On Friday morning, the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes released the depth chart and availability report for Saturday’s matchup against Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats. While in previous seasons, Urban Meyer would talk relatively openly at media availabilities about players health and game status, under new head coach Ryan Day, the program decided to keep those details more guarded, presumably both for strategic and privacy reasons.
So, instead, on Fridays, the team releases that week’s depth chart and provides a list of players that are considered out and game-time decisions.
For Saturday’s game, senior captain defensive end Jonathon Cooper, sophomore defensive tackle Taron Vincent, senior captain wide receiver C.J. Saunders will be out for the second week in a row. Reports indicate that Cooper had surgery to deal with a potential high-ankle sprain, and Saunders was seen on crutches before the FAU contest.
Also out will be wide receiver Kamryn Babb, defensive tackle Noah Donald, tight end Cormontae Hamilton, safety Ronnie Hickman, linebacker Justin Hilliard, and defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie.
There will be no game-time decisions this week. Last week, sophomore defensive ends Tyler Friday and Tyreke Smith and junior running back Demario McCall were all considered game-time decisions, but they are all expected to play against the Bearcats.
For last week’s season-opener against Florida Atlantic, the game-time decision list ended up producing a mix of players that did and did not play.
After missing the opener, Friday is now listed as the starting defensive end opposite Chase Young and Smith will be one of the two players backing up Young.
With the returns of Friday and Smith, graduate student Jashon Cornell moves back into the interior of the defensive line to start for the game against UC. Having played end in previous seasons, he had been practicing at his more natural three-technique, inside defensive line position in the fall. However, the injuries heading into the opener necessitated his move back outside. But, while he was there against FAU, he had four tackles — including two for loss — and forced a fumble. The Buckeyes will now be looking to get that type of production from Cornell at the tackle position.
Ohio State and UC will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 12 noon ET at Ohio Stadium. The game will air on ABC. The game will mark the first time that Fickell has come to The ‘Shoe as a visitor during either his playing or coaching careers.