But as far as the college football playoffs go, and the Heisman Trophy? Stroud’s play down the stretch certainly has him in those discussions.

The QB1 takes are sure to follow.