Well, that was quite an enjoyable afternoon of football. While I could have dealt with a little more scoring in the second half, it’s hard to nitpick much of anything in a game that saw the Ohio State Buckeyes beat a Big Ten team (albeit Rutgers) 52-3. Unlike as in Week 1, the dominant offensive performance from OSU was complemented by a suffocating defensive effort as well.
Because of the utter dominance displayed against the Scarlet Knights, there were a lot of people that we could have chosen to be this week’s Land-Grant Holy Land MVPs, but when you look at the numbers, it’s tough to argue Dwayne Haskins’ continued dominance on offense, and Nick Bosa’s absolute destruction on defense.
Week 2 Offensive MVP: Dwayne Haskins
Against Rutgers, Haskins threw the ball 23 times. Included in that total was four touchdowns... and just three incompletions. That’s right, he had more touchdowns than incompletions!
Haskins ended his day early in the third quarter but still went 20-for-23 for 233 yards. His backup Tate Martell (see below) had arguably better numbers in lesser attempts, but what was great about Haskins’ performance was more than just the numbers, it was the near perfection in ways that Buckeye Nation has seen in years.
Not only did he not throw an interception, but almost every pass— including, and especially, the ones down field—was pinpoint perfect. It has been a long time since fans have seen a Buckeye quarterback who was able to throw the deep ball as accurately as Haskins has during the first two weeks of the 2018 season.
As strong as Cardale Jones’ arm was, his accuracy was not exemplary, and the biggest deep balls of the 2014 postseason run came when players like Michael Thomas and Devin Smith made impressively athletic plays on what otherwise might have been 50/50 balls. That is not what we have seen thus far from Haskins.
In his first touchdown hookup with Johnnie Dixon on Saturday, Haskins dropped the ball perfectly into the arms of the veteran wide receiver.
Well, that was fun... Haskins to Dixon for six! pic.twitter.com/gLKdEbPw0k— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 8, 2018
In the third quarter, on Haskins’ final TD throw of the game, he did what he’s been doing all season, leading receivers and allowing them to catch the ball in stride. There’s none of those faux-back shoulder throws that announcers try to convince you were done on purpose when it was just an under-thrown ball.
Haskins to Dixon for a long touchdown (again). This time for 44 yards. pic.twitter.com/8McFbpAaPi— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 8, 2018
Week 2 Defensive MVP: Nick Bosa
When a defense gives up points to Rutgers for the first time since 2015, I am tempted to punish the entire unit and not name an MVP because of their disappointing performance, but, I will make an exception because the little bear had himself another impressive game.
After earning the Week 1 LGHL Defensive MVP award against Oregon State, Nick Bosa was at it again against Rutgers, leading the team with five tackles before exiting the game early. However, three of his five stops were for loss, including a first half-ending sack that cut short the game for Scarlet Knight starting quarterback Artur Sitkowski.
The thing that makes Bosa so difficult to guard is that he is just too fast off of the line for a tackle or tight end, and he’s just too strong for a running back. For example:
Passing: 10-10, 121 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: 95 yards, 1 TD
2 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup