Week Three of the college football season is officially in the books and once again your Empire team is here to pass out a few helmet stickers to deserving Buckeyes. The Bucks had one hell of a time putting Cal away, needing a late-game, 72-yard touchdown from Braxton Miller to Devin Smith to secure the 35-28 win over the Pac-12 foe.
Once again Miller lit up the box score, for the most part (324 total yards, 5 touchdowns), and will take home a few more leaves this week. The toughest part of passing out helmet stickers this week was on the defensive side of the ball where the Bucks struggled mightily at times. One specific Buckeye stood out from the crowd though, and not for anything that occurred on the field turf at Ohio Stadium…..off we go.
“(John Simon) almost didn’t play,” Meyer said. “I didn’t know that because they told me all week he should be fine. He didn’t practice much because of his sore shoulder. No ligament damage or something like that. When you say sore, for most human beings they’re probably laid up in the Ohio State Medical Center, because that’s how tough he is. He goes so hard.”
John Simon had one tackle on Saturday versus Cal. One. Total. A sack. But his actions in the locker room after the game earned him more than any tackle for loss he had against the Golden Bears.
“He just lost it in the locker room as far as just sharing, opening up his soul,” Meyer said. “It makes us all look in the mirror and say, ‘Are we doing enough for our team?’
Not many details have been exposed about Simon’s speech, but he shed a sliver of light on the moment himself afterwards:
I try to say things that are important and if I don’t have anything I feel is very important to say, I probably won’t say it. That means when you speak, everyone listens. I didn’t mean to come out like that so much. But all the emotion that went into that game, I wanted to tell them how I felt.
It was a tough thing all week dealing with it. I tried to get as much rehab as I could to make sure I was good to go. With the players and the coaches trusting in me that I could get my job done, I was blessed to be put out on the field today.
Simon is definitely a leader for this Ohio State team – from the weight room to the field to the locker room – physically and emotionally. Meyer has raved about him from day one, putting him in the same breath as Tim Tebow in many instances when discussing the great players he’s coached. That’s obviously very high praise coming from a coach who won two national championships at Florida with Tebow on his roster, one with him as his starting quarterback.
Double teams have come Simon’s way on nearly every snap through three games, but it was about time to give him some love from the Empire. He had yet to earn a Helmet Sticker from us after three weeks of play – today he earned seven.
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Braxton Miller continues to be the engine behind an offense that has, at times, looked completely out of sorts and, quite frankly, lost. He will the Buckeyes to a win against UCF and came out on Saturday versus Cal with a similar start.
Miller posted 193 total yards on his own in the first half, out doing Cal by 12 yards, but struggled in the third quarter as he recorded -1 yard in the second half before the 4th quarter got going. His 72-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith to secure the 35-28 victory came on a missed defensive assignment in the Cal defensive backfield, but the Bucks had anemically gone three-and-out on four of the previous six possessions.
The hiccups this offense continues to endure is all part of the growing process with a young team working within a new offensive scheme and system, but eventually that reasoning wears itself out. We’re not there quite yet, but by the time we get to East Lansing everyone better be on the same page or it could be a long afternoon. Nonetheless, one thing is for certain: when needed, and it could be more often than not as the schedule gets tougher, our sophomore quarterback has the ability to quickly put the Buckeyes on his back and carry them a long, long way.
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Others receiving helmet stickers this week:
Devin Smith (3), Johnathan Hankins (1), Christian Bryant (1), Jake Stoneburner (1), Ryan Shazier (1)
2012 Season Totals:
- Braxton Miller (19)
- Travis Howard (9)
- John Simon (7)
- Devin Smith (6)
- Orhian Johnson (4)
- Ryan Shazier (2)
- Jake Stoneburner (1)
- Carlos Hyde (1)
- Etienne Sabino (1)
- Nathan Williams (1)
- Zach Boren (1)
- Johnathan Hankins (1)
- Christian Bryant (1)
Question our decisions as equipment managers? Have a few Helmet Stickers of your own to pass out? Leave your thoughts in the Comment section below. At some point Jordan Hall might just rack up a few dozen of his, no?