C.J. Stroud’s late-game barrage may very well be prelude to a Heisman

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There may be a lot time between now and Dec. 10, between the wild and wacky and breathtaking sport at Beaver Stadium on Saturday and this 12 months’s Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York for which Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud will very seemingly be in attendance.

Three weeks of preamble separate Stroud from a mouthwatering rematch with Michigan after final 12 months’s snow-swept basic in Ann Arbor, and the winner of that contest appears destined to compete for the Massive Ten Championship in Indianapolis. 5 video games, 5 possibilities to creator an iconic Heisman second.

But there’s an opportunity Stroud by no means outdoes the outrageousness he summoned within the fourth quarter of an eventual 44-31 win over No. 13 Penn State, when his completions totaled 128 yards of tight-window throws, heady audibles and the form of unflappable disposition younger quarterbacks dream of. He orchestrated three landing drives in six minutes to dislodge the Nittany Lions’ grip on a probably season-defining upset and remind the school soccer world of Ohio State’s high-octane flammability.

Highlights: Ohio State tops Penn State

Highlights: Ohio State tops Penn State

No. 2 Ohio State defeated No. 13 Penn State, 44-31 on Saturday, as C.J. Stroud handed for 354 yards and a landing.

“I thought C.J. Stroud was unbelievable in the fourth quarter,” head coach Ryan Day stated, earlier than including, “To come in and play like that in this environment and go put the offense on his shoulders like that — listen, it’s everybody (contributing) on offense, but he was gutsy in this game. And I’m proud of him.”

Stroud amassed greater than 36% of his 354 passing yards — and his solely passing landing — within the closing stanza because the offense wheezed to life for the second consecutive sport. Every week after reaching the tip zone simply as soon as of their first 9 possessions in opposition to Iowa, the Buckeyes matched that feat in Blissful Valley, falling behind 14-10 within the second quarter and 21-16 within the fourth. That Ohio State remained inside placing distance via 45 minutes was a credit score to the ball-hawking protection of coordinator Jim Knowles, whose unit notched three interceptions and recovered a sack-fumble, after forcing the Hawkeyes to commit six turnovers final week.

If the destruction of Iowa belonged to edge rusher Zach Harrison, who completed that sport with 5 quarterback pressures, two tackles for loss, one sack and one pressured fumble in arguably the most effective sport of his faculty profession, Saturday’s win over Penn State will likely be remembered for the bulldozing efforts of sophomore defensive finish J.T. Tuimoloau, one other former five-star recruit.  

It was Tuimoloau whose go deflection on the Nittany Lions’ first drive launched the ball into the air for Harrison to pluck for an interception. It was Tuimoloau who snagged a go of his personal after dropping into protection and driving on an beneath route on the very subsequent possession. It was Tuimoloau who bull-rushed the proper sort out, swiped the ball from the hand of quarterback Sean Clifford and recovered the fumble because the Buckeyes protected a three-point lead within the fourth quarter. And it was Tuimoloau who punctuated the sport by returning his second interception for a landing and bumping the result in 20 with 2:42 remaining.

His closing stat line was otherworldly: six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, one pressured fumble and one defensive rating.

J.T. Tuimoloau takes it to the home

J.T. Tuimoloau takes it to the house

Ohio State took a 44-24 lead over Penn State after J.T. Tuimoloau picked off Sean Clifford and returned it for a landing.

“I always say that with our team and our D-line, it only takes one player to have a day like we’re capable of having, and the game is wrecked,” Harrison stated. “Last week I had a pretty good game, this week J.T. went crazy. … I’m just excited for the time when all of us are feeling that mojo. We’re unstoppable if we get to that.”

Tuimoloau and the remainder of Knowles’ protection provided the form of ballast and subject place that enabled Stroud to drop jaws in a sensational closeout efficiency that underscored the chasm between him and Clifford, who threw for a season-high 371 yards however completed with extra turnovers (4) than scoring performs (three). Whereas Stroud averaged 16 yards per try and saved his solely landing go for crunch time, Clifford limped throughout the end line with 7.8 yards per try and two turnovers within the closing eight minutes.

Stroud responded to a 1-yard landing run from tailback Kaytron Allen by rifling consecutive completions to wideouts Marvin Harrison Jr. (21 yards) and Emeka Egbuka (13 yards) that instantly pushed the Buckeyes throughout midfield — at which level working again TreVeyon Henderson zoomed via the road of scrimmage and outran Penn State’s security for a 41-yard rating that gave OSU a 23-21 edge.

TreVeyon Henderson dashes for lengthy TD

TreVeyon Henderson dashes for long TD

Ohio State working again busted out a 41-yard landing run on Saturday in opposition to Penn State.

Stroud reworked the sack-fumble by Tuimoloau right into a one-play, 24-yard scoring drive when he ignored a wave of blitzers and related with Cade Stover up the seam — at which level the tight finish rumbled via three would-be tacklers to surge throughout the aim line and lengthen the result in 9. 

Stroud answered Penn State’s final significant rating with completions of 16 yards and 12 yards to Marvin Harrison, the second of which was a pre-snap adjustment on the line of scrimmage, and a 42-yard lob to Egbuka that nestled into his receiver’s arms regardless of glorious protection — at which level Stroud clenched his fists, hopped with pleasure over the pinpoint throw after which, one play later, handed to Henderson for a 7-yard rating that iced the sport.

“When we go into these games, the expectation is to win,” Day stated. “I know that’s not everybody’s expectation, but that’s our expectation. Do we wanna play perfect? Yeah. Do we wanna win by four touchdowns? Yeah. But the expectation coming in here has to be to win, and that’s what we did.”

They received with Tuimoloau’s explosion and Zach Harrison’s interception. They relied on Stover’s toughness and Henderson’s well timed runs. They wanted Egbuka’s lengthy seize and Marvin Harrison’s 10-catch, 185-yard brilliance. 

However the participant who received it was Stroud. 

C.J. Stroud hyperlinks up with Cade Stover

C.J. Stroud links up with Cade Stover

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud discovered Cade Stover on a 24-yard TD in opposition to Penn State on Saturday.

“Every game has its own story,” Day stated, “and this is one that we’ll be telling for a while.”

Maybe, come December, in New York. 

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Michael Cohen covers faculty soccer and basketball for FOX Sports activities with an emphasis on the Massive Ten. Observe him on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13.

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