Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

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

Ohio State escaped Bloomington with a narrow win Saturday night, but who gets our Buckeye Leaves.

Ryan Ginn: Ezekiel Elliott is deserving of all the praise in the world for his three-touchdown performance against Indiana, but I’m going to use this space and this award to shout out Tyquan Lewis instead. The sophomore defensive end is one of the less heralded players on a defense full of playmakers, but in the first half he looked like one of the few guys who actually showed up to play. He finished with seven tackles, led the Buckeyes with 3.5 tackles for loss for 4 yards and had Ohio State’s only sack of the game. It was an impressive performance and one that was certainly needed.

Blake Williams: While a few defenders played well enough to earn a Buckeye Leaf – Tyquan Lewis and Raekown McMillan come to mind –no one was topping Ezekiel Elliott today. The running back showed off the explosive runs he’s become known for with touchdowns of 55, 65 and 75 yards. The junior wasn’t out there padding stats either as each score was certainly needed in the one-touchdown game. Sure, the line deserves some credit for executing the gap-blocking to free Elliott, but not too many backs in the country would have found the end zone on those plays. Elliott did.

Jeff Svoboda: Ezekiel Elliott, of course, is the player of the game and probably the person most deserving of a helmet sticker after his huge showing. But this exercise is merely to give a helmet sticker to a deserving player, and with that in mind, I'm going to go with Pat Elflein. It's hard to pick just one offensive lineman who is deserving of one considering how the Buckeyes worked together to pave the way for his long runs, but the one man who led the way the most was Elflein. He was the man tasked with pulling from his guard spot and leading the way through the hole, and he thus was a key part of the attack, so I'm giving my sticker to Elflein as a way to honor an offensive line that got the job done in the second half.

Tim Moody: Hat tip to Tyquan Lewis, but there’s a good chance Ohio State loses to Indiana if Ezekiel Elliott isn’t in the stadium. The Buckeye running back tallied 23 carries for 274 yards — good for a tie for the second most in Ohio State history — and three touchdowns. His scoring runs totaled 195 yards as he jolted the Buckeye offense back to life in the third quarter. Outside of Elliott, the Ohio State offense was streaky, including three turnovers, while the defense had an up and down day as well. Yeah, he only had 79 yards on his 20 non-touchdown carries, but that’s often how it goes on big days. Urban Meyer has stressed this offense is about the big hits, and Elliott is the most likely player to provide that right now.

James Grega: Hard not to give it to the running back from St. Louis. Ezekiel Elliott notched a career high 274 yards on the ground and without his performance, there is a good chance the Buckeyes would have left Bloomington with the biggest loss in recent memory. Elliott, in my opinion put his name back into the Heisman talk, even though the win came against Indiana. If not for a questionable call against Braxton Miller for a low block, Elliott would have had four scores on the day and was just one more breakaway run from breaking Eddie George’s single game record.

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