COLUMBUS – C.J. Stroud put up the best performance of his young career on Saturday. And the Ohio State quarterback is seeing his national spotlight burn bigger and brighter as a result.
Stroud was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time this season. It was the fifth consecutive week that an Ohio State freshman won the award.
Stroud earned the honor following a 52-13 win over Rutgers in which he finished 17-of-23 for 330 yards and a career-high five touchdowns.
Stroud also won Freshman of the Week honors after his performances against Minnesota and Oregon. He showed promise in both of those starts. But his game against Rutgers is the one that truly put the Ohio State signal caller in the national conversation as one of the best quarterbacks in college football.
He now leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game (323.3 yards), and he is sixth nationally in QB rating (181.8) and 10th in touchdown passes (13).
Stroud also saw his Heisman Trophy odds rise after his big game on Saturday. Stroud and Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels were for the fourth-best Heisman odds prior to the season.
Stroud, however, now sits with the third-best odds to win the award at +1600 per Vegas Insiders. He trails Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (+125) and Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral (+250). Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler (+2000) and Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (+2000) round out the top five.
Stroud is not the lone Ohio State player who is in the top 10 of the latest Heisman Trophy odds. Freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson (+3000) is tied with Texas running back Bijan Robinson for the sixth-best odds.
Henderson’s billing comes even after he left the game against Rutgers in the first quarter and did not return out of precautionary reasons from Buckeyes coach Ryan Day. Henderson finished with 71 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Stroud’s improvement as one of the best quarterbacks in the country is now coinciding with Henderson’s rise as one of the nation’s top running backs. And they are building momentum to win some national awards at season’s end.