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Ezekiel Elliott claims 3 TDs, and 3 former Ohio State players had career-high performances in Week 7 of the NFL

Lots of Buckeye news out of the NFL this week, including Malik Hooker out for the rest of the season.

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

We’re one week closer to the halfway point of the 2017 NFL season, and former Buckeyes continue to impress. As some players bounce between the practice squad and active rosters, others are marking their territory among the league’s elite. Three OSU alumni had career-high games in Week 7, Joey Bosa had two sacks (for 18 in 19 games), and a Buckeye rookie is exceeding expectations.

Zeke vs. El Guapo

Two of Ohio State’s recent legendary rushers faced off on Sunday, as Carlos Hyde and the San Francisco 49ers met up with Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys blew away the Niners in a 40-10 finish, with Zeke carrying a load with three touchdowns.

Not only did Elliott finish the day with 147 yards on 26 carries with two scores, he also recorded a 72-yard receiving touchdown to round out his day.

The elder (heh) Buckeye, Carlos Hyde, has been battling hip issues the past few weeks and didn’t quite have the same production in Week 7 that he’s had early on this season. Hyde finished the day with 14 carries for 68 yards with another 20 yards on four catches, but no trips to the endzone.

Lattimore for Defensive Rookie of the Year?

After battling some injuries early in the season, rookie CB Marshon Lattimore has five games under his belt and is only getting better. In addition to his 24 total tackles (19 solo) and five pass breakups, he’s also recorded a forced fumble and his first career Pick-6 just a week ago. This week against the Packers was no different. Lattimore allowed zero receptions and forced Green Bay’s backup quarterback Brett Hundley to try to exploit other coverage options.

Buckeyes have career-high games

Several Ohio State alumni bested their former career-high stats on Sunday, including linebackers Darron Lee and Curtis Grant, and running back Rod Smith.

Darron Lee had a big game for the Jets in Week 7, tying his career-high of 11 total tackles, and also snagging his first game with at least nine solo tackles — he also forced a fumble in Sunday’s contest.

Similarly, LB Curtis Grant saw the most playing time of his professional career this week. After spending last year on the practice squad -- and bouncing from team to team — Grant was called up to the New York Giants’ active roster and finally had a breakout game with six total tackles (four solo).

One Buckeye who is often overshadowed is RB Rod Smith, who sits in the wings behind phenom Ezekiel Elliott. Smith has spent the past three seasons with the Cowboys, but finally started making his mark in 2017. He came up with a big first-down a few weeks back, and followed it up with an overall career-high day against the Niners, claiming eight rushes for 64 yards — one 45 yard breakaway — with another five yards on a catch.

Honorable mention: Ted Ginn Jr. recorded 141 receiving yards on Sunday, the second most in his career — the Buckeye’s career-high is from 2008, when he had 175 receiving yards in just his second-year in the league.

Plays of the Week

Joey Bosa (x2)

He missed four games to start his rookie season, but has gone on to claim 18 sacks in just 19 games. So far in 2017, Bosa has recorded 34 total tackles, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. It’s scary and impressive to think he’s only halfway through his second year in the league. (Quarterbacks, beware.)

Winning Defensive Rookie of the Year last season wasn’t enough for the Buckeye, who has gone on to form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the entire NFL (alongside Melvin Ingram). Bosa’s coaches have continued to sing his praises, and with a seemingly impressive work ethic, shouldn’t have to worry about a drop off in production over the next few seasons.

Other Notes

  • Monday Night Football this week features Philadelphia (Malcolm Jenkins) and Washington (Terrelle Pryor Sr.) in a matchup that will certainly see the two Buckeyes coming face-to-face throughout the primetime event.
  • Second-year wide receiver Jalin Marshall has had a bit of a rocky road this season. He started the year serving a four-game suspension, and then spent over a week inactive for the Jets before they ultimately cut him in Week 6. Now, the team decided to re-sign Marshall to their practice squad, where he’ll probably stay until the end of the season.

Injuries and Inactives

  • Bad news for standout safety, Malik Hooker, who tore his ACL and MCL on Sunday, knocking him out for the remainder of his rookie season.
  • Panthers S Kurt Coleman is still out with a lingering ACL injury.
  • Rookie Gareon Conley missed out on another game this season with a lingering shin injury. Despite having only played in two games his first year in the NFL, Conley is still looking to be the future of the Raiders secondary.
  • As in weeks past, QB Cardale Jones was once again a healthy scratch for the Chargers, as he sits far back in the depth chart.

Bye Week