COLUMBUS – C.J. Stroud is on an absolute tear.
The Buckeyes quarterback was up and down across his first three career starts as indecisiveness combined with an ailing shoulder led to inconsistency from the Ohio State starter.
That is apparently all a thing of the past now.
Stroud threw five touchdown passes for the second consecutive game on Saturday in the Buckeyes’ 66-17 rout of Maryland. He now has a combined 736 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and a 73-percent completion rate in victories over Rutgers and the Terrapins.
For his efforts, Stroud has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season.
“He’s executing at a fairly high level right now,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said of Stroud following another confidence-building win. “Still has a lot to build on. He’ll tell you he missed a few things coming out of halftime. We’ve got to keep building that. His preparation has been excellent. He sees the field well. He’s got some good players around him, but he’s also making some really good throws. His timing’s been right, he’s seeing the field, making good decisions. So that’s allowing us to run the offense and be very efficient.
“Is he there yet? Absolutely not. He’s still got a long way to go. But I’m very encouraged with what I’ve seen the last two weeks.”
C.J. Stroud also saw his odds to win the Heisman Trophy increase after his Week Six performance. He has gone from odds at +5000 to +1600 last week, and he is now at +1000. Stroud remains the No. 3 favorite in the race behind Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (+185) and Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral (+210) per Vegas Insiders.
This is the sixth time that an Ohio State freshman has earned the conference’s Freshman of the Week honor. TreVeyon Henderson won the award after his record-setting performance against Tulsa, and Kyle McCord captured it following his start against Akron.
That streak will come to an end this week as Ohio State hits its bye week to prepare for its road matchup with Indiana on Oct. 23.
But Stroud and his fellow Buckeyes freshmen stars will get another shot at impressing the Big Ten and the rest of the country soon enough.