Hubbard Wins First-Ever B1G POW Award

By Jeff Rapp, November 27th, 2017

Prior Ohio State’s road trip to Ann Arbor to face archrival Michigan, Ohio State conducted its annual Senior Tackle behind closed doors. As it tradition, OSU’s senior players made one last hit on the tackling dummy.

However, head coach Urban Meyer allowed for a rare exception when he called upon redshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard.

A senior academically, Hubbard strongly considered bolting the program to make himself eligible for the NFL draft in the spring. However, he resisted that temptation and returned to his starting spot along the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive line.

On Saturday, Hubbard turned in one of his best performances in what is sure to be his final true collegiate road contest. In fact, he led the OSU defense during a 31-20 win with a career-high 2.5 sacks, helping to take down Michigan quarterback John O’Korn.

Hubbard also forced a fumble and finished with five tackles, including four solo stops.

Hubbard is one of nine OSU co-captains.

For his effort, the Cincinnati native was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. The recognition marks the first time he has won the award. The last OSU defender so named was former linebacker Raekwon McMillan on Nov. 28, 2016, also following a win over Michigan.

With Hubbard in top form, the Buckeyes held UM to an even 100 rushing yards and just 49 over the final three quarters. OSU fell into a 14-0 hole one play into the second quarter but began to clamp down defensively and eventually took the lead.

Ohio State registered seven tackles-for-loss and five sacks in beating Michigan for the sixth straight time – all of them coming under Meyer.

On the season, Hubbard is the leading tackler among a deep and talented defensive line with 36 total stops to go along with 10.0 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks. A finance major, Hubbard also is a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District and 2016 first-team Academic All-American.

The No. 8 Buckeyes, champions of the Big Ten East Division, face No. 3 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday (8:17 p.m. Eastern, FOX).