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Ohio State’s Malik Hooker and his mother made major waves Saturday

Both on and off the field, Malik Hooker was one of the most interesting stories of Saturday’s game.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“With Malik, I wanted him to reach heights I didn’t get a chance to. I knew he had a great opportunity and that’s why I was going to make sure he didn’t ruin it.”

- Angela Dennis via Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News

Malik Hooker may have tried to quit the Ohio State football team on several different occasions as a freshman, but it all came together last Saturday for the safety. Coming away with two interceptions on the day, Hooker made his mark on the game and has set himself up nicely to have quite a breakout season. Much of that can be attributed to his mother, Angela Dennis, for keeping Hooker at Ohio State. Every time Hooker would try to leave, his mother would be right there to turn him around and get him back to campus to keep him on the team.

Now, Urban Meyer and his staff are surely pleased with Hooker’s progress. After redshirting his freshman year and then playing sparingly in 2015, Hooker seems to have taken the necessary steps to elevate his game. When he first joined the program there was plenty of depth ahead of him including Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell, but now it’s Hooker’s show in the defensive backfield. And if the game against Bowling Green was any indication, there should be plenty more of his highlights to come this season.

“The conversation I had with myself, though, it’s just like, ‘Well, darn, J.’ But I didn't use darn. I try and keep it PG in here. But I was, like, man, J. If somebody could've told you that you were throwing a pick-six on the first drive of 2016, you'd be, like, ‘You're a liar.’”

- J.T. Barrett via Austin Ward, ESPN

If there was a concern that Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett would struggle at all with so many new faces around him, those were quickly put to rest on Saturday. Barrett threw for 349 yards, six touchdowns, and rushed for one more en route to a 77-10 win over Bowling Green. Barrett seemingly got every Buckeye involved during the game throwing to several different targets including his running backs and tight ends. After a season of question marks surrounding the quarterback competition with Cardale Jones, Barrett looked more like he did in 2014, when he broke several Ohio State records.

Now Barrett is receiving the hype once again, even being mentioned in ESPN’s Heisman Watch as the fifth overall vote leader after his performance against the Falcons. With Tulsa coming to Columbus this weekend, it should be another opportunity for Barrett to showcase his skills. After that, it’s a trip to Norman to face Oklahoma and all eyes will be on the quarterbacks with Baker Mayfield and Barrett going head-to-head.

“[Big Ten Bowl Projections] College Football Playoff: Ohio State”

- Brian Bennett, ESPN

Entering 2016 rated as the sixth-rated team in the country in the AP Poll, Ohio State lived up to expectations in its first game of the season as they stomped Bowling Green in a 77-10 shellacking. Led by quarterback J.T. Barrett and H-back Curtis Samuel, the Buckeyes steamrolled their way into week two, when they host Tulsa. But what does the win mean in terms of projecting season outcomes? Well, for ESPN’s Brian Bennett, the win elevates Ohio State into the College Football Playoff in his bowl projections of the Big Ten.

Michigan, ranked only two spots below the Buckeyes, is slotted in for the Rose Bowl. Iowa takes the Capital One Orange Bowl and Michigan State gets slotted into the Outback bowl. Nebraska makes the Holiday Bowl, Wisconsin enters the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, and Northwestern finds itself in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Rounding out the Big Ten teams, Penn State gets in to the Foster Farms Bowl, Indiana in the Quick Lane Bowl, and Minnesota finishes with the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

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