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Urban Meyer may have revealed the Ohio State depth chart... but the moms got to it first

A number of parents of current players couldn’t contain their excitement when they heard that their sons would be starting Thursday.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

“While Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has yet to reveal the Buckeyes’ season-opening depth chart, word of which players will be starting is being leaked via their mothers’ Twitter feeds.”

-Marcus DiNitto, Sporting News

The Ohio State football program has a short bit proud history of moms taking to Twitter in support of their sons on the team. Annie Apple, mother of current New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple, was perhaps the first great example. After tweeting her experience at the 2016 NFL Draft, where her son was a first-round selection, Apple earned a spot on ESPN as a contributor on Sunday NFL Countdown. While not all players’ moms are as outspoken as Annie Apple, they have, collectively, become increasingly active on Twitter, and have begun sharing news that, at the time, had not even been reported by Urban Meyer with less than a week until the Buckeyes’ season opener against Indiana.

Moms of wide receivers in particular were particularly lively on social media over the weekend. First, Shannon Mack, mother of sophomore receiver Austin Mack, posted on Twitter Friday that her son was named a starter against Indiana. The official Ohio State football account then tweeted a similar message Sunday, with wide receivers coach Zach Smith calling the mother of junior wide out Johnnie Dixon to tell her that Dixon will be making his first start Thursday. It was big news for Dixon, who has faced injury issues during his four years with the program, but completed his first full, healthy spring camp this year.

On the offensive line, redshirt sophomore Branden Bowen earned the highly contested right guard spot, according to his mom, Natalie. Bowen beat out Malcolm Pridgeon, Demetrius Knox and Matt Burrell, despite not being the favorite entering fall camp.

Not to be left out, Damon Arnette’s mother tweeted out Friday that cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs had called to tell her that her son had earned a starting role at cornerback against Indiana. This start will be Arnette’s first at Ohio State, having played behind first-round selections Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley last season as a redshirt freshman.

“Ohio State has been playing football for more than a century, yet five of the top scoring seasons in Ohio State history have come during Urban Meyer’s five seasons as coach.”

-Rich Exner, Cleveland.com

Urban Meyer has led the Ohio State football program to many a record-breaking season, including the record 45.5 points per game set by the 2013 Buckeyes. The 2014 squad just missed the mark, recording an average 44.8 points per game, good for second all-time in program history. What makes this mark even more impressive is the fact that, in Jim Tressel’s first five seasons, Ohio State averaged just 27.4 points per game to Meyer’s 40.52 during his tenure. The averages for Earl Bruce (32.02 points per game) and John Cooper (24.76 points per game) show just how strong the firepower truly is under Meyer.

The Buckeyes have earned these points behind powerful individual offensive performances, like freshman Mike Weber’s 1,096-yard effort last season. Weber, in fact, was the sixth 1,000-yard rusher since 2012, and the 33rd in program history. The sophomore is poised to repeat again this season behind a strong offensive line, and would be just the ninth Buckeye to do so. Recent history, however, is in Weber’s favor, as both Braxton Miller and Ezekiel Elliott have had dual, 1,000-yard seasons since 2012.

That level of offense has obviously led to wins for Ohio State on the field. In fact, in the era since Penn State joined the conference, Ohio State has an 80.6 percent in-conference win percentage--the best of any team in the Big Ten--with a 155-37-1 record. The Buckeyes also lead all-time conference play with a 503-173-24 record, with five more league wins than Michigan.

Interestingly for this week’s opener, the Buckeyes are carrying a 22-game win streak against Indiana as they prepare to head to Bloomington Thursday. Overall, Ohio State is 73-12-5 against the Hoosiers dating back to the start of the series in 1905.

Ohio State senior wrestler Kyle Snyder has added yet another win to his growing list of accomplishments after taking home a gold medal at the World Championships in Paris. It is the second world title for Snyder, who was also an Olympic gold medalist in 2016.

Snyder won four-straight matches at the 97-kilogram division and ultimately earned his title over fellow Olympic champ (at 86-kilogram) Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia. In the opening rounds, Snyder earned wins over Kazakhstan’s Mamed Ibragimov (10-0), Japan’s Naoya Akaguma (10-0) and Azerbijan’s Aslanbek Alborov (9-2). Snyder’s victory over Alborov in the semi-finals avenged his loss in the World Cup earlier this year.

Sadulaev, who also holds two world titles, moved up a weight class this year to face Snyder in what was entitled the “match of the century” by United World Wrestling. The matchup lived up to all of the hype, and there was more at stake than individual titles, given that the U.S. was tied 53-all with Russia leading into the 97-kilogram finals.

Despite Sadulaev winning the first point with a takedown of Snyder, the American came back with a takedown of his own to tie things up at 3-3 after the first period. Sadulaev scored another takedown in the second period to record a two point advantage, but Snyder managed a step-out point to close the gap to one. Then, with less than 20 seconds on the clock, Snyder took down Sadulaev to go up 6-5. Evading a final onslaught from the Russian, Snyder took home the individual title and the win for the U.S.

The team win is the first freestyle wrestling title for the U.S. since 1995. In addition to Snyder, former Nebraska wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and James Green took home medals at the 74-kilogram and 70-kilogram classes, respectively.

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