Our staff helmet stickers for the Ohio State win Saturday afternoon vs. Northern Illinois.
Ryan Ginn: It was just one play, but oh what a play. Darron Lee's impressive interception that he then returned for a touchdown was not only good enough to earn my Buckeye Leaf but also provided the final margin in a 20-13 win. After the game, his defensive counterparts mentioned that Lee said he’d take advantage if Northern Illinois ran that play again and then made good on that promise by housing a pass that was a pretty difficult grab in the first place.
James Grega: I am taking the easy way out and giving this one to Darron Lee. The sophomore linebacker negated most NIU attempts to move the football laterally, capped by the 41 yard INT return for a score late in the third quarter. While he only recorded two total tackles, Lee forced potential big plays back inside for his teammates to clean up on multiple occasions.
Tim Moody: It could go to a number of players on Ohio State’s defense, but none were quite as dominant as Joey Bosa against the Huskies. Bosa left his mark with six tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and half a sack as the Buckeyes held Northern Illinois to just 190 yards of total offense, and only 2.7 yards per play. He also registered three hits on quarterback Drew Hare to lead a disruptive Ohio State defense. On a day when the offense struggled mightily, players like Bosa showed how valuable they can be.
Jeff Svoboda: This could go to literally any defensive player but how could you have watched that game and not thought it should go to Darron Lee. The New Albany, Ohio, product is the straw that stirs the drink for the Ohio State defense, I have thought for a while, and he proved it again Saturday. His pick-six was a thing of beauty -- the anticipation to undercut a passing lane and intercept a quick screen (something he clearly saw through diligent film work), then the athleticism -- which he earned as a high school QB -- to take the ball to the house while being chased by seemingly the entire NIU team. He added two tackles and even that number seemed low as he and Ohio State's linebackers strung out plays and chased down tacklers all game. Lee is a joy to watch and one of the best players in the country, as Urban Meyer said after the game.
Blake Williams: Darron Lee certainly deserves one for his performance, but he will get plenty of accolades for his efforts so I am going to go a little outside the box and give mine to Adolphus Washington. The defensive tackle continued what has been a strong senior year with five tackles, a sack and a quarterback hurry but much of what he did won’t show up in the stat sheet. He routinely dealt with multiple blockers and created space for the other Ohio State pass rushers. The entire defense was great against the Huskies but Washington deserves praise for doing the dirty work.
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