Featured matchup: Marvin McNutt vs. Chimdi Chekwa


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Name: Marvin McNutt
Year: Junior
Position: Wide Receiver

Breakdown: There is no doubt the production of the Hawkeye offense has dipped in the last two weeks — Iowa has churned out its two lowest scoring outputs of the season. Very little — if any — of that blame can be directed at McNutt, though, who has had two of his best efforts of the season over that time.

The native of St. Louis native has caught 13 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns the last two weeks, including a mind-boggling highlight reel grab that kept Iowa's hopes for a comeback alive on its final drive at Northwestern.

McNutt has amassed 660 receiving yards and two touchdowns this season, while catching 41 catches, which is tied the team lead with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about matching up against McNutt is his stature. At 6-4, 215 pounds, he is among the biggest wide receivers an opposing corner could see in college football. The Buckeyes tout a quick and explosive secondary, so the Hawkeyes may be forced to try to rely heavily on McNutt's size Saturday.

Name: Chimdi Chekwa
Year: Senior
Position: Cornerback

Breakdown: The Buckeyes entered last off-season not knowing whether Chekwa would return to the team for his senior year. Though he was projected as a mid-round pick in the NFL draft, Chekwa instead chose to come back to Columbus, citing a "family atmosphere" at Ohio State.

"It wasn't something where I felt like I needed to rush to leave," Chekwa told Vinny Pezzimenti of the Centre Daily Times last week. "And having a chance to have another good season with a lot of good guys coming back kept me from leaving."

Looks like he's made the right decision.

The Clermont, Fla., native was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award for his work against opposing wide receivers and quarterbacks this year. His 11 passes defended — eight breakups and three interceptions — are tied for the most in the Big Ten.

Chekwa is one of the biggest reasons Ohio State's stingy defense is surrendering just 151.1 passing yards a game, but that doesn't mean he's one-dimensional. The 6-0, 190-pounder has also recorded four tackles for loss, including one quarterback sack.

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