The Ohio State offense, which struggled in the red zone earlier in the season, now seems to have found a consistent scoring threat in sophomore WR Binjimen Victor.
In the second quarter, after Maryland cut the Buckeye lead to 14-7, Victor capped the ensuing drive by beating a defender on a post route and bringing down an eight-yard scoring strike from J.T. Barrett.
It was the second week in a row that Victor scored, following his 23-yard touchdown against Rutgers. He finished the game with four grabs for 55 yards, and it was clear that he is starting to emerge as a top target close to the goal line.
Victor came to Ohio State as the 13th-best WR recruit in the 2016 class, and his 6-foot-4 frame led many to dream that he could develop into this type of scoring threat. However, he was limited as a freshman by his thin build.
Now, after a year in both the weight room and the Buckeyes’ offense, he’s finally emerging.
Graduate QB J.T. Barrett said Victor’s height and ability to go up and get the ball is a big asset.
“Down in the red zone, top shelf, that’s where the ball has to be based on coverage,” said Barrett.
Senior TE Marcus Baugh said he has seen this coming.
“Coming in, I knew (Victor) was used as a red zone target,” said Baugh. “He had to learn to attack the ball, but now he’s doing what the best catchers in the red zone do, attacking the ball.”
Senior OL Billy Price said that Victor’s emergence is part of a growing – and welcome – trend in the wide receiver room.
“Guys like that, I think there’s a lot of confidence that builds within them, but builds with the offense as well because if you know you can plug a guy in, whoever the case may be, C.J. (Saunders), Ben, some of the other guys who are in the rotation, I think that builds a lot of confidence in the coaches as well to be able to put those guys in the game and be able to produce with those guys.”
Head coach Urban Meyer said the growth among the receivers wasn’t limited to the young guys.
“Not a jump but a steady incline — a bunch of first-time players for us,” said Meyer. “Even Terry (McLaurin) and Parris (Campbell) were here for several years, but they weren’t instrumental in our offense. And they’re the leaders of that group, the zone six group. They block well. They perform well. Very pleased with their attitude and they’re making plays. Very pleased with them.”