COLUMBUS – Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier called the game he played when Ohio State beat Indiana 42-14 on Saturday, “pretty good.”
If that was only pretty good, it would be interesting to see what Shazier considers really good or great.
Here are Shazier’s numbers: 20 tackles, 5 tackles for losses, a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.
Shazier wasn’t everywhere but it must have appeared that way to Indiana at times.
“I felt like I had a pretty good day but I was just going out and doing what I had to do. I didn’t really know I had 20 tackles until the end of the game,” he said.
This came a week after he had 16 tackles, 3.5 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks and another forced fumble against Illinois.
OSU coach Urban Meyer said, “He’s playing at a very high level. He wears his feelings on his sleeve and the players love him for it. And so do I. He’s a very emotional player who plays that way.”
Emotion helped provide the fuel for his big game Saturday, Shazier said.
He has worn the No. 2 of teammate Christian Bryant since the senior safety suffered a broken ankle in the Wisconsin game. Shazier, a junior, said he played with Bryant and the Buckeyes’ other seniors in his mind on Saturday.
“I’ve been playing for Christian lately. I feel like it’s me and him out there together. Today, I did everything I could to make sure Christian and the seniors went out with a bang,” Shazier said.
The emotion that Meyer said is Shazier’s trademark hit him early Saturday at the hotel where OSU stays the night before games.
“It was a really emotional day. I was crying in my hotel room today because I’m really close with a lot of the seniors. Braxton (Miller) and I were talking about how those were the guys who took care of us, the guys who were leaders,” Shazier said.
“I guess I turned that emotion into tackles. I was just trying to do whatever I could to make it a wonderful senior day,” he said.
Ohio State played without starting linebacker Curtis Grant for a second consecutive game because of a sprained ankle. That meant more responsibility and more opportunities for Shazier.
Meyer said Grant should be able to play at Michigan this Saturday and that he could have played against Indiana if needed.
It’s possible Shazier could leave OSU after this season to enter the NFL draft, a thought that might bring a few tears to the eyes of a few fans.
He said that was not something that entered his mind on Saturday.
“Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was playing for Christian and the seniors and I wasn’t even thinking about me or my future. I was just thinking about this game,” Shazier said.
“My goal is to be one of the best. I’m just going to keep doing what I do and do my job.”
NO SHOVELS NEEDED: The snow showers during the game produced questions for some Buckeyes who grew up in warm weather states about how they liked this feature of the Midwest’s climate.
Freshman running back Dontre Wilson, a Texan who scored a touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Miller, said it was the first time he’d played in snow.
“You just have to focus more and not let the cold distract you,” he said.
Senior running back Carlos Hyde, who played high school football in Florida, said, “That was my first game playing in the snow. It didn’t really have an effect on me. It doesn’t really matter to me.”
ANOTHER RECORD: Ohio State established a school record for points scored in a season. It now has 536 points, breaking the record of 504 set in 1998.
IT STOPS HERE: Ohio State’s defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. Wisconsin and Syracuse are the only other FBS schools to do that in 2013.
RED ZONE SUCCESS: Ohio State has scored 51 of the 54 times it has been in the red zone (inside the 20-yard line) this season.