The Ohio State Buckeyes survived a scare on Saturday afternoon, pulling out with a 35-28 victory over Cal. It came as no surprise that many Buckeye fans were unhappy with Ohio State's level of play in a game that seemingly shouldn't been nearly as close as it was. Missed tackles, assignments, and opportunities frustrated the crowd of over 105,000.
It happens all too often in the game of football, really at any level of the sport. If a team doesn't meet expectations, the backlash will be there whether or not the team actually pulls out the win or not. But even in high school, you can ask just about any head coach and they will tell you that a win is a win, no matter what.
As teams around the country begin playing games in their league schedule, wins are essential at this point for any team to have hopes of making the ever-elusive state playoffs. As Buckeye Nation continues to have a certain uneasy feeling about their team's success, they can be rest assured that Coach Meyer and his staff are doing what they do best: Keep coaching the kids up while recruiting the best student athletes possible.
Now let's take a look at how future Buckeye players demonstrated their abilities on the football field over the weekend.DE Joey Bosa - After being sidelined for the past couple of weeks, Joey Bosa finally got his hands dirty as he contributed six tackles and provided pressure for much of the night in spite of being double and triple teamed consistently. Despite the great effort, St. Thomas Aquinas would unfortunately come up short against Don Bosco, 20-10.
ATH Jalin Marshall - Jalin Marshall carried the ball 10 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall also continued to prove his dual threat capabilities by completing 7 of 15 passes for 40 yards and another touchdown in Middletown's 41-26 win over Fairfield.
RB Ezekiel Elliott - Running back Ezekiel Elliott is continuing his domination at the high school level and we can't wait for Elliott to become a Buckeye. This week Elliott had five touchdowns, scoring four times rushing the ball and once on a punt return as he led St. Louis Burroughs to victory against Lutheran North, 56-14. Elliott is quickly making his case to Coach Meyer that he will be ready for the next level.
QB JT Barrett - Quarterback JT Barrett had another impressive outing this week as he led the game winning 85-yard drive that began with less than five minutes left in the game and his team down 17-14. Barrett had a big night through the air and on the ground, with 206 passing yards and 22 carries for 119 rushing yards. Wichita Falls Rider would end up with the victory, defeating Amarillo, 26-17.
DE Tracy Sprinkle - Defensive end Tracy Sprinkle was often double teamed on Friday, but still made six tackles, had a sack and four quarterback hurries in another good performance. I'm liking what I have seen so far from Sprinkle.
ATH Taivon Jacobs - Taivon Jacobs had two touchdowns on Friday which included Jacobs scoring on a 30-yard reception and a 20-yard rush. With the help of Jacobs, District Heights Suitland continues to roll through their schedule by defeating Riverdale Parkdale, 41-0.
OL Evan Lisle - In his team's 28-19 win on Friday over Lebanon, offensive lineman Evan Lisle earned high praise from the coaching staff, being graded at a 94% blocking efficiency with 11 knockdown blocks. Overall, Lisle has shown scouts that he can consistently play at a high level.
TE Marcus Baugh - Marcus Baugh was held out with a concussion last week and was forced to sit out this week against Citrus Hill game due to the same injury. He says he will be back in action next weekend.
ATH Darron Lee - Darron Lee had another spectacular performance this week, building on an already solid season. He rushed for four touchdowns including a 58-yarder and a 29-yarder and had over 150 yards rushing. Also playing at quarterback, Lee also threw for two touchdowns including a 69-yarder with less than 2 minutes left in the first half. Not yet finished, Lee also contributed on the defensive side of the ball playing very well at safety for New Albany.