Ohio State University wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a New Year’s Day to remember as his mindboggling performance helped lift Ohio over the University of Utah 48-45.
Smith-Njigba’s 15 receptions for 346 receiving yards and three touchdowns is statistically the greatest receiving performance in a bowl game.
By the end of the first half, he’d broken Cris Carter’s 37-year old record for receiving yards in a bowl game with 185 yards. Smith-Njigba proceeded to shatter the school’s record for most receiving yards in a game, previously held by Terry Glenn with 253 yards.
The game also saw the sophomore receiver break Ohio State’s single-season receiving yards record of 1,435, set by David Boston in 1998.
Smith-Njigba is originally from Texas where he was named the Texas Gatorade Football Player of the Year for his performances at Rockwall High School. Now concluding his second season in Ohio, the Texan can expect more responsibility next season as fellow receiver Chris Olave declared for the NFL draft.
The Buckeyes’ receivers will surely feel some gratitude towards quarterback C.J. Stroud, who racked up an explosive 573 passing yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Along with utilizing Smith-Njigba, Stroud found freshman receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. for three touchdowns.
Figures from around the sports world reacted to Smith-Njigba’s monster outing and the drama of the 2022 Rose Bowl.