Buckeye Leaves: Indiana

Jalin Marshall's big day made him the toast of Buckeye Nation and the No. 1 recipient of our staff Buckeye Leaves. But it wasn't a clean sweet, so who else got some love as part of the Buckeyes' 42-27 win vs. Indiana?

Ohio State stayed unbeaten in Big Ten play and clinched a spot in the league title game vs. Indiana, producing a number of standout performers in the comeback win. Who were our players of the game, though? BSB gives out our Buckeye Leaves.

Kane Anderson: I know Jalin Marshall will be a popular choice, but I’m giving Cameron Johnston my Buckeye Leaf. His five punts averaged out to be 49.8 yards with a long of 58, and three of them were downed inside the 20-yard line. His one that landed perfectly at the 1-yard line was possibly the most fantastic kick I have ever seen. With the game in doubt, Johnston did a phenomenal job at keeping the Hoosiers at bay in the field position battle. He did everything and more that the coaching staff asked of him.

Ryan Ginn: No question – it’s Jalin Marshall. The redshirt freshman endured some criticism on social media after a pair of fumbles against Minnesota and then responded with a punt return for a touchdown and three fourth-quarter scoring receptions. How’s that for a bounce back game? More than that, the reason I think he deserves this award is because he’s delivering the type of production that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer craves out of the hybrid role.

Matthew Hager: I know Jalin Marshall scored four touchdowns in the second half to help the Buckeyes escape the game with a win, but my Buckeye Leaf has to go to sophomore punter Cameron Johnston. I have to admit, when Johnston took the field with Ohio State facing a fourth-and-3 at midfield, I thought it was a mistake. Turns out, I was wrong. Johnston showed why he is one of the best punters in the nation by having his boot die inside the Indiana 1-yard line. That set up Marshall’s punt return TD and helped save the day for the Buckeyes.

Marcus Hartman: I could be a contrarian and give this one to Joshua Perry, but given the week he had in Minnesota, I have to go with Jalin Marshall. The redshirt freshman from Middletown showed why he was such a highly coveted prospect by piling up 151 all-purpose yards. His punt return that put the Buckeyes on top for good was a thing of beauty as he slipped past the first couple of covermen, put his foot in the ground and sprinted upfield. It was just the thing Urban Meyer recruited him to make — a game-changing play. As an honorable mention, Perry had 14 tackles and two sacks.

Jeff Svoboda: Like Marcus, I kind of want to go with Perry, who had a fantastic game, but when Tevin Coleman goes off for 228 yards and three scores, it's hard for me to pick a linebacker (and Perry did get blocked up pretty good by the pulling guard on the 90-yarder that gave Indiana a short-lived lead). And I kind of want to go with J.T. Barrett, who missed some throws and made some mistakes but still showed plenty of resolve as part of a four-touchdown day. But those four touchdowns wouldn't have happened without Jalin Marshall, so the redshirt freshman gets my Buckeye Leaf. He's been so close to having a breakout this year, and it finally happened against Indiana. The Buckeyes have something special in the man who arrived at OSU as a five-star prospect, and it was pretty neat to see him have such a great bounce-back week after what happened at Minnesota. Congrats, Jalin. You deserve it.

Blake Williams: It’s got to be Jalin Marshall. Why fight the narrative? The kid rebounded from a week highlighted by his mistakes with a week full of big plays. Marshall scored 28 unanswered points in what Meyer said might be the best game from an H-back at Ohio State. His punt return seemed to rejuvenate what had been a lackluster Ohio State effort. Marshall followed that with three straight receiving touchdowns, two of the jet sweep variety and a nice one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone. Not sure what more he could have done.

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


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