Player of the week: Big Ten

November, 25, 2013
11/25/13
4:00
PM ET
What do you get when you combine 20 tackles, a forced fumble and a school record-tying five tackles for loss?

A very easy decision for Five Star Player of the Week -- Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier.

[+] EnlargeRyan Shazier
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesRyan Shazier made five tackles for loss against Indiana on Saturday.
The junior standout helped bottle up Indiana's uptempo offense by holding it scoreless through the first three quarters, when it counted most. His tackles came near the line of scrimmage, toward the opposite sideline, in the backfield -- everywhere -- as he amassed more tackles than the Hoosiers' starting linebackers combined.

It was a performance that helped punch Shazier's ticket as one of the best linebackers in the country. On Monday, two days after piling up a school record-tying 16 solo stops, he became one of five finalists for the Butkus Award.

"He's playing at a very high level," Urban Meyer said after Saturday's 42-14 victory. "A very emotional guy, he has the heart the -- his heart is everything."

Shazier finished with a mark in nearly every statistical category on Saturday. He ended up with a forced fumble, a pass breakup, a sack and, as one reporter joked after the game, a partridge in a pear tree.

He finished with twice as many tackles as the game's No. 2 player in that category, Bradley Roby (10), and he single-handedly finished with more than twice as many stops in the backfield (5) than Indiana's entire defense (2).

It was the first time a Buckeye finished with 20 tackles since A.J. Hawk in 2004. And it was the first time since Tom Cousineau in 1978 that an Ohio State player wound up with 16 solo stops.

But it wasn't just on the stat sheet where Shazier made his presence felt. He's been this defense's leader, and he certainly led by example -- making sure that an opponent that averages more than five touchdowns a game (36.8 ppg) didn't score at all for 54 minutes.

It was one of the most dominant performances of Shazier's dominant career.

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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