Ben Axelrod: You'd be hard pressed to find a player who impacted the most recent edition of The Game more than Carlos Hyde did. The Buckeyes' bruising back set a new Ohio State rivalry game record with 229 yards against Michigan, keeping constant pressure on the Wolverines defense. While the Buckeyes' passing game was inefficient, Hyde allowed the offense to keep rolling, which could have played a key role in Brady Hoke's decision to go for two points at the end of the game. Braxton Miller has legitimate competition for the Big Ten's Offensive Player of Year award, and it comes from inside of his own backfield.
Pat Brennan: The critical moments of games between Ohio State and Michigan — that's when legends are born, and that's where Braxton Miller was at his best against the Wolverines. In what might have been the draft-eligible junior quarterback's third and final game against Michigan, he accounted for five total touchdowns (three rushing, two passing). During the up-tempo first half, Miller electrified with scoring runs that kept Ohio State in the game. When the finish line was in sight later in the game, he hit Jeff Heuerman for a touchdown that put the Buckeyes up, 35-21. And when Michigan tied the game at 35 and threatened to end Ohio State's famous winning streak, he started the very next drive with a 32-yard run to aid a drive that ended with the Buckeyes taking the winning points. His 6 of 15 passing line was less than sparking, but Miller played a huge role in Ohio State's 24th consecutive win and second consecutive undefeated regular season.
Ryan Ginn: My Buckeye Leaf goes to game hero and redshirt freshman defensive back Tyvis Powell, with an assist to cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs. When Ohio State called timeout with Michigan lined up to attempt the two-point conversion, Coombs outlined two plays the Wolverines had a propensity to run in that situation. Once Michigan lined up, Powell recognized exactly what Michigan planned to do and snatched up quarterback Devin Gardner's pass to preserve the Buckeyes' 24-game win streak and national championship hopes. The secondary had a terrible game by all accounts, but ultimately one of its youngest members delivered the most important play of the game.
Matthew Hager: Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller were wonderful. The defense was not. Still, my Buckeye Leaf goes to Tyvis Powell. You save a Michigan game, you get a Buckeye Leaf. Simple as that.
Marcus Hartman: He did not have his best day throwing the ball, but Braxton Miller made the plays that his team needed to beat Michigan and finish off another 12-0 regular season. Miller's 32-yard run got the final drive started before Carlos Hyde finished it off with another handful of punishing runs. Miller completed 6 of 15 passes for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and both his throwing and his outside runs punished Michigan at key times when the Wolverines were preoccupied with the Ohio State inside running game. It wasn't pretty, but Miller displayed the leadership his team needed when the offense had to have an answer in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Svoboda: So many players come to mind, including Tyvis Powell for the stunning, game-saving interception he came up with, but I'm going to go with Carlos Hyde. When Ohio State needed a game-winning touchdown drive in the last five minutes, it went with the big senior, who polished off the last 16 yards including a no-doubt plunge up the gut for the score. It was a fitting end to a 226-yard day that set a school record for rushing yards vs. Michigan. Whenever OSU got into trouble in this game -- heck, this year -- Hyde was the one to get the Buckeyes out of it.