Buckeye Leaves: Minnesota

Ohio State's 31-24 victory against Minnesota had some hiccups in the turnover department, but the Buckeyes thrashed the Gophers in just about every other statistical category. Which players most deserved to add the merit stickers to their helmets? BSB has the answer with this week's Buckeye Leaves.

Ohio State fought its way to a 31-24 win against Minnesota that was much more dominating than the score would indicate, producing a number of standout performers. Who were our players of the game, though? BSB gives out our Buckeye Leaves.

Kane Anderson: J.T. Barrett was spectacular, but how about the offensive line? Against a pretty solid Minnesota defense they opened holes all day for Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott. There were so many third downs where everyone in the stadium knew Barrett was keeping the ball, but the line kept pushing back the Gophers all game. They also didn’t surrender a sack until the Buckeyes’ second-to-last offensive drive, and it was only because Barrett needed to have the clock run instead of throwing it out of bounds. In a game where the weather made it hard to throw the ball, the slobs up front made the running game go.

Ryan Ginn: J.T. Barrett was the player of the game, and it wasn’t even close. The Texas native experienced the occasional trouble throwing in the snow, but that seems excusable given the circumstances. He further clouded the ongoing 2015 quarterback debate with his rushing prowess today. What impressed me more than his record-setting 86-yard touchdown run was his ability to bull his way toward third-down conversions on the ground. It was much needed in a game like this.

Matthew Hager: I really thought about trying to pick someone other than J.T. Barrett, but it has to be the redshirt freshman quarterback. His legend continues to grow after yet another big performance. With his arms and his legs, Barrett did more than enough to keep the Ohio State offense warm on an otherwise cold afternoon in Minneapolis. He appears well on his way to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist – after he completes his assault on the OSU record book during the regular season.

Marcus Hartman: What more can be said about J.T. Barrett? Early on he did a couple of things that we usually don't expect -- outrun defensive backs on an 86-yard touchdown run then make a bad decision to throw deep to a receiver who wasn't open. But from there on he was just about perfect, be it through the air or on the ground. What's his 40 time? First tell me if someone is chasing him. Just an all-around impressive performance by Barrett.

Jeff Svoboda: J.T. Barrett probably deserves it, but I'm going to go with a guy who I thought had a really good game as well in Jacoby Boren. The center has been praised this year for the toughness and level of play he's brought to the line, and I think this game was no exception. Boren not only handles a lot of the mental side of the game in the middle, but he also had a number of huge blocks in the game, including a nice seal block on Barrett's long TD run early in the game. Ohio State's offensive line had another great day, and Boren was one major reason why.

Blake Williams:While the interception was a terrible decision and allowed the Gophers to hang around longer than they should have, it's hard to give this to anyone but J.T. Barrett. The redshirt freshman quarterback had the longest run ever by an Ohio State quarterback and the most prolific day on the ground for a Buckeye signal-caller with 189 yards, and he added nearly 200 through the air. The pick was ugly, but he more than made up for it with tough running and three passing touchdowns. He could have been a little better, but he was still the best Buckeye against Minnesota.

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

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