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Player to Watch

Michigan State Defensive Player to Watch: LB/DE Jacoby Windmon

Windmon, a UNLV transfer, has acclimated quite well to the Big Ten, and should be viewed as one of its most fearsome pass rushers.

Rutgers Offensive Player to Watch: Wide receiver Aron Cruickshank

Cruickshank can do a little bit of everything, but is stuck in an offense which often does a whole lot of nothing. The Big Ten vet will be looking to make a big play happen against the Buckeyes.

Rutgers Defensive Player to Watch: Safety Christian Izien

Izien is arguably one of the more underrated defensive stars in the Big Ten. He is the leader of the Scarlet Knights’ defense, and will be looking to make Buckeye ball carriers pay on Saturday.

Wisconsin Offensive Player to Watch: Running back Braelon Allen

Allen is one of CFB’s youngest and most productive stars. As such, the bruising runner will be one of OSU’s toughest defensive challenges.

Wisconsin Defensive Player to Watch: Linebacker Nick Herbig

This Badger backer is a skilled pass rusher and often plays with reckless abandon — in a good way. He will test Ohio State’s offensive line in The Shoe.

Toledo Offensive Player to Watch: Quarterback DeQuan Finn

Finn is a former Mr. Football from the state of Michigan, who is now looking to make his mark in The Shoe. As a dangerous dual threat, he could be a handful for the Buckeyes come Saturday.

Toledo Defensive Player to Watch: DE/LB Jamal Hines

Hines is one of the MAC’s best hybrid defenders, and he will be leading a Toledo defense which has given up just 10 total points in their first two games.

Arkansas State Defensive Player to Watch: LB/DL Kivon Bennett

This talented hybrid defender once played alongside Nick Bosa before making some waves in the SEC.

Notre Dame Defensive Player to Watch: Safety Brandon Joseph

Joseph is a ball-hawking safety and former Northwestern Wildcat who has been a thorn in Ohio State’s side in the past.

Notre Dame Offensive Player to Watch: Tight end Michael Mayer

The Fighting Irish have a long history of talented tight ends, and Mayer has a chance to finish his collegiate career as one of the absolute best in program history.

Utah Defensive Player to Watch: Linebacker Devin Lloyd

Lloyd is an All-American and absolute wrecking ball for the Utes. As the best defender on the field in Pasadena, he will be looking to make an impact against the Buckeyes.

Utah Offensive Player to Watch: Running Back Micah Bernard

Bernards is barely the Utes’ third-leading rusher, but he provides a versatile skillset that has given Ohio State issues in the past.

TTUN Offensive Player to Watch: Running Back Hassan Haskins

The veteran running back has stepped up in a major way while his backfield mates have been banged up. He leads an impressive Wolverines running attack, which will be focused on grinding out yards and keeping a potent Buckeyes offense on the sideline.

TTUN Defensive Player to Watch: Defensive End Aidan Hutchinson

Hutchinson is a big-time NFL prospect, but his next goal is earning a long-awaited victory over the Buckeyes. Goals are nice.

Michigan State Defensive Player to Watch: Jacub Panasiuk

The Spartans’ veteran defensive end is the anchor of their defense.

Michigan State Offensive Player to Watch: Kenneth Walker III

The Spartans bring to Columbus the nation’s top running back.

Purdue Defensive Player to Watch: Defensive End George Karlaftis

Karlaftis is lacking traditional stats in 2021, but his impact on the game is greater than that of any other defensive lineman in the Big Ten.

Purdue Offensive Player to Watch: Wide Receiver David Bell

Bell has already put up two legendary performances against top-5 opponents this season. The Buckeyes will need find a way to limit his effectiveness, if they hope to avoid the same fate as those previous teams.

Nebraska Defensive Player(s) to Watch: All of the linebackers

The Huskers have an eclectic, talented group in the middle of their defense. These four will be looking to slow down the high-powered OSU offense on Saturday.

Nebraska Offensive Player to Watch: Quarterback Adrian Martinez

Martinez is an experienced QB, capable of big plays and equally big mistakes.

Penn State Defensive Player to Watch: Defensive End Arnold Ebiketie

The Temple transfer has been a revelation for Penn State’s defensive line. In the absence of other playmakers, he has shined for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State Offensive Player to Watch: Wide Receiver Jahan Dotson

One (not me) could make an argument that Dotson is the best WR in the Big Ten.

Indiana Defensive Player to Watch: Linebacker Micah McFadden

This All-Big Ten linebacker is a difference maker for the currently banged up Hoosier defense.

Indiana Offensive Player to Watch: Tight End Peyton Hendershot

The Indiana TE is a pass-catching threat, the likes of which OSU has not seen thus far in 2021.

Maryland Defensive Player to Watch: Defensive Back Nick Cross

Cross leads a much-improved defensive unit, albeit one that was run over and around by Iowa last week. The Maryland defense, led by Cross, will be looking for a rebound against an even more potent offense.

Maryland Offensive Player to Watch: Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa has looked both outstanding and overwhelmed at different points during the 2021 season.

Rutgers Offensive Player to Watch: RB Isaih Pacheco

Throughout his career, Pacheco has been a bright spot on an otherwise underwhelming offense for Rutgers.

Rutgers Defensive Player to Watch: LB Olakunle Fatukasi

Fatukasi is the reigning Big Ten leader in tackles, and he has showed no signs of slowing down in 2021.

Akron Players to Watch: D.J. Irons and Bubba Arslanian

D.J. Irons and Bubba Arslanian are bright spots on an otherwise overmatched team.

Tulsa Defensive Player to Watch: DT Jaxon Player

Player is undersized, but he is still a heck of a physical presence for OSU’s interior linemen to deal with.

Oregon Offensive Player to Watch: QB Anthony Brown

This experienced QB has steadily improved over the course of his lengthy college career. He will now be leading the Ducks and looking to make plays through the air, as well as on the ground.

Oregon Defensive Player to Watch: DE/Joker Kayvon Thibodeaux (injury TBD)

Thibodeaux is an uber-talented pass rusher and projected top-5 NFL draft pick. Buckeye fans and fans of college football should want to see him healthy and dressed for the Ducks on Saturday.