Fans, give us your vote on who you think deserves a Buckeye leaf for their performance in the Ohio State win against San Diego State. Let us know on the Ask the Insiders forum.
Ben Axelrod: Kenneth Guiton: The ole righthander from Houston was called upon to play more snaps than he ever has in his five-year Ohio State career and responded admirably in place of an injured Braxton Miller. Even with their star signal caller on the sidelines, the Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat against the Aztecs, thanks in large part to Guiton’s 235 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He may not be the dynamic athlete that Miller is on the field, but Guiton is proving to be a valuable member of the OSU offense, and an indispensable leader in the Buckeyes’ huddle.
Pat Brennan: After a couple of mostly quiet years in the Ohio State program, junior defensive lineman Steve Miller reintroduced himself to Buckeye Nation during San Diego State game. In doing so, he earned my Buckeye Leaf for this week. For his career, Miller totaled just four tackles and a sack coming into the game against the Aztecs, but he posted two tackles and one massive sack that brought Ohio Stadium to life in the first quarter. On the sack, we saw explosiveness that hadn’t previously been exhibited by the Canton (Ohio) McKinely product in game action. Making a positive impact on the game as Miller did in this early-season victory against SDSU could breathe new life into his OSU career.
Ryan Ginn: This will be my second obvious pick in as many games, but nobody contributed as much to Ohio State's blowout victory as fifth-year senior quarterback Kenny Guiton. I've always taken his label as the best backup quarterback in the country with a grain of salt, but he certainly helped justify that perception with today's performance. San Diego State clearly isn't the squad many thought it would be at the start of the season, but compiling 152 passing yards, 83 rushing yards and three total touchdowns off the bench is nothing to scoff at.
Matthew Hager: Kenny Guiton was really the player of the game, but since that’s the obvious pick, I’ll go with Michael Bennett. Several of the defensive players I spoke to after the game praised the Centerville, Ohio, product for his leadership. He also had a solid stat line – three tackles to go with a half sack and 1½ tackles for loss. He also forced and recovered a fumble. Like many interior defensive linemen, Bennett does the little things, which helped Ohio State accomplish an impressive win against San Diego State.
Marcus Hartman: I'm sure Kenny Guiton will be a popular pick, and he deserves whatever accolades he gets, but I am going to go with Corey Brown. The senior receiver made nice adjustments on both of his touchdown catches, big plays that finished scoring drives. He might have gotten away with a tiny shove on the 27-yarder in the first quarter, but that is the kind of savvy play you would expect from a senior. His leaping grab in the end zone in the third quarter was even more impressive as he contorted and snatched the ball out of the air between defenders. Urban Meyer lamented Brown's inability to slip a tackle on a couple of screen passes, but big-time catches like those can mean the difference in a win and a loss down the road against a stronger opponent.
Jeff Svoboda: Curtis Grant gets my vote. He was a popular choice last week after a solid performance in his return to the starting lineup after a lost 2012, but I think he was even better against San Diego State. Grant finished with six tackles, second on the team, and was in solid position all day. His pressure caused Adam Dingwell’s first-quarter interception, and he even showed leadership at one point, moving Chris Carter into the right position when he was lined up wrong in the second half. Grant had to step up for Ohio State to reach its potential in 2013, and he’s done so thus far.