COLUMBUS, Ohio — All of the elements were in place once again, and a familiar scene was playing out along the right sideline. The route didn’t seem to call for anything all that extraordinary for Devin Smith, who just needed to streak up the sideline, burn a defensive back with his elite speed and then take advantage of all the green grass that was likely to be in front of him on the way to yet another score.
Just like usual, the play designed behind him was perfect, his quickness was no match for the California secondary. All that was left for the Ohio State receiver to focus on was the simple stuff. “I just make I sure I catch it,” Smith said. “Catch it and then run as fast I can.”
Few players are ever able to run him down, and Cal had no chance two weeks ago as he turned on the afterburners on a 90-yard play that stands as the longest in school history. And with that recent example now added to an expanding resume, it’s starting to seem like the further the Buckeyes are from the end zone, the more likely Smith is to find it.
If former Ohio State legend Cris Carter was known for only catching touchdowns, Smith is fast becoming the target who only produces long ones.
“I mean, 41 yards a touchdown catch is kind of astounding,” wide receivers coach Zach Smith said. “But It doesn’t really surprise me — he’s a very talented vertical threat.”
Smith is proving that with regularity now, but he only showed glimpses of it early in his career with the program. In fact, the junior is coming up on an anniversary of sorts with Wisconsin coming to Ohio Stadium for a top-25 showdown on Saturday night. It was two years ago in the meeting of the budding rivals that Smith turned in the first of what has become his trademark receptions.
Sneaking behind the secondary with the game on the line, Braxton Miller rolled to his right, found Smith uncovered deep down the field and hooked up with him for a 40-yard, game-winning touchdown…
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Devin Smith gives OSU long-range weapon