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Justin Fields, Chase Young named LGHL Week 4 MVPs

Also, a true freshman makes his debut in the Honorable Mention category!

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

The first nine+ minutes of the game were a little wonky on Saturday as the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes got a feel for what the Miami-Ohio RedHawks were doing on both offense and defense. But, once they got that feel, things took off as OSU ran off 72-consecutive points to win 72-5 to end their non-conference slate for the 2019 season.

On the game, the Buckeyes out-gained Miami 601 to 130, but after the first quarter, those numbers were an eye-popping 531-17. Three Buckeye quarterbacks threw touchdowns (Justin Fields, Chris Chugunov, and Gunnar Hoak), and nine Buckeyes scored touchdowns, including four members of the 2019 recruiting class; Garrett Wilson (more on him later), Steele Chambers, Jameson Williams, and Marcus Crowley.

Week 4 Offensive MVP: Justin Fields

Passing: 14-21, 223 yards, 4 TD
Rushing: 9 carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs

Look, I know that a lot of Buckeyes had good days on Saturday, but the quarterback did something that hasn’t been done in the past 20 seasons, so he gets the nod his week. In the second quarter, Fields threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more. With that, he becomes the first FBS player in the past two decades to be responsible for six touchdowns in a single quarter, according to STATS.

And yes, I know that the competition wasn’t very good, but there have been thousands of FBS games played in the past 20 years, many of which featured good teams playing bad competition, and it still hadn’t happened until yesterday. Moreover, Fields is now all alone in second place nationally with 19 touchdowns (Washington State’s Anthony Gordon has 21), and — according to the Big Ten Network broadcast — he has more touchdowns responsible for through four games than anyone in the B1G this millennium.

So, I know that there are plenty of people outside (and even some inside) of Buckeye Nation who don’t think that Fields’ accomplishments matter much yet since “Ohio State ain’t played nobody,” but from a historical and/or national standpoint, there’s been a lot of players who ain’t played nobody yet that haven’t done what he’s done thus far.

So, with all of the histrionic history out of the way, let’s focus on what Fields did on Saturday. Once the Buckeyes settled down on both sides of the ball, the transfer from Georgia looked pretty fantastic both with his arm and his legs. He wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty darn good.

Here on a 3rd-and-20, Fields throws a 47-real-yard pass Binjimen Victor in the back of the end zone to cap the second quarter scoring.

A little earlier in the quarter, Fields showed what the difference is between having a quarterback who can run and can’t. Last season, Dwayne Haskins had the most productive passing season in the history of the B1G Conference, but the Buckeye red zone offense was horrific, ranking 115th nationally with only 44 touchdowns in 70 red zone trips (which was the sixth most nationally).

So far this year, the Buckeyes have 17 red zone touchdowns in 20 trips; against Miami they were 7-for-8. Having a QB who has the ability to not only run, but to avoid defenders, and fight for difficult yards like in this clip, will be incredibly important moving forward as they get into the thick of the B1G season.

Also keep in mind that Fields did all of that, without playing a single snap in the second half.

Week 4 Defensive MVP: Chase Young

3 total tackles (2 solo), 2 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 QB hurry

Now this brings us to Chase Young. The junior added to his impressive early season with a pair of strip sacks against the RedHawks, and even though he joined Fields on the bench after halftime, he is still tied with Illinois’ Oluwole Betiku Jr. with the most sacks in the country this season with seven.

If you are good at simple-ish math (I am not), that will tell you that Young is averaging 1.75 sacks per game. That, unsurprisingly, is also best in the country. Another sack-related category that The Punisher leads in is total sack yards with 52.

With his second sack of the game, Young has 19 on his career, which puts him 10th in Ohio State history and 17 behind current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel (who has 36). It would be a tall task, but at his current rate (not adjusting for competition or Young leaving games early), if the Buckeyes were to make the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Young would finish the season — and likely his OSU career — with 38. Again, that’s a lot of “ifs,” but just something to keep in the back of your mind, especially as the rest of the defensive line eventually starts to get healthy.

Honorable Mention

Garrett Wilson
Receiving: 4 catches (4 targets), 54 yards, 1 TD
Returning: 1 return, 52 yards