Ohio State got the win against Hawaii, its 15th straight, in the home opener by a 38-0 score. Which players get our helmet stickers for their performances?
Ryan Ginn: I think the Buckeye Leaf almost has to go to a defensive player in spite of a three-touchdown showing from Ezekiel Elliott , so I’m going to go with Darron Lee. Although he maimed Hawaii’s punter with a sloppy personal foul, he was also a big presence in the backfield for most of the game. The New Albany, Ohio, native led the team with two sacks for 15 yards, one of which also came with a forced fumble. While that would be a career-best performance for many, it was just another day at the office for one of the biggest playmakers on the team.
James Grega: While he only recorded three tackles, Vonn Bell was the player of the game on defense recording an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown to distance the Buckeyes from the Rainbow Warriors. Bell also had a chance to pick off two more passes, but dropped both. That said, he still tallied three pass breakups in addition to the scoop and score and pick and was a big reason Hawaii only completed eight of their 26 pass attempts.
Tim Moody: Postgame talk will likely focus on the at times-stagnant offense, but that shouldn’t take away from the performance put in by junior safety Vonn Bell and the Ohio State defense. The pick for player of the game comes down to bell and fellow defensive back Gareon Conley, but the former’s scoop-and-score to make it 31-0 in the fourth quarter, coupled with his interception and three pass breakups, gives him the honors. Bell is a big-play safety who is always around the ball. Apart from his pick, he also had a ball hit him in the facemask and another that ended up just out of reach as he attempted a one-handed catch. He’s no slug as a tackler, either, with three solo stops in the game.
Jeff Svoboda: I will break the mold and go with an offensive player. Yeah, it was a tough day for the Buckeyes on offense but Ezekiel Elliott contnued to show he's one of the best backs in the nation. Zeke ran for 101 yards, toping the 100-yard mark for the seventh consecutive game, and he also got into the end zone three times. On a day in which the offense never really got in sync, Elliott gave them something to hold onto, and his workmanlike effort gets my helmet sticker as a result.
Blake Williams: On a day when the offense severely underperformed, it has to be a defender here and I am going to select Gareon Conley from a group of worthy Silver Bullets. The first-year starter played solid coverage throughout the night and recorded his first career interception. He created another turnover, tipping a ball that found the hands of safety Vonn Bell. This is the second consecutive solid game from Conley who has clearly showed why he won the starting cornerback spot.
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