Week Eight of the college football season has come and gone and once again your Empire team is here to pass out a few helmet stickers to deserving Buckeyes. There were a few surprise performances and one legacy-making performance from an unsuspecting party, and he’ll get plenty of praise this morning from your Empire team.
Urban Meyer notched his eighth victory in eight tries as the head football coach of Ohio State and the Buckeyes now sit at 8-0 overall and 4-0 in-conference, good enough to perch them atop the Leaders Division of the B1G next to also-ineligible Penn State. With a seven point win as nineteen point favorites, the Bucks moved down this week in the AP Top-25 from seventh to ninth.
Let’s pass out some Buckeye leaves…
That’s right, twenty-six of ‘em for the redshirt junior Kenny Guiton, who came in for star quarterback Braxton Miller when he left in the third quarter after a vicious tackle that sent 105,000+ into dead silence and Miller off to the hospital in an ambulance.
Guiton entered having thrown one career touchdown pass (last week), yet ultimately found himself down by eight with 47 seconds remaining in the game and the ball placed on his own 39 yard line. Seven plays later, with only two seconds remaining, Guiton found WR Chris Fields on 1st and goal from the Purdue two yard line for his second career touchdown pass, then found Jeff Heuerman all alone for the 2-point conversion on a well-designed play that left the tight end standing all alone in the left half of the end zone and the game tied at 22.
After Purdue won the toss and deferred in overtime Guiton led the Bucks once again into the end zone, keyed by a 17-yard pass completion to TE Jake Stoneburner that led to a Carlos Hyde one-yard plunge to go up 29-22.
The Silver Bullets would hold up on Purdue’s possession and Guiton, thus far a career back-up at Ohio State behind Terrelle Pryor and now Miller, cemented a quick legacy in the eyes Buckeye Nation (and Urban Meyer) and helped keep the Buckeyes’ record unblemished at 8-0.
Meyer had plenty to say on Guiton after the game:
“It’s a tribute to that kid. I mean he is a special guy. Even if he, and I hate say this. Even if he doesn’t complete that pass, that’s a special kid. He’s ready. He’s all Buckeye now. And that family, I’d be very proud…I know they are. What are you kidding me? Just what kind of kid he is and I’m not talking about the game winning touchdown. Just what kind of kid he is – what kind of team player.”
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
“Chris Fields is a product of, I’d like to say, our program and that means, yeah, three weeks ago he wouldn’t have been on the field.”
“Very proud of him. That was a great catch.”
Those were Meyer’s comments on Chris Fields after the game. Like every other player on the roster, everyone’s scorecard started from scratch when Meyer took over, and some impressed him quicker than others. Fields was not one who impressed right away, but has turned a 180 in recent weeks, enough so that Meyer had him on the field Saturday even before Corey “Philly” Brown left with a head injury.
The boost of confidence injected into Fields would pay off, as he finished with 3 catches for 44 yards including a fantastic, highlight catch on the goal line to send it to overtime with just seconds remaining in regulation.
Those were the first three catches of the season for the junior wide receiver, but I’d guess they won’t be the last. It’s been very well documented that Meyer is a coach who will reward his players for effort and performance. Chris Fields did plenty of both on Saturday afternoon and likely added his name to the list of Miller/Guiton weapons for the duration of the 2012 season.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Others receiving helmet stickers this week:
Carlos Hyde (6); Johnathan Hankins (4); Zach Boren (1); Ryan Shazier (1)
2012 Season Totals:
- Braxton Miller (60)
- Kenny Guiton (26)
- Carlos Hyde (25)
- Bradley Roby (24)
- Travis Howard (17)
- Johnathan Hankins (14)
- Devin Smith (12)
- Zach Boren (9)
- Etienne Sabino (7)
- Chris Fields (7)
- Philly Brown (6)
- Doran Grant (6)
- Reid Fragel (6)
- Ryan Shazier (6)
- Orhian Johnson (5)
- Jordan Hall (2)
- Nathan Williams (2)
- Rod Smith (2)
- Jake Stoneburner (1)
- Nathan Williams (1)
- Christian Bryant (1)
- Drew Basil (1)
- Jeff Heuerman (1)