Yes, a win is a win, but in this era of college football, if you aren’t winning big, you aren’t making enough headlines. This lackluster win most likely will make the news, but that’s due to being the first game in almost nine months.
We were expecting and offense to put up a lot of points and a defense to not allow many, and only one of those two showed up. Find out which Ohio State players earned Buckeye Leaves in my eyes after today’s season opening victory against the Hoosiers.
Cornerback Denzel Burke
Why he shined
Yeah, this secondary wasn’t really challenged, but when it was, it stood up to the challenge. Burke struggled big time last year and vowed to change that. If this was a glimpse of his junior year, the chatter of him being a three-year early entry stater will start up again.
Why they shined
Kicker Jayden Fielding was perfect in his first collegiate action on extra points and field goals while some of his kickoffs went into the end zone with others not resulting in significant returns. Punter Jesse Mirco averaged 45.8 yards per punt. Long snapper John Ferlmann made a few tackles. This group had a great game, even if their teammates might not have while they were on the field.
Cornerback Davison Igbinosun
A big tackle from Davison Igbinosun to prevent a first down.
— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) September 2, 2023
Why he shined
The transfer played exceptionally well, even when he wasn’t making plays. Igbinosun understands the defense, pointing to his teammates where they need to be or who they are covering. A huge tackle on third down in the third quarter was the icing on the cake for me. If the ball didn’t hit the ground, he was in position for a pick in the middle of the third also. Yes, he had a pass interference in the fourth, but I like the aggressive play. The hype for Igbinosun was real.
Safety Josh Proctor
As our Evan Bachman pointed out pregame, Proctor got the start over other very worth candidates. He turned out to be the right choice. Proctor was flying all around the field, getting a tackle-for-loss in the first series while breaking up a pass with the help of Igbinosun. He played well while he was on the field.
Why it shined
Yes, this was Indiana, but there were so many questions surrounding what the defense would look like after the end of last year. For one game, it looks like the Silver Bullets were back. The unit was flying around, making plays, and looked to be having fun doing it. This doesn’t mean all the issues are solved, but it’s a good start.
Running back Miyan Williams
Why he shined
Not sure why Williams only got seven carries on the day, but two of them found the end zone. Not only that, he caught a huge third down pass late in the fourth quarter. Hopefully the usage in the coming weeks goes up, because Williams didn’t touch the ball nearly enough.
Running back Chip Trayanum
Whew. This was a nice jump cut by Chip Trayanum pic.twitter.com/jzayXWIylf
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) September 2, 2023
Like Williams, Chip didn’t get the ball enough even though he was very efficient. He led the running backs with 7.1 yards-per-carry, but only touched it 8 times. If the plan is to run the ball 30 or more times, both of these guys need at least 10-12 touches. So does TreVeyon Henderson.