Ryan Ginn: He still didn’t play up to his potential, but Cardale Jones got the job done in his return to the starting lineup and for that he gets my Buckeye Leaf. Following the one-game suspension of starter J.T. Barrett, the junior quarterback stepped into the spot he lost and played well enough to get a win. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 187 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. More importantly, in a one-score game with less than two minutes to play, he delivered a win-clinching 38-yard touchdown run on a critical third down. He could have melted down after a rough start, but instead he made a big play when it was needed.
James Grega: It would be hard to give this to any one on offense, so I will go with senior linebacker Joshua Perry. Perry tied for the team lead in tackles against Minnesota and was a key component in the Buckeyes scoring their first touchdown on the night as his pressure on Mitch Leidner forced the Gopher quarterback into a rushed throw that Vonn Bell was able to intercept. Perry was also put in some one-on-one situations on Minnesota running backs and held his own, even running stride for stride up the sideline and knocking a pass away.
Tim Moody: Vonn Bell made a huge play, but he seemed off the pace too many times in coverage to be the player of the game. Joshua Perry had a huge game on defense in his own right, but he didn’t stand out quite as the player of the game. Instead I’ll stick with offense and give my Buckeye Leaf to Ezekiel Elliott. He totaled 114 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in workmanlike performance that was of utmost importance. Had he been a step slow or missed a few cuts, the Buckeyes wouldn’t have won the game, or at least would have come very close to losing. Elliott has been the team’s most important player this year, and he proved that again against Minnesota.
Blake Williams: It’s hard to give it to anyone on the offense and while Vonn Bell made one game-changing play on defense, I think Joshua Perry had the best overall game on that side of the ball. The linebacker finished with 10 tackles, including one for loss, and his hit on Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner – one that was initially called targeting before being correctly reversed – forced the interception that Bell returned for a touchdown. Perry seemed to always be in the right place, showing off his coverage skills, ability to rush the passer and stop the run. Last I checked those were the three things you look for from a linebacker and Perry did them all against Minnesota. For that, he gets my Buckeye Leaf.