After Maryland’s two-point conversion failed, securing Ohio State’s 52-51 victory Saturday, receiver Terry McLaurin was as emotional on the field as any other Buckeye.
He’d had a stellar game before he was injured, making four catches for 118 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown reception. But the senior said that wasn’t the cause of his emotion. He said it came from seeing fellow receiver Binjimen Victor make key plays in Ohio State’s win.Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
Since Austin Mack’s injury in the Purdue game, McLaurin has switched to the “X” receiver position and has taken some of Victor’s snaps. McLaurin left the game in the fourth quarter after his head hit the turf when he was tackled on a catch near the goal line. With McLaurin out, Victor made a tough touchdown catch with 40 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Victor is widely viewed as the Buckeyes’ most talented receiver, as he showed with a dazzling touchdown against Penn State. But the junior’s production has been frustratingly inconsistent.
“I’m not saying that God made me hurt, but he put Ben in that situation to make the play,” McLaurin said. “He gets a lot of criticism from our coaches and from outside sources. But he works really hard, and I’m proud he was able to make a play when we needed him the most. I was emotional from that standpoint.”
McLaurin said that doctors kept him out of the game as a precaution even though, he said, he felt “pretty normal” by the end. He had no concussion-like symptoms the next day and will play against Michigan.
“I’m good to go this week,” McLaurin said.
No 'guarantee' fallout
Michigan running back Karan Higdon was asked Monday if he would guarantee a Michigan victory, as Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh did as Michigan’s quarterback in 1986. Higdon said he would.
On Tuesday, Ohio State players didn’t seem offended by it.
“That’s cool,” defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones said. “That’s good to get that from him. I like his confidence.”
Jones was jokingly asked if he’d like to make the same pledge.
“I’m guaranteeing I’m going to play on Saturday,” he quipped.
Jones suffered a shoulder stinger against Maryland but said “there are no issues with it” for the Michigan game.
For his part, Harbaugh was more miffed by the questions put to Higdon than the player's answer.
“I didn’t think much of the way the interviewer was interviewing him,” Harbaugh said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. “What Karan was saying was, yeah, he’s confident. He believes in his team and believes in his teammates, his brothers and his coaches.
“That’s real, and that’s genuine. I thought the reporter was pretty silly with ‘Do you guarantee? Do you guarantee? Do you guarantee?’ Karan is our captain. He’s one of our brothers. We’re ready to go to battle and have him lead us.”