Look, I’m not going to gloss over this and act like anyone really deserves an MVP award after the debacle in West Lafayette, Ind., last night, but hey, these awards aren’t going to give themselves out.
There was very little positive to be said about Ohio State’s 49-20 shellacking at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday night. However, Buckeye records were broken, and a key contributor returned after missing a week due to a concussion, so let’s celebrate the little things, because it’s going to be a long two weeks before the football team gets a chance to redeem itself.
Week 8 Offensive MVP: Dwayne Haskins
49-for-73, 470 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
I am going to venture a guess that even in Urban Meyer’s deepest, darkest nightmares, he would never even allow the most self-sabotaging recesses of his subconscious to conjure a scenario in which an OSU quarterback throws the ball 73 times... that is unless there is an equal 73 rushing attempts by Buckeye running backs, of course.
Despite the fact that Haskins set Ohio State single-game records for passing attempts, passing completions, and passing yards, the Buckeye offense still felt absolutely listless and inept. However, that was largely because there was nearly no running game to slow down the incessant blitz from the Purdue defense, that forced Haskins— more often than not— to get rid of the ball quickly.
There were a few more drops than normal (perhaps because of the fact that Haskins threw 21 more passes than Ohio State ever has in a game before), even in a less than perfect week, the Buckeye QB was still the best part of the OSU team.
Week 8 Defensive MVP: Malik Harrison
10 tackles, 9 solo, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss
After missing last week’s game against Minnesota as a result of ending up in the concussion protocol, Malik Harrison turned in a game that you would expect of an Ohio State linebacker. The rest of the LB unit has been, and continued to be, incredibly underwhelming, but as the season has progressed, it has become obvious that the junior needs to be on the field more often than not.
Fortunately, he got the start for the Buckeyes on Saturday, so hopefully that means that he will be penciled into the top line of the depth chart moving forward, because his play proved that he is one of the few linebackers that the OSU defensive coaches can count on for consistent production.