Fab Five: Ryan Shazier breaks out again
November, 8, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesRyan Shazier's 13 tackles in Ohio State's Sept. 15 victory over California were a big reason that the Buckeyes were able to evade the upset.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. 2: Ryan Shazier
- When: Sept. 15 against California
- What: There certainly wasn't anything missing from the first two games of his sophomore season, but it was the third that offered the most clear example of what Shazier was capable of -- or, at least provide a reminder of his playmaking barrage at the end of his freshman season. The Buckeyes were far from perfect defensively in the win over Cal, but Shazier's 13 tackles, 2 takedowns for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble helped the Buckeyes do enough to survive and foreshadowed what was still to come.
- Impact: The big plays Ohio State gave up perhaps added more drama than was necessary and made the final score closer than it needed to be, but the defense also chipped in a couple significant plays along the way. Shazier, in particular, stuffed a Cal drive just before halftime that could have tightened up a two-score game by shooting into the backfield for a third-down sack that forced a punt, preserving Ohio State's advantage.
- How: There might still be room for improvement on the mental side, but physically Shazier has been more than capable of making up for it with an incredible blend of strength and speed to complement a relentless motor that allows him to make plays anywhere between the sidelines. At times he's also had to shoulder more of the load than expected with senior Etienne Sabino out with a broken bone in his leg, middle linebacker Storm Klein dealing with a back injury and a lack of depth that prompted Ohio State to convert fullback Zach Boren over to linebacker. But Shazier has done everything that's been asked of him, and has a stuffed stats sheet to show for it.
- For the season: 98 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 11 passes defended, 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, 2 forced fumbles and a touchdown
- He said it: “He's an athlete and he's very blessed, he runs around and makes tackles, but he's also out of position at times. ... There's still so much more there. He can even be better." -- Urban Meyer
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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