WATCH: Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba Leaves Notre Dame Game After Brutal Hit, Fans Sound Off on ‘Dirty’ Play

by Dustin Schutte

The intensity of Saturday’s primetime showdown between No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 2 Ohio State has spilled over onto social media. The reason? A hit on Buckeyes star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

In the first half of the premier Week 1 showdown, Smith-Njigba took a brutal hit from two Notre Dame defenders near the sideline. The Ohio State star left Saturday night’s contest with a knee/hamstring issue after the awkward tackle.

Smith-Njigba was seen on a stationary bike without a helmet after the hit. He was also spotted jogging along the sideline after leaving the game.

While it looked like a football play, some are saying it was a dirty hit from Notre Dame’s defense. It sparked some outrage on Twitter, especially when the video posted.

“It was blatant targeting,” one fan said on Twitter.

“How was the hit not even reviewed for targeting?” Another individual wrote.

A third person said, “Dirty hit, did it on purpose.”

What do you think, Outsiders? Was that a clean hit? Or a dirty play?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba a Heisman Candidate?

It’s a rarity for wide receivers to win the Heisman Trophy these days, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba entered the 2022 season as a candidate. Ohio State’s star receiver came off a spectacular 2021 campaign, putting the spotlight on him this fall.

Last year, Smith-Njigba totaled 1,606 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 95 catches. He had an incredible performance in the Rose Bowl Game, hauling in 15 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Ohio State entered the season needing to replace top targets like Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. That transition becomes easier with Smith-Njigba still on the roster in 2022.

Hopefully, this isn’t a long-term injury for Smith-Njigba. He has the potential to turn in another huge season for the Buckeyes.