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Ohio State defensive tackle Davon Hamilton is making the most of increased playing time

The redshirt junior made his biggest play as a Buckeye on Saturday night, recovering a fumble in the end zone against TCU.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Ohio State Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

“We’ve got players on the team that are talented. You wouldn’t come here if you weren’t talented. So you’ve just got to step up.”

Ohio State defensive tackle Davon Hamilton via Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch

Fourth-year junior Davon Hamilton had been largely quiet during his time in Columbus, but the defensive tackle had a bit of a breakthrough on Saturday night against TCU, when he was able to recover a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the first half. The emergence of Hamilton comes at the perfect time for Ohio State, as they’ll be missing defensive end Nick Bosa for an undetermined amount of time due to “core” surgery.

Prior to Saturday night’s fumble recovery touchdown, Hamilton had seen little action for the Buckeyes in his previous two seasons. Entering the 2018 season, Hamilton had only recorded 22 tackles and a fumble recovery. Despite having the talent to play at Ohio State, Hamilton had been plagued by a mixture of conditioning issues and struggles with confidence.

Teammates have seen glimpses of what Hamilton is capable of over the past couple years, but the defensive tackle wouldn’t be able to put the strong play together consistently. This year has been a different story, as Hamilton is down to a muscular 310 pounds, and has added the strength to allow him to play in the A gap area.

If Hamilton is able to build off of his performance on Saturday night, it will cushion some of the blow of Nick Bosa being sidelined due to injury. With Hamilton, Robert Landers, and Dre’Mont Jones creating havoc on the interior of the line, it will take some of the pressure off of Jonathon Cooper and Chase Young on the outside.

Another bonus with the added playing time for Hamilton is that now people can start saying his name right. After Chris Fowler pronounced his name “Day-von”, Hamilton clarified the pronunciation to “Duh-VON”. It’s just good that the defensive tackle is giving people more of a reason to say his name on the field these days.

“I think we’ve had some success early but it’s still a long road. I think every day things go well and you get a little more faith put in you ... We have a bunch of young coaches who are really talented. I think as a group Coach believes in us, and he’s a part of it too. So we’re in there together trying to solve the problems and put the best product on the field.”

Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day via Bill Landis,

This weekend head coach Urban Meyer returns to the sidelines after a three-game suspension. The biggest question with Meyer’s return is how involved will he be when it comes to the offense. Earlier this week Meyer said he’ll be more of a “game manager,” and judging by how Ohio State’s offense has operated during his suspension, that sounds like the best option.

The numbers might be a little inflated due to playing a of couple of lesser teams in Oregon State and Rutgers, but the Buckeyes averaged 56 points per game and over 600 yards during Meyer’s suspension. Co-offensive coordinators Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson have the offense in a rhythm and the less Meyer tinkers with it, the better it will likely be for the Buckeyes.

A lot of Meyer’s involvement with the offense the last few years has been because of the coaches Meyer has had running the offense. After Tom Herman left to start his head coaching career, Ed Warinner and Tim Beck left a lot to be desired when it came to the offensive game plan, which caused Meyer to lean heavily on an offense that was centered around the quarterback running the football.

Now Ohio State has a quarterback that is better at throwing than running. Dwayne Haskins could be the best pro-style quarterback to ever come out of Ohio State, and Day and Wilson have trusted Haskins’ arm to get the job done in the first three games of this season. As long as Meyer continues to allow Day and Wilson to highlight Haskins’ arm instead of his legs, Ohio State’s offense should be in fine condition.

It likely will drive Meyer crazy to not be quite as involved in Ohio State’s offense this year, but with the way that the Buckeyes have been running, the smart move is to let Day and Wilson keep doing what they’re doing. Day will be able to pay more attention to the offense now since he doesn’t have the role of acting head coach to concentrate on. And, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

“I do keep track of them. I talk to a couple of them every week. I’m in group chats with all of them. I text them every day. I keep in touch with them. I haven’t had the chance to watch any games yet. They coincide with ours. But I definitely keep in touch with all of those guys.”

Former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow on the Herbstreit & Fitzsimmons podcast via Alex Halsted, Bucknuts

In a perfect world, Ohio State fans would want to see the Buckeyes take on LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship. That way Ohio State could square off with Joe Burrow, who moved to LSU as a graduate transfer during the offseason after Dwayne Haskins won the starting quarterback position for the Buckeyes.

With Burrow as their starting quarterback, LSU is 3-0 so far this season. The Tigers opened up the season with a win over a ranked Miami team, and most recently erased an 11-point deficit to take down Auburn. Burrow’s stats haven’t been all that pretty, but all that matters is that the Tigers are undefeated.

After spending three years at Ohio State, it is only natural that Burrow has developed some deep relationships with his former teammates, and they still keep in contact. Burrow also gained a fan following during his time in Columbus, which is why so many Ohio State fans are still rooting for Burrow to succeed even though he has moved on to another school. Just don’t expect those feelings to be quite so friendly if the teams meet in the College Football Playoff.