Ohio State dropped its first game of the season on the road at Penn State and returns with a blemish on its record. With hopes of bouncing back strong, the Buckeyes host Northwestern on Saturday to get things moving in the right direction and make a run from here on out. Here’s a look at the depth chart for the game.
J.T. Barrett is the starting quarterback and will be for the entirety of the season, barring injury. Barrett struggled with his offensive line and his wide receivers for much of the night but still managed to throw for 245 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-43 passing. With not a lot of protection, especially in the second half, Barrett was contained well by the Penn State defense and hopes to have a better outing against the Wildcats. Joe Burrow remains the backup.
At running back, Mike Weber remains the starter with OR in between he and Samuel. Weber rushed for 71 yards on 21 carries and was held to an average of 3.4 yards per carry. Samuel added two carries on the ground and amassed 71 yards and a touchdown, in large part due to his 74-yard touchdown run.
The starters are the same as in previous weeks, as the receiving core continues its growth. Noah Brown OR Parris Campbell starts at X, Corey Smith OR Johnnie Dixon, and Terry McLaurin OR James Clark at Z. Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor are the third-string options. Seven different players caught passes on Saturday, with Brown having the biggest day among the receiving core. He had three catches for 45 yards.
The H-back spot remains with Curtis Samuel OR Dontre Wilson. Samuel continues to be one of the more electrifying players in the country, rushing for 71 yards and a touchdown on two carries while also hauling in eight receptions for 68 yards. Wilson had a quiet game with just two receptions for 16 yards.
The tight end spot is firmly locked down by Marcus Baugh with A.J. Alexander listed as the backup. Baugh had arguably his best game as a Buckeye, catching five passes for 55 yards and a sweet touchdown in the first half.
The offensive line starters are listed as Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Pat Elflein, Billy Price, and Isaiah Prince (from left to right). The offensive line continued their recent struggles, giving up five sacks in the second half alone of the Penn State game. They’ll need to get back on track for Ohio State to be successful the rest of the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Sam Hubbard OR Jayln Holmes and Tyquan Lewis remain listed as the defensive end starters. The backups at defensive end are Nick Bosa OR Jonathon Cooper. In the middle, Michael Hill anchors the defensive line alongside Dre’Mont Jones who replaced Tracy Sprinkle and Davon Hamilton is listed as the co-starter with Jones.
The linebacking core continues to be a strong unit. Raekwon McMillan is still slotted in at middle linebacker. Surrounding him are outside linebackers Chris Worley and Dante Booker OR Jerome Baker. Booker suffered a slight MCL sprain early on against Bowling Green and a combination of Joe Burger and Jerome Baker have stepped in very well in his place. Rashod Berry, Joe Burger, and Craig Fada are your backups. Baker has been the one to fill in for Booker as of late, and has played well.
At cornerback, Gareon Conley is the starter on one end and Marshon Lattimore OR Denzel Ward on the other for the second corner spot. For safeties, Damon Webb slides over this season with Malik Hooker getting the other safety spot. Erick Smith is listed as the backup to Hooker, while Jordan Fuller is the backup to Webb. The secondary didn’t have much luck coming up with interceptions, though Conley appeared to have one before they ruled it incomplete.
For special teams, sophomore walk-on Tyler Durbin continues to be the starter at kicker for both kickoffs and field goals as Sean Nuernberger recovers from a groin injury that forced him to miss most of camp. Durbin missed one of his two extra points against Penn State, but did knock in two field goals with a long of 33. He did have one of his attempts blocked and returned for a touchdown that would end up being the game-winner for the Nittany Lions.
Senior Cameron Johnston remains as the punter, and that’s no surprise considering he’s been a mainstay since his freshman season and has done a tremendous job. Against Penn State he had a punt blocked that set up the Nittany Lions in great scoring position. He did punt seven other times, averaging about 45 yards each punt.
At punt return, Dontre Wilson OR Corey Smith OR Curtis Samuel are all in play. Handling kickoff returns will be Dontre Wilson OR James Clark OR Johnnie Dixon. The long-snapping duties are given to Liam McCollough, and holding for kicks is Cameron Johnston.