Buckeye Leaves: Indiana

Buckeye Leaves: Indiana

Ohio State clinched its school-record 23rd win in a row Saturday by pulling away from Indiana by a 42-14 score. There were a number of standout performances, but who gets our Buckeye Leaves? And more importantly, who gets yours?

Here are our staff writers' standout players for today's Ohio State win vs. Indiana. Let us know yours on the Ask The Insiders message board.

Pat Brennan: Buckeye leaves could go to any number of players from Ohio State's win against Indiana, including Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde and Michael Bennett. Mine goes to junior linebacker Ryan Shazier who, in what might have been his final game in Ohio Stadium, totaled 20 tackles — that's double the game's second-leading tackler (Bradley Roby, 10). Shazier also had a sack in the fourth quarter to help the Buckeyes' defense stymie a late but short-lived Indiana scoring burst. The sack was one of his five tackles for loss in the game, and those sent Indiana 15 yards in the wrong direction. Shazier was his old, dominant self, and what better way to leave snowy Ohio Stadium for a player rated by some NFL draft scouts as potential first-round pick.

Ryan Ginn: There were once again many choices, but I'm giving my Buckeye Leaf to junior linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is absolutely playing out of his mind as of late. Even in the snow, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native dominated, racking up 20 total tackles (16 solo), five tackles for loss, one sack and one pass breakup. On a day in which the Silver Bullets needed to atone for a rough outing against Illinois, he set the tone and helped Ohio State make quick work of a capable Hoosiers offense.

Matthew Hager: I'm going to give my Buckeye Leaves to six players – tailback Carlos Hyde and offensive linemen Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall and Taylor Decker. Hyde gave Urban Meyer his first 1,000-yard rusher thanks in large part to the efforts of the linemen. Ohio State had another big rushing performance, netting 311 yards on 39 carries with four rushing scores. Decker is just a sophomore, but it's safe to say the Buckeyes – and their fans – will miss Hyde, Mewhort, Norwell, Linsley and Hall when they leave.

Marcus Hartman: In a year that has been mostly about the offense, the final home game of the season was dominated by an Ohio State defensive player. Ryan Shazier did not make every tackle Saturday afternoon against Indiana – only 20. Of those, 16 were solos and many seemed to be of the emphatic variety. The No. 2 scarlet jersey was all over the field and generally colliding with someone in Indiana cream. Shazier had a school-record-tying five tackles for loss and a sack. He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass. It was quite a day's work for a Florida native who did not seem bothered by the Ohio snow.

Jeff Svoboda: I thought a number of players deserved recognition on the defensive side of the ball, but I have to go with a popular choice in Ryan Shazier. The stat line would be hard to believe if I hadn't seen the game, but I did, and it sounds about right: 20 tackles (including 16 solo stops), five TFL, countless huge hits, a forced fumble, a sack and an acrobatic pass breakup. More than that, though, he was simply everywhere, filling holes in the run game, shedding Indiana blockers at every turn and making plays against the pass as well. It was simply one of the most dominant defensive efforts I've ever seen from an Ohio State player.

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