PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Jonah Jackson got a chance to be on the other side of an Ohio State football game against Rutgers and see what it’s like to walk away a winner.
Jackson spent four years with the Scarlet Knights, where his team compiled an 11-37 record and never reached bowl eligibility. Now the starting left guard for Ohio State, his first bowl game may end up being the semifinal of the College Football Playoff. But a Week 12 trip back to Rutgers gave him a chance to catch up with some of his old teammates.
“It was awesome,” Jackson said. “I basically grew up here for four years of my adult life. To be able to see the guys I grew up with and the coaches and the staff and everything, it was a great experience.”
Last week, former OSU linebacker Keandre Jones returned to Ohio Stadium as a Maryland Terrapin. Jones was greeted by many of his former teammates following the game. Jackson got the same treatment from Rutgers’ players — especially the offensive linemen — after a 56-21 win improved Ohio State to 10-0 on the season.
Jackson served as a captain and earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors in 2018. In four games against the Buckeyes with Jackson, Rutgers was outscored 166-3. He stated that as a kid he grew up a fan of both Ohio State and the Scarlet Knights despite growing up in Pennsylvania.
Getting a chance to return to SHI Stadium gave him a chance to relive some of the memories he made over the past four years. He stated that he plans to return at some point next summer.
“There was definitely emotion put into it. This is somewhere I put a lot of time into and was for four years and graduate college from,” Jackson said. “That’s a pretty big thing.”
As a Buckeye he’s a part of an offensive line that has shown improved pass protection since the bye week. This is the second straight game that quarterback Justin Fields has not been sacked after taking 18 sacks in the first eight games.
“It’s just communication and execution,” Jackson said. “Those are the two main things when it comes down to the pass game and execution on third down and being able to keep Justin safe. I felt like we were pretty good on the end today.”
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