My lord, this team is fun to watch. Continuing their destructive run through their September schedule, the Ohio State Buckeyes obliterated the Nebraska Cornhuskers last night in Lincoln to the tune of 48-7. It was a full-team, start-to-finish, good old-fashioned butt-kicking that should absolutely get the attention of every team, media member, and fan across the country.
When you have a demolition as thorough and complete as last night’s, it is difficult to pin-point just one MVP, but that is our sworn duty in this weekly column, so pin-point we will; and we don’t have to look any further than the top of the roster, with a pair of No. 1s.
Week 5 Offensive MVP: Justin Fields
Passing: 15-for-21, 212 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: 12 attempts, 72 yards, 1 TD
Justin Fields continued his impressive early-season display on Saturday night by orchestrating an all-out obliteration of the Nebraska defense, putting up 48 points in just over three quarters of work. His numbers, in a vacuum, won’t necessarily measure up to those of Jalen Hurts, or perhaps even Joe Burrow, but he has been masterful in an offense that he has only been in for eight months.
Last night, Fields showed his complete skill set. In this first play, he shows that while the coaching staff has been hesitant to allow him to run the ball on designed keepers thus far, when he does, he has the ability to leave defenders in the dust.
Of course, the decision to run him sparingly adds to the element of surprise when he does take off, because defenses are often keyed on his running back, as Chris Fowler points out in the clip. It also helps when your offensive line blows up holes the size of Mack trucks.
For this second highlight, we’ll focus on how Fields’ legs and arm work so well together in allowing him to excel in yet another area of the game. Late in the second quarter, Fields is looking to move the Buckeyes into range for another score from just on the other side of midfield. But, on 3rd and 10, the Husker defensive line gets through and flushes Fields from the pocket.
The OSU QB rolls backwards and escapes not one, but two tackles and casually flings the ball across his body about 30 yards for a first down. His ability to escape danger, while still maintaining his focus downfield makes you wonder if Fields was not of woman born, but in fact, was created in a quarterback factory.
And finally, the most important aspect of a quarterback’s game, his arm. Throughout the season, Fields has shown an incredibly strong arm, both in terms of distance and velocity — something that shouldn’t be a surprise from a former Division I middle infielder — but at times he’s struggled with touch.
He’s still got some work to do in that regard, but fortunately — as Cardale Jones showed — you don’t have to be perfect in terms of ball placement on every throw when you have elite receivers able to go up and take the ball away from defenders.
Week 5 Defensive MVP: Jeff Okudah
2 tackles, 2 interceptions
There is little doubt that Chase Young is the best defensive player in the country — perhaps even the best player period — but Jeff Okudah is up there as well, as he continues to prove that he is a prototypical, all-around cornerback. He has shown his ability to tackle in the open field, to cover No. 1 receivers, and finally, in the last two games, the ability to intercept passes.
His anticipation and ability to jump routes has allowed him to break up passes before, but after finally breaking the seal last week, he is picking the ball off now, and it is changing games.
Of course, it also helps when the ball literally falls into your lap.
Jeffrey Okudah: Laid back dude.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 29, 2019
The @OhioStateDB gets pick No. 2 of the evening from the turf: pic.twitter.com/cDQaCNl8qC
Rushing: 24 attempts, 177 yards
Who were your MVPs on the game? Let us know in the comments below.