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Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave bounces back after one of the worst games of his career

After not being targeted against Michigan State, wide receiver Chris Olave responded with two touchdown catches against Northwestern last week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Ohio State at Indiana Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“I think that was one of my worst games, in my opinion. Having two weeks off to try to rebound from that was really tough for me.”

- Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave on the Michigan State game via Stephen Means,

How much a year can change things. Around this time last year, Olave was still adjusting to life in Columbus and had played sparingly for the Buckeyes. Now, the sophomore wide receiver is one of Ohio State’s leading receivers this year. Last week against Northwestern, Olave hauled in two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Fields, and now has six receiving touchdowns on the season.

Even though Olave is performing at a high level, there are still tough games for him. Prior to the Northwestern game, Olave wasn’t targeted at all in the 34-10 win over Michigan State, which was the first time since the Rose Bowl when he didn’t have a pass thrown his way. Following the game against the Spartans, Olave had 13 days to look back on his performance, which made him even hungrier to get back out on the field and make an impact.

One of the reasons that Olave wasn’t targeted against Michigan State is because the Buckeyes have a plethora of talent on offense. Not only is Olave joined at wide receiver by the likes of K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, and Austin Mack, but running backs J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague have been putting up huge numbers on the ground for the Buckeyes this year. Olave knows that some games he isn’t going to get as many looks as others on offense. As a competitor, it has taken Olave a little getting to his number not being called as much in some games, but he is happy to see his teammates excel when they are called upon.

“It means a lot, you know, just having another presence out there. Baron is a great player, so having out there, we’re excited.”

- Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison on Baron Browning via Austin Ward, Letterman Row

Last week Ohio State was without the services of linebacker Baron Browning, but the Buckeyes didn’t really need Browning in the 52-3 rout of Northwestern. This week is a whole different story with running back Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin coming to Columbus. Fellow linebacker Malik Harrison and the rest of the Buckeyes know they’ll need the junior linebacker on the field as they try and shut down Taylor and the Wisconsin rushing attack.

After not traveling to Evanston with the Buckeyes last week to rest his groin injury, it is sounding like Browning will be available to play for Ohio State this week. Browning has been spending plenty of time in the training room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to try and make sure he is in top form for Saturday’s clash with the Badgers. Browning did practice with the team on Wednesday night, which is a good sign that he’ll be able to play on Saturday.

After a slow start to his Ohio State career, Browning has been one of the most improved Buckeyes so far this season. A big reason for Browning’s improved play is the addition of linebackers coach Al Washington, who Browning has really clicked with since Washington arrived in Columbus. Browning would definitely give Ohio State a strong, physical presence to try and corral Taylor, who comes into Saturday’s game as one of the leading running backs in the country.

Ohio State released their game trailer earlier today for Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, and the theme is to leave all the talk around the program in the background and go out and leave it all on the field. The Buckeyes have seen expectations for this season gather steam as the weeks have gone on with each big win.

Wide receiver C.J. Saunders voices the trailer and one of the most important lines is “We didn’t come here to talk. We came here to uphold tradition. We came here to leave a legacy We came here for the brotherhood.” If the Buckeyes continue to play like they have been and make the College Football Playoff, there is no question this team will leave a legacy that nobody will ever forget.

“We still know if we get good results against those teams, then everything is right there for us still as far as the Big Ten tournament and an NCAA appearance.”

- Ohio State men’s soccer midfielder Jack Holland via Eric Amerine, The Lantern

After a hot start to the season, Ohio State’s men’s soccer team has been slumping of late, losing four of their last five matches. Things won’t get an easier on Friday night when Maryland, who won the national championship last year, comes to Columbus. With matches against Indiana and Wisconsin following Friday’s battle with Maryland, the Buckeyes know they need a strong finish to the regular season to create some momentum heading into the Big Ten tournament.

Even though Maryland sits ahead of Ohio State in the Big Ten standings, the Buckeyes are averaging more goals, assists, and shots than the Terrapins. The difference between the two squads this year has been defense. The Terrapins have registered eight shutouts this season, compared to just five by the Buckeyes.

An area where Ohio State needs to get better at is closing out games. The Buckeyes had 1-0 leads against Kentucky and Michigan State in the last two matches, but surrendered two unanswered goals to the Wildcats and three to the Spartans. Had the Buckeyes been able to finish out both of those games, they would have a stronger case for an NCAA tournament appearance.

Friday night’s matchup with Maryland kicks off a 7 p.m. EST at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, while Ohio State’s final home game of the regular season takes place on Sunday November 3rd against Wisconsin. The Big Ten tournament opens up on Saturday November 9th.