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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Michael Chen

Ohio State players that earned their Buckeyes leaves against Missouri

This was not how many of us saw the Cotton Bowl playing out, but Ohio State once again faltered late against Missouri and ending up losing 14-3.

It should come as no surprise after what we saw from the Buckeyes that there weren’t many players on the offense that earned the world famous helmet stickers.

The defense played at an elite level, even with their backs against the wall for most of the game. Short fields and limited rest saw the Buckeyes falter late, but that really wasn’t their fault. As you will see below, no offensive Ohio State players earned their leaves against Missouri, just a few defenders.

Defensive end Jack Sawyer


It should come as no surprise to see Sawyer’s name here. He did have three sacks on the game while consistently adding pressure to the Tigers’ offense. As a guy who was a fringe early entry player, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Sawyer leave for the next level after this performance.

Cornerback Denzel Burke


Burke had a great game, even though he game up the long 50-yard reception in the third quarter. Aside from that, he played great in coverage, and made some massive tackles. As another player on the fence, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Burke declaring for the NFL.

Punter Jesse Mirco


On the year, Mirco didn’t perform well, but he came up big in this game. Some of it was helped by some spotty return decisions, but on the day he averaged 48.3 yards and had three of those land inside the 20-yard line. Shocking to have a punter here, but with the offense just managing three points, here we are.

Defensive tackle Ty Hamilton


Another player who has a big decision in front of him, Hamilton played like he was showing NFL executives that he’s worthy of a mid-round selection. There isn’t much more for him to prove at this level after getting a sack and multiple pressures.

Safety Josh Proctor


Many weren’t happy when Proctor decided to return, but he had a great season and capped it a solid performance tonight. He was all over the field making tackles, and the personal foul called on him was iffy at best. Proctor’s presence at the back end of this defense will be missed.

Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloua

Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports


Although it wasn’t all game, Tuimoloau was pressuring Missouri’s quarterback. One of those resulted in an intentional grounding, showing he can get home. He played a great game, but obviously in a losing effort. Yet another Buckeye who could leave early, we might have seen the last of Tuimoloau in the Scarlet and Gray.

Contact/Follow @BuckeyesWire on X (formerly Twitter), and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes, and opinion. Follow Michael Chen on X.

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