As expected, Ohio State rolled over Maryland to a 62-3 win last Saturday following their blowout victory over Nebraska. Now the Buckeyes head to East Lansing in hopes to avenge last season’s stunning defeat against Michigan State. The next two games, the Spartans and Michigan, could potentially be the last games for the Buckeyes before the bowl game season is upon us if Penn State wins out and takes the Big Ten championship game spot from the East division. Let’s see how the depth chart is looking this week.
J.T. Barrett is the starting quarterback and will be for the entirety of the season, barring injury. Barrett was rocking and rolling against the Terrapins, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-27 passing. He also rushed for 47 yards and two more touchdowns on 11 carries. Joe Burrow remains the backup and added a passing touchdown of his own in mop up duty.
At running back, Mike Weber remains the starter with OR in between he and Samuel. Despite a lingering shoulder injury, Weber rushed for 93 yards on only 12 carries with an average of 7.8 yards per carry though was kept out of the endzone. Samuel added four carries on the ground and amassed 38 yards and two touchdowns to his name. These two are essential to Ohio State’s success over the next two weeks.
The starters are the same as in previous weeks, as the receiving core continues its growth. Noah Brown starts at X, K.J Hill OR Corey Smith OR Johnnie Dixon all slotted for the third wide receiver spot, and Terry McLaurin OR James Clark at Z. Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor are the third-string options. 10 different players caught passes on Saturday, with K.J. Hill having perhaps the biggest day, with five receptions for 62 yards. Victor was the only true receiver to catch a touchdown, the first of his young career.
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 38 yards and two touchdowns on four carries. He also hauled in five receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson again had another solid outing, accounting for three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.
The tight end spot is firmly locked down by Marcus Baugh with A.J. Alexander listed as the backup. Baugh caught two passes on Saturday for 19 yards but was mostly quiet beyond that.
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 continues their improvement with several good games coming from them in a row. If there was ever a time to be at the top of their game, these next two games would be perfect timing.
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 most of all season, 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 had another good performance, with Marshon Lattimore stealing the day with his interception.
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 connected on all eight of his extra points against Maryland, and knocked in two field goals with a long of 45, the longest of his career thus far.
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. Punting for the first time in November this year, Johnston had three punts for an average of 43.7 yards.
At punt return, Curtis Samuel OR K.J. Hill take over after Dontre Wilson’s struggles. Handling kickoff returns will be Parris Campbell OR Dontre Wilson. The long-snapping duties are given to Liam McCollough, and holding for kicks is Cameron Johnston.