"Oh yeah, Cam Burrows and Erick Smith (are) down for the year. So, Damon was a guy that was playing well for us and is a guy that we have a lot of trust in. That's a big plus, as well as having him available on special teams."
Damon Webb has been cleared to return to action by Ohio State after serving a suspension that had no set timetable for him to return. The young cornerback returns after initially being suspended before the game against Northern Illinois and comes back at just the right time. With Erick Smith suffering a season-ending injury, the defensive backs need all the depth they can get, and Webb adds a talented player back into their roster.
Webb committed to the Buckeyes in 2014 and was one of the top prospects that Urban Meyer recruited. Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward have played in place of the suspended Webb, and Lattimore will likely still see some action. Though he isn't listed on the depth chart this week against Minnesota, it likely won't be long before Webb starts seeing the field again.
"Three Ohio State Buckeyes - junior running back Ezekiel Elliott, junior defensive end Joey Bosa and sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan - have each moved on to the semifinals for national awards at their respective positions."
- Ohio State press release
Three of Ohio State's star players are being recognized for making the semifinalists list for each of their respective awards. Joey Bosa, with 11 tackles-for-loss and a handful of sacks, is a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is given to the top defensive player in the nation by the Maxwell Football Club. Ezekiel Elliott made the semifinalist list for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's player of the year. Elliott has rushed for 1,130 yards and has the nation's longest streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games at 13.
Raekwon McMillan is up for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's most outstanding linebacker. McMillan currently leads Ohio State in tackles with 74 (third-best in the Big Ten), and has been a key performer for a defense that ranks second nationally in passing yards allowed, fourth in defensive pass efficiency and 13th in total defense.
"He's a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year at quarterback, so I think that's about all you need to say. He's obviously not getting as many touches as he had at the quarterback position, but I think he's having a great year and I think he's loving it. He's out there blocking people and it's just awesome, he's selfless."
Even with J.T. Barrett serving a one-game suspension, Buckeye fans can rest assured that if anything should happen to Cardale Jones, Ohio State is still safe at quarterback. Earlier this week, Urban Meyer made a note that Braxton Miller is the unquestioned backup at quarterback for the Buckeyes heading into Saturday's game against Minnesota. Miller has been the team's starting H-back since the start of the season and has mainly played as a receiver. He also hasn't thrown a pass this season despite being featured as a quarterback in some wildcat formations.
Of course, as Taylor Decker pointed out, Miller is more than capable of handling the position should he have to. After all, the star playmaker was Ohio State's quarterback for three seasons and won awards for his play in each of those seasons. Having Miller provides some nice insurance for the offense as they have a proven veteran behind Cardale Jones.
"The narrative is that the defending champions haven't looked dominant most of the season, but they are outscoring opponents by more than 23 points per game. They're also rounding into form at the right time, winning their last two games by a combined 70 points."
ESPN took a look at the case for and against the top teams in the country to see whether or not those teams belong in the first College Football Playoff poll of the season. The top four rankings determine which teams would get into the playoff if the season were to end that week, and is set up by the College Football Playoff Committee. Ohio State is ranked first overall in the AP and Coaches Top 25, but the Buckeyes' strength of schedule is the negative for their case to the committee.
Still, Ohio State is still undefeated this season and has recently look to be back into form, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The defense has kept pace with last season's squad, as they've managed to keep the Buckeyes rolling through the schedule thus far. The poll will be released late Tuesday.