Here are our picks for the Ohio State players deserving recognition after the win vs. Iowa. Give us your vote on the Ask The Insiders message board.
Ben Axelrod: For the first time all season, my Buckeye Leaf goes to quarterback Braxton Miller, which is somewhat surprising considering he entered the season as the frontrunner, but it wasn’t until the seventh game of the season that I felt like an Ohio State signal caller not named Kenny Guiton lived up to his potential. Alongside Carlos Hyde, Miller put the OSU offense on his shoulders, compiling 324 yards of total offense to go along with two touchdown passes. The Buckeyes' offense looked as close to its potential as it has all season, and big reason for that was the play of its most important member.
Pat Brennan: I’ll go with the obvious choice this time around in awarding my Buckeye Leaf. Carlos Hyde, who took Iowa by storm with his bruising rushing style, takes my helmet sticker this week. Hyde finished the game with 149 rushes and two touchdowns, but the highlight of his game was the second score. With the score tied at 24, Hyde barreled through the trenches with such force that a slash to his right sent him hurdling away from the end zone. He eventually righted his path and dove headlong into the end zone for what would be the game-winning score. The game is Hyde’s second-consecutive 100-yard rushing performance, and none of his 24 carries went for a loss.
Ryan Ginn: Although senior tailback Carlos Hyde made what was inarguably the best play of the game on his off-balance run and leap into the end zone, my Buckeye Leaf goes to junior quarterback Braxton Miller, whose frantic scramble one snap earlier kept alive Ohio State’s drive. Miller delivered an efficient 22-of-27 passing performance for 222 yards and two touchdowns, setting a career high for completions while also rushing for 102 yards. His play kept the Buckeyes in the game despite some defensive struggles, and any questions about his health and the mobility of his knee appear to be answered for now.
Matthew Hager: Another game, another big performance by Carlos Hyde. The senior tailback saved Ohio State’s bacon against Northwestern and did so again against Iowa with a two-touchdown, 149-yard performance. On a day where the Buckeye defense was little short of porous, Hyde’s efforts (with a big assist by Braxton Miller) kept his team unbeaten. A lot has been made about whether or not Hyde can become Urban Meyer’s first 1,000-yard back. Really, though, who cares? As long as he continues to come up big for the Buckeyes, those final figures won’t matter as long as they help Ohio State continue to pile up the wins.
Marcus Hartman: Is Braxton back? No doubt about it after he danced and dashed for 102 yards rushing to go with 222 yards passing. We have already seen him improve his passing accuracy and reads, but this was the first time since the season opener that he really looked like he opened the throttle in the running game. Still, we shouldn't take for granted a 22-for-27 passing day, either. He continues to take more and more command of the offense and appeared to read the option plays well. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman gave him credit for the read on the 14-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith after he saw the Hawkeyes failing to respect the Buckeyes' trips formation.
Jeff Svoboda: I couldn't decide whether to go with Braxton Miller or Carlos Hyde, as both were excellent while leading the OSU offense to a dominating second-half effort. But thinking about it, I'm going to go with the five players who made that possible -- the OSU offensive line. OSU picked up 306 yards of total offense in the second half, and a lot of it was because Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall and Taylor Decker were there to pave the way for Miller and Hyde to do their thing.