Buckeye Leaves: Kent State

Ohio State got back in the win column with a blowout victory against Kent State. Plenty of players stood out in the 66-0 thrashing, but who gets BSB's Buckeye Leaves? Read on to find out.

Ohio State bounced back from its loss to Virginia Tech with a dominating victory against Kent State. The defense posted a shutout and the offense produced six different touchdown scorers, so BSB has an interesting task as we pick our players of the game that we're giving Buckeye leaves to.

Kane Anderson: Take a bow, J.T. Barrett. This wasn’t just a career day for him, but, statistically, one of the best games ever by an Ohio State quarterback. He was the first Buckeye QB to officially (see: vacated games) throw for at least 300 yards since Troy Smith topped that mark against Michigan in 2006. He lived up to his nickname of “The Distributor” as his 23 completions went to 11 different players. He looked extremely comfortable in the pocket and showed no fear after being battered all last weekend.

Ryan Ginn: After a 100-yard rushing performance capped off by two scores, my Buckeye Leaf goes to freshman running back Curtis Samuel. The Brooklyn native proved definitively that he belongs in one of the top two spots in the pecking order in the backfield and gives Ohio State a weapon to pair with sophomore Ezekiel Elliott. He showed his versatility by lining up on the outside for several snaps and finished with four catches for 40 yards. With that kind of production, Ohio State can worry a little less about what it lost and a little more about the wealth of talent that is showing up at the running back spot.

Matthew Hager: Yes, Kent State might be the worst opponent the Buckeyes have faced in some time, but my Buckeye Leaf can’t go to anyone but J.T. Barrett. “The Distributor” lived up to his nickname and had an impressive afternoon. Anytime a quarterback throws for more than 300 yards and tosses six touchdown passes, it’s worth plenty of praise. Barrett looked calm, cool and collected in slicing up the Golden Flashes.

Marcus Hartman: Who else but J.T. Barrett? The quarterback had not just a career day but one of the best in Ohio State history as he became the second Buckeye to throw six touchdown passes in one game. His passing numbers (23 for 30 for 312 yards) were partly inflated by some easy throws and shovel passes, but executing the offense is a quarterback's No. 1 job, and he certainly did that. Along with the offensive line, he also adjusted quickly to an unexpected defensive front from Kent State, instituting some answers (such as the short passes to Nick Vannett in the flats) that Ohio State didn't have a week earlier.

Jeff Svoboda: I'm going to have to go with Mike Thomas. His 14-yard pass started the scoring and his 63-yard scoring pass, in which he caught a simple curl from J.T. Barrett, made a couple of guys miss and beat the Golden Flashes to the house, was probably the game's most impressive play. Thomas now has four touchdowns in three games and is putting together a pretty impressive redemption season after having to sit out last year with a redshirt. He said after the game he's not surprised by his early output, and it's getting the point that Buckeye fans aren't either.

Blake Williams: In a 66-0 game, a lot of people look good and you could talk me into giving my Buckeye Leaf to about a dozen different players, but I’ll settle on Michael Thomas. The sophomore caught only two passes, but both went for scores. Thomas opened the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown before taking a short pass to the house for the second consecutive week, this one a 63 yard catch-and-run. Through three games Thomas has four scores, becoming the first wide receiver to catch a touchdown in the first three games of the season since Ted Ginn Jr. did it in 2006. Today he looked like the No. 1 receiver the Buckeyes need.

Who do you think should be so honored? Let us know in the Ask The Insiders forum.


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