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Ohio State finally making a change at punt returner on the depth chart

New faces in the return game highlight changes in the depth chart

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State bounced back in a big way against Nebraska after the two previous outings and now the Buckeyes are looking to continue their roll against Maryland. 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 came out firing on all cylinders, throwing for 290 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-38 passing. He also rushed for 39 yards on 8 carries but was kept out of the endzone. Joe Burrow remains the backup.

At running back, Mike Weber remains the starter with OR in between he and Samuel. Weber rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries with an average of 6.5 yards per carry. Samuel added five carries on the ground and amassed 41 yards to his name. With Maryland up next, the success should continue for these two.

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 night, with five receptions for 66 yards. Brown and McLaurin both added touchdowns on the evening.

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 41 yards on five carries. He also hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson had a better game than the past couple weeks with four receptions for 44 yards.

The tight end spot is firmly locked down by Marcus Baugh with A.J. Alexander listed as the backup. Baugh caught four passes for 35 yards while Alexander recorded three catches for 24 yards, his first catches since the opening game against Bowling Green.

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 finally seemed to be clicking, looking much stronger after shouldering a lot of the blame offensively over the recent weeks. They’ll have to be sharp over the coming weeks with Michigan looming in the distance.

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 had another field day, picking off Tommy Armstrong from the opening possession for a touchdown, thanks to Raekwon McMillan and a nice return from Webb. Hooker added his own pick six later on in the game, speeding past the opposition as he continues his drive towards a potential Thorpe award.

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 Nebraska, and knocked in two field goals with a long of 28.

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 Nebraska, Johnston wasn’t needed as the Buckeyes didn’t need to punt once.

At punt return, Curtis Samuel OR K.J. Hill take over after Dontre Wilson’s muffed punts. 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.