Ohio State Announces 22 Champions in Win vs Minnesota

COLUMBUS — Ohio State announced a total of 22 players who graded out as champions following the Buckeyes’ season-opening win at Minnesota.

Below is the full release from Ohio State.

Champions, Players of the Game Announced Following Minnesota Win

Chris Olave, Miyan Williams, Zach Harrison and Mitch Rossi all earn special honors

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following Ohio State’s season-opening 45-31 win over Minnesota last Thursday, 22 players earned champion recognition for their performances. The coaching staff also recognized four players of the game: DE Zach Harrison (defense), WR Chris Olave (offense), RB Miyan Williams (offense) and TE Mitch Rossi (special teams).

On defense, 12 players graded out as champions for a unit that had seven first-time starters on the field. Harrison, who had a sack and three tackles, and Haskell Garrett combined for what was perhaps the most critical play of the game. Late in the third quarter, with Ohio State holding a 24-21 lead, Harrison sacked Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan and forced a fumble, which Garrett scooped up and ran 32 yards into the endzone for a score and a 31-21 Ohio State lead.

Other champions on the defensive side of the ball included SAF Ronnie Hickman, the Buckeyes’ leading tackler with 11 stops, LB Teradja Mitchell (10 tackles), LB Cody Simon (seven tackles, one sack) and freshman CB Denzel Burke, who earned a start in his Buckeye debut and led the team with three pass breakups.

On the strength of a four-catch, 117-yard effort that included two touchdown receptions, Olave shared the Offensive Player of the Game honors with Miyan Williams, who had a 71-yard touchdown run to highlight his efforts. Olave moved into fifth place on Ohio State’s career TD receptions list with 24. Williams’ 125 yards on the ground was a career high.

On the special teams unit, Mitch Rossi was the player of the game for a unit that allowed just one kick return in eight total kickoffs.

Ohio State Champions vs. Minnesota

Offense: TE Jeremy Ruckert, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, OL Nicholas Petit-Frere, OL Dawand Jones, OL Luke Wypler, OL Thayer Munford, OL Paris Johnson Jr.

Players of the Game: WR Chris Olave and RB Miyan Williams

Defense: DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste, DT Antuwan Jackson, DT Haskell Garrett, DT Taron Vincent, CB Denzel Burke, SAF Josh Proctor, SAF Ronnie Hickman, SAF Bryson Shaw, LB Cody Simon, LB Tommy Eichenberg, LB Teradja Mitchell

Player of the Game: DE Zach Harrison

Special Teams Player of the Game: TE Mitch Rossi

Scout Team Players of the Week: Corey Rau, Jordan Hancock and Jackson Kuwatch

2 Responses

  1. They must grade on a hell of a curve if 12 players graded defensive champions. It looks like osu is guilty of everybody plays, everybody wins, let’s give them all a participation trophy. They better buy a few more boxes of trophies at this rate.

    It would be refreshing to see a player or two say no thanks, my play wasn’t up to osu standards I refuse your award. Don’t give it to me, let me earn it.

    I did see 3 defenses this weekend that graded out champions, but none of them were named osu. I’d be curious if they handed out participation trophies, I doubt it. They likely have real standards. Those teams probably had 3-6 guys grade champions. About the same number of buckeyes who would start for them, and I’m talking all 3 teams defense.

  2. I’m honestly a little surprised, when you allow 30+ points and quite a few sizeable plays against you, as a unit I wouldn’t call that a “championship” performance. It just barely allowed us to beat Minnesota; not a championship team by most standards. Granted, they are better than their unranked status, but still.

    So then you have to consider what issues caused those defensive struggles. Was it players or schemes? Well. . .if you said it was the linebackers, three were lauded as champions. If you said DBs, well. . .one was a champion because he was forced to make so darn many tackles and Minnesota wasn’t a throw-first team. If you said DL not getting enough pressure or holding the edge, well, 3 tackles and a sack and all is forgiven.

    After seeing this, I just worried that the coaches think this is acceptable. I get that they’re young, but they need to just play better on defense. How does labeling them “champions” get us there? It seems so phony.

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