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Buckeye Leaves: Our helmet stickers for Ohio State's win vs. Western Michigan

Ohio State got its offense moving the right direction in the win vs. Western Michigan, but who gets our Buckeye Leaves?

Ryan Ginn: I’m going to give my Buckeye Leaf to junior quarterback Cardale Jones, who was by no means perfect but played well enough to bring some stability to the most important position on the team. After being yanked two games in a row, Jones came out firing in an impressive first half that included 226 passing yards and two touchdowns. There was one big mark against him – he consistently underthrew receivers who gained separation on deep balls – but that’s a fixable mistake for him. Heading into Big Ten play, there won’t be any serious questions about which quarterback should be playing.

Blake Williams: Lot of options for the Buckeye leaf today but after going defense the past two weeks I wanted to get an offensive guy in on the action and I am going to go with Mike Thomas. By far the most consistent receiver for the Buckeyes this season, Thomas showed up against the Broncos and balled out with six catches for 80 yards. He was open more often than that, but Cardale Jones spread the ball out to eight different receivers. Thomas touchdown catch was his major highlight as he completely humiliated the safety who tried to bring him down before the score.

Jeff Svoboda: I think Curtis Samuel was hugely impressive for Ohio State, as he touched the ball just four times -- twice on runs and twice on receptions -- on offense but turned those touches into 104 combined yards. Samuel's 40-yard touchdown run in the second half showed just how much talent he has as a running back (I love his potential there even more than I do as a slot guy), but he did also show his skill with a 40-yard pass reception in which he pulled in a deep ball from Cardale Jones over his shoulder (even if the pass might have been intended for Corey Smith). Ohio State needed someone to step up as a big play guy to help the offense and Samuel fit the bill vs. the Broncos.

Tim Moody: Based largely off the poor performances in the past two weeks, today's Buckeye leaf almost has to go to Cardale Jones. He kept his starting spot and answered the call with a career-high 288 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 38-12 win. Jones did struggle throwing the deep ball, including an interception in the end zone, but his arm strength on intermediate and medium throws helped the Buckeyes have a consistently dangerous passing game for the first time this season. Ezekiel Elliott deserves a mention as well, but it was Jones’ day.

James Grega: While it wasn't perfect, Cardale Jones took a step in the right direction and was a big part of the reason the Buckeyes were able to pick up their game on offense. Yes he missed a few deep throws, but he also totaled more than 300 yards of total offense, which is much more like what Ohio State is used to getting out of its quarterback in an Urban Meyer offense. While he did throw an interception before the day was done, Jones threw for a career-high 288 yards and showed why he is the starter, extending plays with his feet and extending the defense with his arm, even if most of the long balls fell to the turf. 

 


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