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Home / Sport / Justin Hilliard’s memorable launch in 2020 can’t replace what the Big Ten cost him: Nathan Baird observes

Justin Hilliard’s memorable launch in 2020 can’t replace what the Big Ten cost him: Nathan Baird observes



Columbus, Ohio – The three observed from the Ohio State team’s 49-27 win over Rutgers on Saturday.

Justin Hilliard went on the high road, because the Ohio State substitute was senior and captain and knew that Buckeyes’ season was not about him.

What happened at Penn State last week – or what happened before the game – was about Hilliard. The more I think about it, the more I feel sorry for him.

First, let̵

7;s get to Buckeye’s 49-27 victory on Saturday night against Rutgers and why are we talking to Hilliard after the match. He captured a fumble from Scarlet Knights’ Aron Cruikshank recipient and recalled it in the second quarter. The state of Ohio took over Rutgers ’32, and six innings later, Justin Fields beat Garrett Wilson to conceding 8 yards and leading 28-3.

Hilliard enjoyed that moment in his 2020 debut. An undisclosed injury caused him to score the opener last season against Nebraska. (Hilliard declined to disclose specifics on the injury after the match.

His second match of the season was immediately stolen by Big Ten’s failure to plan an inevitable scenario.

Hilliard, along with the rest of the group, did a quick daily antigen test for the coronavirus a few hours before the Penn State match. He is the only known member of the group or traveling staff member who tested positive. He said he immediately went to a hospital in the State College area to have a more sensitive PCR test, which was negative. (Hilliard points out that there may have been more than one test taken, the result being negative.)

However, the Big Ten’s protocols state that, since not every team has immediate access to the PCR tests, anyone with a positive result cannot play on the same day. Hilliard was allowed to stand on the sidelines with his teammates, which did not appear to be any safer than in reality.

According to Iowa sporting director Gary Berta, the Big Ten changed that policy over the past week. (My question about whether the policy will change and why all teams don’t have access to the PCR tests – consider them the only way to remove potential false negatives – until has not yet been answered by Big Ten.)

The setback was particularly difficult for Hilliard, who had requested and received a sixth season qualification due to an early injury in his career.

“I want to be a part of that big game,” Hilliard said. “I was playing Penn State with my brothers for the last time. It was a bit of a disappointment and a little bit of anger obviously.

“But that was quickly put aside, because clearly we had a goal of winning that game, and we made it. So we are moving forward from there. “

Hilliard played a lot of snaps, either as the backup Sam linebacker or when Buckeyes used four linebackers. That can’t fully explain missing out on the entire game for what comes from Big Ten’s lack of imagination.

Eventually, a false positive will occur. I initially noted the Big Ten for being cautious and cautious with the delayed season and strict COVID-19 protocols. What do they do well when outcomes like Hilliard go through undermine process integrity?

“It’s just not fair,” said senior midfielder and captain Tuf Borland. “We are all very heartbroken for him. A guy who has devoted so much to this show, you just feel for him. The energy he gives out every day – those are the types of people that mean the most to your show. “

2. If Demario McCall is going to have a pivotal moment in 2020, it might come to Rutgers. Looking back at past matches in his career with Scarlet Knights:

• 2016: 85 yard javelin, 1 time TD

• 2017: 103 yards, 1 TD, 35 yards receive TD

• 2018: three receptions, 10 yards

OK, it happened quickly. McCall also only ran 6 yards on a single reception of Rutgers in 2019. He is simply no longer part of the offense in any meaningful way – even on cleaning duty. He became the team’s starting player but entered the match on Saturday without offense.

McCall changed that in head-to-head matches in the second quarter. Arranged in an empty position in an empty situation, McCall gestured into the backyard, launched a forehand shot, and dashed within 12 yards. Facing third and third place, Justin Fields made an easy throw to McCall, who ran out of 27 yards.

“He’s a great leader for our team,” Fields said. “He does a great job leading the boys in the studio. He is very active. I feel like we can use him in many ways.

Except for Buckeyes, no. Master Teague completed that shot, reaching the last 40 yards in three touches. By far the Teague was Buckeyes’ most trusted defender, and played an even bigger role in the match against Rutgers.

McCall was not a runner between shots. Playing him even on Trey Sermon doesn’t seem wise so far. To play him more in the slot, the State of Ohio will either need to play an extra set of four and five receivers or take Garrett Wilson or Jameson Williams off the pitch.

McCall may have had his moment for 2020. He will likely leave Ohio State as the killer of the Scarlet Knights who never finds his role otherwise.

3. The lack of a hit actually gave people a broader view of freshman CJ Stroud. He entered the match to take ownership of the final, handing it over to freshman Miyan Williams and watched the clock run out of time.

Here’s the problem: What is the chance that one of the two freshman defenders will get the chance to show something real in the minutes? Jack Miller spurred a touch on the Nebraska backup by serving and keeping himself a couple of shots.

This midfield competition is real, but it is happening everyday in reality more than it is going on in the mopping mission. Perhaps if one of the two freshmen came in and showed a significant lack of poise, that would change the decision-making process.

Until then, don’t think too much about glimpses of Stroud and Miller.

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