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C.J. Stroud Silences Critics, Carves Up Scarlet Knights

The Ohio State redshirt freshman QB played his most impressive game as a Buckeye, throwing for 330 yards and five touchdowns.

The cries for C.J. Stroud to be benched after not having a perfect start to the season have suddenly gone away.

The redshirt freshman clearly went through some growing pains during the first month of his career, but if Saturday is any indication of his capability, the Buckeyes championship aspirations suddenly seem that much more real once more.

Stroud admitted after the win over Tulsa that his right shoulder had been bothering him through the first three games of the season. But he wasn't going to make excuses and said he expected himself to play better. He made a number of really good plays, but also routinely missed receivers with passes that dangerously sailed over their heads.

Of course, Stroud took last week off against Akron with the hopes of getting that shoulder back to 100 percent (or at least as close to it as possible).

That certainly seemed to be an effective strategy.

On Saturday against Rutgers, Stroud not only completed pass after pass, he did so with greater velocity than we've seen during his first few games. I don't recall him ever overthrowing a receiver as he carved up the Scarlet Knights' defense. The Buckeyes scored on every single offensive drive that he led, including six touchdowns and a field goal. Five of those six TD's came through the air to four different players.

"That week off really helped, helped me rest," Stroud said postgame. "I did every precaution I could to get it (shoulder) right ... I'm blessed to even be in this position."

"The whole week I had a good week of practice and I definitely felt way better coming into this game with my shoulder. That Tulsa game, I wasn't feeling right at all. This week I could put something into my throws without feeling like my shoulder was gonna fall off. its definitely a blessing."

Stroud's final line: 17-for-23, 330 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions, 266.2 QBR.

"I took a week off and it helped me realize what kind of position I'm in ... stepping back this whole week has helped me, not just physically rest but also mentally as a leader. Our guys really trust in me and without them, I wouldn't be anything."

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