Buckeye Leaves: Maryland

Ohio State wasted little time jumping on Maryland before pulling away to a 52-24 victory to open Big Ten play. A number of players chipped in to an impressive effort on both ends of the field, and Buckeye Sports Bulletin picks its player of the game in this week's Buckeye Leaves.

Ohio State never trailed against Maryland on Saturday in a 52-24 victory, producing a number of standout performers along the way. Who were our players of the game, though? BSB gives out our Buckeye Leaves.

Kane Anderson: My Buckeye Leaf is going to Joey Bosa. With the offense being so balanced, Bosa stuck out the most this entire game and was the best player on the field. With the defense coming under fire recently, he made sure not to let Maryland’s passing attack get going by busting through their offensive line all day. It seemed he was in the backfield more than the Terps’ running backs. The comparisons between him and J.J. Watt were flying around all game from the TV commentators. He is easily the best player on this team and made it a point to welcome Maryland to the Big Ten.

Ryan Ginn: In a game in which Ohio State had too many playmakers to choose from, my Buckeye Leaf goes to the guy who made the best play of the game. Sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas was promoted to the first line of the depth chart this week and showed why, snagging an improbable touchdown in the back of the end zone to give Ohio State a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter. The fact that he managed to get both feet inbounds with only a sliver of space to work with surely must have impressed his uncle Keyshawn Johnson, who made the trip to College Park and saw Thomas shine.

Matthew Hager: It’s become a broken record, but I continue to be impressed with J.T. Barrett. My Buckeye Leaf goes to the redshirt freshman, who continues to develop in Ohio State’s offense. If the Buckeyes are to stay in the conversation for a College Football Playoff spot, they need great play under center. That’s exactly what they’re getting from Barrett, who had a hand in five touchdowns. He is clearly not the rusher that Braxton Miller is, but his passing touch is something special.

Marcus Hartman: There will be lots of focus on the offense again after this game, but I am going with Joey Bosa. The sophomore defensive end had 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack, but his presence was bigger than his numbers. He was also bearing down on quarterback C.J. Brown when he tossed a late-second quarter interception to Darron Lee that proved to be a major turning point in the game. Lee was happy with the interception but said he wished Brown would have held the ball a second longer so Bosa could have had a strip-sack.

Jeff Svoboda: I was able to avoid doing it last week, but this time around I have to give my Buckeye Leaf to J.T. Barrett. He's still not consistently accurate in his throwing but he's good enough, and even more impressively, his command of the offense is getting better and better by the game. Barrett sure doesn't look like a redshirt freshman out there, let alone one who wasn't supposed to start until Braxton Miller went out for the season. From the first play he was a field general, giving instructions to the OSU front before each snap and grasping the moment whenever he had the chance. Barrett has now thrown 14 touchdown passes in the last three games -- elite-level production.

Blake Williams: Once again there are a lot of different players who could get the nod here, but I’ll go with Darron Lee. The linebacker finished with just two tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss, but he appeared to be the Buckeyes' most successful blitzer. Lee perfectly timed snap counts on multiple plays, getting into the backfield immediately to disrupt the Maryland offense. His interception was a poor throw by C.J. Brown, but Lee was in the right place at the right time. That play gave Ohio State the ball back inside the Maryland red zone and allowed the Buckeyes to take a three-score lead into the half.

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

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