Martell's performance earns him Big Ten award

Tim May
Redshirt freshman Tate Martell threw for a touchdown and ran for a score in Ohio State's 52-3 win over Rutgers. [Fred Squillante/Dispatch]

Two weeks into the season, it seems the Big Ten has been impressed with how Ohio State is bringing along quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Tate Martell.

Haskins, a third-year sophomore, was named the league’s offensive player of the week for his production as a first-time starter in the opening win over Oregon State.

Martell was named the co-freshman of the week for his play in last week’s 52-3 romp over Rutgers. He shared the honor with Indiana running back Stevie Scott.

A redshirt freshman, Martell saw his first playing time against Oregon State, then turned it up a few notches in an extended appearance against Rutgers. Known as a dual-threat quarterback, he completed 10 of 10 passes, an OSU game record for one who attempted 10 or more passes (Bill Mrukowski held the mark, going 10 of 11 against UCLA in 1961). Martell threw for 121 yards and a touchdown and had eight carries for a team-leading 95 yards and a touchdown.

“He missed that one throw that got called back on holding, but other than that he was accurate with the ball and made good decisions, didn’t put the ball in harm’s way,” OSU acting head coach Ryan Day, also the quarterbacks coach, said Monday. “He could do a better job with ball security, but other than that, ran the offense well, managed the offense.”

On a third-quarter drive deep into Rutgers territory, Martell didn’t force a pass and instead scrambled to set up a field goal.

“That's managing the game, and that's important to do,” Day said. “You can't force the action, and he didn't do that. … And then obviously (his) coming back from taking that shot showed a lot of heart.”

With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Martell was hit hard going out of bounds, which drew a personal foul call and also knocked the breath out of Martell. He returned a play later, completed a short pass and then ran 47 yards for the Buckeyes’ final TD.

Tulane game at 3:30 p.m.

Perhaps sensing added interest with the anticipated return of coach Urban Meyer to the OSU sideline Sept. 22 against Tulane after a three-game suspension, the Big Ten Network has made that a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, the league announced Monday. It will be the first football meeting between the schools.

TCU receiver honored

The Buckeyes’ opponent this week, Texas Christian, has a player of the week, too. Receiver and kick returner KaVontae Turpin was named the Big 12 special teams player of the week after his performance in a 42-12 win over Southern Methodist on Friday night.

The 5-foot-9, 159-pound senior’s 78-yard punt return for a touchdown ignited the sluggish Horned Frogs, and he added a 42-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the fourth quarter as they pulled away.


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