Despite Ohio State’s loss on Saturday, ESPN reporters still have a lot of faith in the Buckeyes.
The sports media outlet’s panel holds Buckeye players in high regard as they selected three to lead the standings in their weekly Big Ten awards tracker.
J.T. Barrett holds serve in the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year award race, despite his unit’s “struggles” on Saturday as ESPN said. In the loss to Penn State, he was 28 of 43 for 245 yards and a touchdown in the game, hardly a bad performance.
Behind him in the standings is Northwestern wide receiver Austin Carr, Buckeye H-back Curtis Samuel, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Wildcat running back Justin Jackson.
As for the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Buckeye safety Malik Hooker still holds serve. Despite the loss, Hooker made some big plays and was helpful in limiting Trace McSorley to just eight completions for 154 yards and a touchdown.
On the list behind him is Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt, Wildcat defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo and Cornhusker safety Kieron Williams.
Wolverine defensive back Jourdan Lewis also received votes.
Lastly, the panel always tackles a new award each week and this week they focused on the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.
Leading the way was Buckeye running back Mike Weber, who averages 5.9 yards per carry and almost 100 yards per game.
Following him is Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook, Buckeye defensive end Nick Bosa and Wolverine running back Chris Evans.
Here is last week’s tracker to compare.