Matt Edwards / Asst. multimedia editor
In Ohio State’s 42-0 win over in-state opponent Akron, junior Jake Stoneburner became the first Buckeye tight end to have three receiving touchdowns in a game.
He had two touchdowns last year.
“Jake had a great day,” said Buckeyes coach Luke Fickell. “All in all, we were put in situations that he had the ability and the opportunities, and I think he did a great job of taking them.”
Stoneburner had four catches on the day, three of them ending in the end zone. He had 50 yards of receiving, with his longest reception coming on a 28-yard strike from senior quarterback Joe Bauserman for the second score of the day.
“I was excited we won, also I’m excited I scored three times,” Stoneburner said. “I was just happy to be out there making plays. Joe played a great game, he was out there looking for me. We connected three times and I’m happy about it.”
Stoneburner received praise from his coaches and peers about his performance throughout camp. Under Fickell, it appears the offense will integrate the tight end more.
“He’s had a great camp,” Fickell said. “He’s been an integral part of this offense all through camp. You know, so I kind of expected it, to be honest with you.”
His three receiving touchdowns set a tight end record at OSU, but he is also now one of only eight receivers to catch three touchdowns in a game.
“I expected him to have a great day,” Fickell said. “Did I expect three touchdowns? I don’t know. But it’s great to see.”
Talking to the media on Tuesday, Stoneburner said he felt like he was a senior, and not a junior on this Buckeye squad. He also said he has been here a long time and that he felt like a leader.
Under Fickell, OSU has decided to elect individual game captains for each contest, instead of voting on captains throughout the year.
“Obviously, I’ve thought about it (being a game captain),” Stoneburner said. “It would be epic to be a game captain sometime this year.”
Fickell said that to be successful for the entire season, the Buckeyes need to continue to play to their strengths.
“I know the most important thing is we’ve got to continue to do those kinds of things,” Fickell said. “But it’s going to get harder and harder, because there will be a little bit more of a target on him, but that’s a challenge to him as well.”
After Saturday’s game, Stoneburner needs only 172 more yards to match last season’s total. With this kind of productivity, that is something likely to happen in the near future.
“I probably won’t score three touchdowns every game,” Stoneburner said, “but I just like to be out there making plays.”