- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Counting down the five most impressive statistical performances so far this season for Ohio State as it heads into a bye week before trying to close out a perfect season against Wisconsin and Michigan.
No. 5: Bradley Roby
When: Oct. 27 at Penn State
What: The sophomore cornerback was officially credited with four passes broken up, an impressive enough total on its own. But the film review revealed an eye-popping seven throws that Roby got his hand on by the count of the Buckeyes, which would have extended his national lead in passes defended to four heading into the final two games.
Impact: The Nittany Lions have been among the most dangerous passing teams in the Big Ten all season, and the Buckeyes had to find a way to slow them down in a hostile environment with the division lead on the line at Beaver Stadium. Ohio State didn't completely shut down Penn State, but it certainly disrupted the offensive rhythm of the No. 2 passing attack in the conference, officially breaking up nine passes and intercepting another. The Nittany Lions completed 27 of their 46 passes for 327 yards -- but that wasn't nearly enough to keep pace with the Buckeyes thanks to Roby's knack for finding the football.
How: Roby's incredible speed, improved technique in coverage and a desire to prove himself against the top competition has added up to a dynamic season that few cornerbacks can match statistically. Even after missing a game with a shoulder injury, he still leads the country with 18 passes defended and has been just as valuable on special teams by recovering a fumble for a touchdown and scooping up a blocked punt for another.
For the season: 48 tackles, 18 passes defended, two tackles for a loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, a blocked kick and three touchdowns
He said it: “He had an inordinate amount of play opportunities, 30 opportunities, which is almost unheard of. They were throwing at him, and [we counted] seven passes broken up. I even had one of my guys just recheck some of my records. I don’t think we’ve ever had a guy get his hand on that many balls.” -- coach Urban Meyer