It was a big weekend for Ohio State on the gridiron this weekend. The current Buckeyes are fresh off a 48-3 victory over the Tulsa Hurricane to move to 2-0 on the season, and looking ahead to their primetime matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman this coming Saturday. Meanwhile, several former Buckeye stars made their imprint in the Big League this weekend.
Currently there are 40 former Bucks on NFL rosters. Several of them faced off against each other in a game for the first time.
Defensive back Bradley Roby and wideout Corey “Philly” Brown faced off Thursday night in the season opener. Roby had 5 tackles for the defending Champion Denver Broncos in their 21-20 come from behind victory over the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl 50 rematch. Brown only had one reception for 11 yards. His Panthers teammate and fellow Buckeye Ted Ginn Junior also only had one reception for 5 yards, but rushed for 20 yards, had one kick return for 9 yards and two punt returns for 12 yards. Seven-year pro, safety Kurt Coleman, had 3 tackles for Carolina in the loss.
Ezekiel Elliott, the overwhelming favorite to win the 2016 NFL Rookie of the Year award, got introduced to the Cowboys-Gaints NFC East rivalry in his debut. Elliott got his first of many career rushing touchdowns in the Cowboys 20-19 loss. “Zeke” carried the ball 20 times for 51 yards. On the other side Eli Apple had 4 tackles for the Giants as their starting cornerback.
Terrell Pryor had a breakout day at wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. Pryor made his first start at wide receiver since converting from quarterback and caught 3 passes for 68 yards, 44 of those on a long bomb from Robert Griffin III that set up the Browns first score in Cleveland’s 29-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Braxton Miller, another former Buckeye quarterback turned wideout, made his debut for the Houston Texans. Miller had one catch for 6 yards in Houston’s 23-14 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Rookie wideout and return specialist Jalin Marshall made his debut with the New York Jets in a big way. The undrafted standout from Middletown played against his home area team, the Cincinnati Bengals, and ripped off a 65-yard kickoff return to set up a Jets touchdown. He had a total of 110 kickoff return yards on 3 attempts and added 2 punt returns for 11 yards.
His fellow rookie and Jets teammate, first round draft pick Darron Lee, made his debut with 6 tackles (3 solo) in New York’s 23-22 loss to the Bengals.
12-year Kicker Mike Nugent scored 11 of the Cincinnati Bengals 23 points. Nugent made two extra points and hit 3/4 field goals, his longest was from 47-yards out which was the game winner. His lone miss was from 50+.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis had 7 combined tackles in his debut as a New Orleans Saint in their 35-34 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Cameron Heyward, Ryan Shazier and Carlos Hyde will make their season debuts on the Monday Night Football double header for the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.