2008 All-Buckeye Beater Team: Offense

Assembling a team of players who stood out against Ohio State's defense is not usually an easy task. The Buckeyes seem to make a habit of stopping teams on a regular basis. Nevertheless, BuckeyeSports.com has come up with its third-annual list of opponents who did the best to hand Jim Tressel's team a loss.

Those who actually succeed are given a bit of extra consideration, but this is more of an individual award, so we don't punish those who could not get enough help from their teammates to bring home the ‘W'.

Picking a quarterback was not too difficult. All three of our top candidates have wins against Ohio State on their résumés, although only two of them turned that trick this season. They would be Colt McCoy of Texas and Mark Sanchez of USC. For another above-average day against the Buckeyes, Juice Williams (240 total yards and two touchdowns) also garnered consideration, but after his team lost by 10 points this season, he did not make the cut. Williams headed the list at quarterback in 2007 (We should note that one came out before the bowl game.)

McCoy (414 yards passing and three total touchdowns) is the choice for the first team because he had a lot less help than Sanchez (172 yards passing with four touchdowns), although the Longhorns had a tougher time downing the Buckeyes than did the Trojans.

Evidence of that comes along with our look at those running backs who stood out against the Scarlet and Gray. The First Team 2008 All-Buckeye Beater running backs are Joe McKnight of USC and Brandon Minor of Michigan. McKnight knifed through the Ohio State defense for 105 yards on just 12 carries, a slick 8.8-yard average that helped keep the Buckeyes off balance, and Minor gave life to the Wolverines' generally listless offense with 67 yards rushing on 14 carries. That included a 32-yard jaunt in the second quarter that set up his own 1-yard touchdown.

The man who led the way for McKnight at times and proved to be a weapon himself is the easy choice for fullback. Stanley Havili of USC caught five passes for 49 yards, including a touchdown.

At wide receiver, no one topped the job done by Quan Cosby. Not only did he score the actual winning points in the Fiesta Bowl on a pass from McCoy that covered 26 yards, he was tough to contain the whole night. Cosby finished with 14 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Joining him on the first team is Damian Williams, who got a lot less work but found the end zone just as often against the Buckeyes. Williams picked up 49 yards on three catches, two of which resulted in touchdowns.

At tight end, the pickings were pretty slim, so I took the easy way out and went with Blake Ayles, who caught a 1-yard touchdown pass for USC while that game was still in doubt. Following him I give a nod to Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler, who both helped Penn State pull out a win at Ohio Stadium.

Finally, we have offensive line. The units that stood out the most were USC and Penn State. While the Trojans gave Sanchez seemingly all day to throw, the Nittany Lions got the push they needed in the fourth quarter to squeeze 10 points out of the Ohio State defense.


Quarterback
First Team: Colt McCoy, Texas
Second Team: Mark Sanchez, USC

Running Back
First Team: Joe McKnight, USC; Brandon Minor, Michigan
Second Team: Evan Royster, Penn State; DeLeon Eskridge, Minnesota

Fullback
First Team: Stanley Havili, USC
Second Team: Dan Lawlor, Penn State

Wide Receiver
First Team: Quan Cosby, Texas; Damian Williams, USC
Second Team: Jerrel Jernigan, Troy; Eric Peterman, Northwestern

Offensive Line
First Team: A.Q. Shipley, Penn State; Rich Ohrnberger, Penn State; Jeff Byers, USC; Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin; Dion Small, Troy
Second Team: Kristoffer O'Dowd, USC; John Moffitt, Wisconsin; Gerald Cadogan, Penn State; Steven Adams, Troy; Danny Franks, Troy

Tight End
First Team: Blake Ayles, USC
Second Team: Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler, Penn State


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