Here are our picks for the Ohio State players deserving recognition after the win vs. Purdue. Give us your vote on the Ask The Insiders message board.
Ben Axelrod: Who else is more deserving of a Buckeye Leaf from the Buckeyes’ pounding of Purdue than Jeff Heuerman? Playing the best game that an Ohio State tight end has had in 30 years, the junior from Naples, Fla., caught five passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Both Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller came into West Lafayette with the mind-set that they wanted to reward one of the premier blockers on their team, and they did just that, as evidenced by Heuerman’s standout performance. There were many worthy standouts in Buckeyes’ second blowout win in as many weeks, but the 6-6, 252-pounder stood taller than them all and could be an X-factor for the OSU offense moving forward.
Pat Brennan: Aside from one careless interception early in the game, Braxton Miller picked apart Purdue's defense with surgical precision in the drubbing of Purdue. Miller zinged and zipped the ball all across the field, completing 19 of his 23 attempts for 233 yards and four touchdowns in little more than one half of work. Miller also did well to recognize that Purdue was neglecting Buckeyes tight end Jeff Heuerman and simply feed him the rock. As he did during last week's rout of Penn State, Miller looked agile, explosive and confident in his passing. Miller didn't need to be at his best to beat hapless Purdue, but he was anyway and put the game out of reach very early as a consequence.
Ryan Ginn: It took Ohio State exactly two plays to remove any doubts about the outcome in Ross-Ade Stadium, and for that, my Buckeye Leaf goes to junior cornerback Doran Grant. The Buckeyes’ much-maligned secondary has looked leaps and bounds better in recent weeks, and Grant’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown set the tone for a rout. The offense has starred in virtually every game this season, but the Silver Bullets have quietly become more and more reliable as Big Ten play has progressed.
Matthew Hager: It’s a different era at Ohio State. The Buckeyes rout teams that (on paper at least) they are supposed to. Not only that, but the tight ends are a part of the offense. Both Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett caught touchdown passes, but I’ll give my Buckeye Leaf to Heuerman. When an Ohio State tight end catches five passes for 116 yards, it’s very hard to overlook.
Marcus Hartman: This was another game with plenty of candidates, but in the name of appreciating greatness while it is still around, I am going with Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes' junior quarterback had another ridiculously efficient day, completing 19 of 23 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns. He showed no effects from an early interception and continued to run the offense with coolness and confidence. The offense was razor sharp even with him running only one time, which is a big statement in and of itself.
Jeff Svoboda: There are so many players deserving that it's hard to go with just one, but I'll head to the defensive side of the ball and go with Ryan Shazier. He was the leader of a standout Buckeye defense, making seven solo tackles, three of which went for loss and two that were sacks. Purdue freshman quarterback Danny Etling was never comfortable in the pocket, and one of the main reasons was the constant pressure put on by Shazier. Earlier this week, Urban Meyer said he's one of the best blitzers around, and Shazier made his coach sound very smart vs. Purdue.