Fab Five: John Simon blows up Huskers
November, 7, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
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. 3: John Simon
No. 3: John Simon
- When: Oct. 6 against Nebraska
- What: After a relatively quiet five weeks to open the season, thanks in part to nagging injuries the two-time captain didn't want to talk about publicly, Simon exploded against Nebraska and almost single-handedly altered its game plan with his frequent appearances in the backfield. The senior came into the game with just 2.5 tackles for a loss, but he doubled that with 5 takedowns behind the line of scrimmage against the Huskers -- including two sacks and a forced fumble for good measure.
- Impact: As the Buckeyes were prone to do during the first half of the season, they still gave up a handful of big plays and didn't exactly shut down Nebraska's high-powered rushing game. But Simon helped provide timely stops, and when the Huskers tried to throw, he battered and pestered quarterback Taylor Martinez consistently as Ohio State racked up four sacks and helped force three bad passes that were intercepted.
- How: The famously driven defensive lineman refused to let his health become a potential excuse for his slow statistical start, so he simply stopped talking about it. But it was clear by the time the Huskers came to Ohio Stadium that he was beginning to regain his strength, and they had no answer for him up front. Simon hasn't had another game quite as prolific since then, but he's been just as difficult to slow down as a pass-rushing threat and is making life difficult for opposing offenses even without putting up more crazy individual numbers.
- For the season: 39 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble
- He said it: “I felt pretty good that day. Why are you guys so, like, excited to keep asking me about [injuries]? It goes both ways, but I do feel good. I’m getting better every week. ... I mean, it’s part of the game, and we get excited for the games and it kind of takes the pain away.” -- Simon
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35