Olave mounts Buckeyes career record charts, reacts to big week
When the SHI Stadium scoreboard hit zero on Saturday, senior wide receiver Chris Olave finished with as many touchdowns as he had received in his previous two games.
Olave made just two catches for 12 yards in Weeks 3 and 4, including his first shutout in the first since Oct. 5, 2019. He blew those totals out of the water with a performance of 119 yards and two scores scored by a 15-yard toe hitch and 56-yard bob-and-weave touchdown.
In addition to regaining form against Rutgers, Olave’s 11-yard score in the third quarter tied him for the third-most touchdown count in Ohio State history at 27, tying the former All-American Cris Carter.
“Coming from where I’m from, I wasn’t the biggest recruit. I didn’t know if I could play here my first year, ”said Olave. “I got to fall camp and started playing a few games, building that confidence. It’s huge to be able to climb the charts. It is a huge blessing.
The former four-star rookie placed No.54 among the wide receivers in the class of 2018. Head coach Ryan Day said he initially visited Olave high school, Mission Hills, to observe his teammate Jack Tuttle, but came away impressed with the receiver.
Now Olave’s skills are catching the attention of a lot more people. Carter, a member of the Ohio State Athletics and Professional Football Hall of Fame, tweeted a message offering congratulations to his new contemporary record, and that meant a lot to Olave.
“Cris Carter is an Ohio State legend, an NFL legend,” said Olave. “To get all of that from him is huge.”
A 2020 All-Big Ten first-team winner, opposing teams have long circled Olave’s name in deciding how to limit as much damage as possible from him and fellow preseason All-American junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson. .
Olave nearly had a 47-yard reception that would have put Ohio State in the red zone against Tulsa, but a face mask penalty against second offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. erased the potential completion.
The California native then hit a pair of catches the following week against Akron, registering the fewest receiving yards in a game with at least one catch since his first season. Olave said it was hard not to participate in the action as much as he is used to.
“[Olave] hasn’t really had the ball in recent weeks. He stayed with it, ”Day said. ” It is not easy. He didn’t play much in the second half, but when he was there he made an impact, which was great.
While Wilson currently leads the Buckeyes with 462 receiving yards, Olave leads the team with five touchdowns in the air. His receiver complement added one against Rutgers in Ohio State’s 52-13 victory over the Scarlet Knights.
Saturday’s game represented one of Ohio State’s most compelling and consistent baseball games to date in the 2021 season, and Olave said he feels the Buckeyes have all come together in one. full team effort.
“I feel like we need this game to get our confidence back,” said Olave. “We trained hard. We just had to show up and put him on the pitch on game day. I have the impression that we are making a complete match. The defense was really good today. All their merit. I feel like we played as a team today. It looked good.
At Olave’s point, the Buckeyes’ defense forced four three-and-outs and held Rutgers to 346 total yards – including 204 in the second half.
The return of redshirt freshman quarterback CJ Stroud not only allowed the shooter to rest a sick shoulder, but also helped Ohio State play with the key pieces needed to stage a game with a first-team attack.
Stroud set a new career high with five touchdown passes while completing more than 73 percent of his passes to receivers.
“Without them I would be nothing,” Stroud said. “We have a great O-line, they played their butt today. My receivers, you can’t really talk about it because they’re the best. Our tight ends are excellent, our running backs are excellent. To have this opportunity by God, just to have all these great people around me and me trying to be the best that I can be, it just helps. “
Olave said he felt relieved after Saturday’s game and that rekindling the chemistry with Stroud was huge to lead the Buckeyes. return to their level of play: set records and win games.
Ohio State saw his youth largely contribute while understanding the expectations of Buckeye football. It starts with a first-time starting quarterback and continues until you’ve seen more than a dozen real freshmen see time on the pitch in 2021.
At the end of the day, Olave said helping the Buckeyes win is as good as moving up the career rankings, noting that 27 touchdowns are “a lot”. But, he said that was just the start for him and the State of Ohio.
“We have a lot of young people. They had to get a lot of experience, ”said Olave. “We’re down to five games, they’re not freshmen anymore. CJ is there, we are having fun there, a lot of chemistry is being built. We’re just getting started.