Who doesn’t love a good blowout win? While the close, back-and-forth games are super exciting, I physically don’t think I can handle watching that type of game every week. So, it’s nice being able to sit back and relax for (hopefully) two weeks in a row, not worrying about the outcome. Another reason these huge wins are great is that we get a chance to see the backups play!
Here’s who I was impressed with against Arkansas State:
Steele Chambers and Cody Simon
Linebacker play certainly was not an issue in this past week’s game. Chambers tied for the team lead with six tackles, including four solo tackles, one tackle for loss, and a sack. The seven-yard sack came on Arkansas State’s first offensive drive of the second half. He was absolutely flying past their offensive line, and their quarterback didn’t stand a chance.
It is hard not to root for this guy. He was recruited as a running back, and now he was voted Defensive Player of the Game! His sack total already matches what it was for the entirety of last season. Chambers is off to a really hot start, racking up 11 tackles between the first two games.
He is looking really comfortable now after having a full season under his belt at this position. It was great that he went off against Arkansas State, especially, considering that the cornerbacks were struggling, so he picked up the slack. I’m excited to watch him pick apart Toledo Saturday as well.
I also wanted to shout out Cody Simon, who was phenomenal in the second half. He’s actually the other player Chambers tied with for team lead in tackles. He was quick and dominant, making tackles on back-to-back plays at one point. I was very impressed with what I saw from him.
I feel like it is almost unnecessary to include Marvin Harrison Jr. in this list because DUH. We already know how good he is. It took him one game to warm up this season, but he definitely broke out against Arkansas State. In case you’ve been living under a rock, he earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors and joined Joey Galloway in the Buckeye history books as the only two receivers to have two separate three-TD performances.
I would say 184 yards and three touchdowns is a solid day at the office. He looked unreal. The part I’m most excited about is how seamlessly he and Stroud looked together. This is only the third game they've played with each other, and their connection is already strong. Two of his three touchdowns were just things of beauty; the over-the-shoulder catch and the one where he caught it while being double-teamed. This guy is talented!
How about the third-string running back? Hayden slid into this position after Evan Pryor suffered an unfortunate season-ending knee injury, and he has taken advantage. Once Kyle McCord entered the game in the fourth quarter, his first five plays were either handoffs to Hayden or passes to him.
I loved watching Hayden run. He reminds me of Miyan Williams, just absolutely refusing to go down on that first attempt. He’s listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, so he is a good 30 pounds lighter than Williams, however, he still has that same aggressiveness in him. They both got that dog in them.
It’s nice to see that we have a hungry freshman in the running back room (sound familiar)? I don’t think we should have any concerns for this position group.