Buckeye Leaves: Penn State

Picking Buckeye Leaves for this one might be tough, as just about everyone in scarlet and gray deserved notice after Ohio State's 63-14 drubbing of Penn State. But we do our best, picking our top performances as we do every week.

Here are our picks for the Ohio State players deserving recognition after the win vs. Penn State. Give us your vote on the Ask The Insiders message board.

Ben Axelrod: Playing against the team that many thought that he would one day spend his college career playing for, Noah Spence had himself a day against Penn State, compiling four tackles, three of which went for a loss and two of which were sacks. The Harrisburg, Pa., native dominated the Nittany Lions' offensive line, continuously pressuring freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and looking every bit like the five-star player that he was projected to be coming out of Bishop McDevitt High School. Ohio State's pass defense looked much improved against PSU, and Spence deserves a big portion of the credit for that thanks to arguably the best performance of his young career in Columbus..

Pat Brennan: Braxton Miller's services weren't needed for more the entire Penn State game — he was pulled in the third quarter — but had what was arguably the most complete performance of his Ohio State career. The Buckeyes' signal caller completed 18 of his 24 attempts for 252 yards, three touchdown passes, 68 rushing yards and two rushing scores — his first of 2013 — in the win against visiting Penn State. Miller was elusive and agile in the game, and he was sacked just once despite facing considerable pressure throughout the game. The performance was a vintage of Miller that has not been seen in Columbus in some time, and it keyed the 20th consecutive win for the Buckeyes program.

Ryan Ginn: Junior quarterback Braxton Miller could do no wrong in the most complete performance of the season for the Buckeyes, but my Buckeye Leaf goes to senior tailback Carlos Hyde after another bruising showing in The Shoe. While he didn't bail OSU out until the second half of the Northwestern and Iowa games, he immediately imposed his will on the Nittany Lion defense tonight. Racking up 147 yards on just 16 carries will do the trick every single time, and his 39-yard touchdown run was awfully fast for a running back labeled as a more physical ball carrier.

Matthew Hager: I know this is kind of supposed to be a player of the game honor, but I can't help but give my Buckeye Leaf to the entire Ohio State defense. It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Silver Bullets, and they responded in a big way against Penn State. The talk leading into the game was how the defense wanted to force the issue – pressure the quarterback and not be so reactionary. That plan worked to perfection, as the Buckeyes rattled PSU freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and kept the rest of the Nittany Lions at bay.

Marcus Hartman: This one goes to the offensive line, which turned a solid Penn State defensive line into mush from the word "go". The Buckeyes piled up 408 yards, their most in more than 20 years, while pounding Penn State 63-14. While Braxton Miller was again magnificent, the group of Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall, Andrew Norwell and Taylor Decker made sure there would be no comeback because they made it clear even if Penn State fixed its coverage issues, the Nittany Lions had no answer for the Ohio State rushing attack. Their dominance also helped the Buckeyes put 63 points on the board without doing much that looked like running up the score.

Jeff Svoboda: I'm going to have to be boring and go with Braxton Miller. Players talked about how Miller had become a much better quarterback, especially throwing the ball, during fall camp, but he didn't get a real chance to show it before getting hurt on the first series of the second game. Miller clearly wasn't quite himself in wins vs. Wisconsin and Northwestern, but he reached that new level promised in the fall vs. Iowa and was even better against Penn State. Miller pulled the strings perfectly against Penn State, using his legs to avoid the Nittany Lions' blitzes and his arm to deliver pinpoint passes all around the yard on the way to a career-high 252 passing yards. His progress has to be scary to the teams left on the OSU schedule.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories