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Buckeye Bits: Justin Fields talks about last year’s knee injury, Ryan Day talks roster management, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Buckeye Nation. With the calendar turning over to October and a crisp fall breeze in the air, it really does feel like college football season. This week we’ve gotten to hear from a number of Ohio State’s coaches and players, and so the anticipation only continues to rise with each passing day.

The pads are officially on, full-contact practices are ramping up, and we don't have to wait that much longer to see football played in Ohio Stadium.

We are still just about three weeks away from Ohio State kicking off its 2020 campaign, but we’ve got some good games coming up this weekend to keep up occupied in the meantime. Speaking of this Saturday’s slate, let’s hop right into the gambling portion of today’s Buckeye Bits, which we have done each of the last two Fridays.

It has been a solid start for the Bits Bets™ segment, as we are a positive 7-4 through two weeks of picks. We could have gone 5-1 last week if not for a late backdoor cover against UCF, but a 4-2 finish is nothing to scoff at. Let’s hope we keep the money rolling in with today’s picks.

Here are some of my favorite plays this weekend (10/3):

  • No. 9 Texas vs. TCU (over 62)
  • SMU (PK) vs. No. 25 Memphis
  • No. 16 Mississippi State (-17) vs. Arkansas
  • No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 13 Texas A&M (under 53.5)
  • No. 7 Auburn (+7.5) at No. 4 Georgia

Admittedly, this weekend’s slate is pretty tough, and I'm not overly in love with anything on the board. However, if you’re going to give me a Big 12 o/u of less than 70, I'm gonna hammer the over. Now, let’s get to today’s headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Auburn-Georgia is the star of this week’s college football lines
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)

As usual, Brett has a much better insight into this week’s gambling slate than I, as he too is positive against the spread on the season (12-8). Check out what he has to say about all the big games this weekend.

Ohio State’s top remaining defensive target announces Top 7 schools list
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)

One of the Buckeyes’ five-star targets on the West Coast dropped his top schools list on Thursday, and Ohio State expectedly made the cut as the odds-on favorite to land the talented defensive end. Plus, an offensive line target is set to announce his commitment tomorrow, and it appears he is Columbus-bound.

Which teams will miss their “home court advantage” the most this season?
(Connor Lemons, LGHL)

Football isn't the only Ohio State sport coming back this fall, as the Buckeyes are also gearing up to compete on the hardwood sometime in November/December. Today, Connor took a look at which Big Ten programs will suffer the most from a lack of fans this basketball season.

Ohio State 2020 Virtual Season: Week 5 at Penn State
(George Eisner, LGHL)

We are winding down our virtual season here at LGHL as the real season inches closer. This weekend is Ohio State’s biggest test yet, as the virtual Buckeyes will head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State in our latest stream. Join us on Twitch at 3:15 p.m. ET to catch all the action.

From around the gridiron...

Ryan Day met with the media via Zoom on Friday morning to discuss the start of Ohio State’s training camp. He began by explaining that the Buckeyes will begin full-contact practices at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.

After lauding the teams depth at running back, specifically naming Steele Chambers. Miyan Williams and walk-on Xavier Johnson as looking good in practice behind the starting duo of Trey Sermon and Master Teague, Day once again spoke highly of Fields’ work ethic throughout this weird and crazy offseason.

In terms of the linebackers shifting around, Day likes what he has seen out of Pete Werner at Will after moving from Sam, and while it thinks the position may better suit his skillset, he isn’t committing to anything just yet.

In terms of NCAA eligibility, Day doesn’t see Ohio State going over 85 scholarships next season. He thinks between seniors graduating and players leaving for the NFL, they should able to stay under that number.

The head coach also talked about how the staff’s lives have been very different as a result of the pandemic, with some coaches not sleeping in their own homes for fear of picking up the virus and spreading it to the team.

A big topic of discussion this offseason has been whether or not Ohio State will move back to a two-safety scheme like they did previously under Kerry Coombs or stick with the one-high safety they used under Jeff Hafley. Day didn’t specify anything, but did say theres a chance that both Marcus Hooker and Josh Proctor could be on the field at the same time.

Following Day to the virtual podium was surprise bonus coverage with Justin Fields. Asked about whether or not he wants to be hit in practice, Fields said he doesn’t plan on getting hit preseason because he doesn’t plan on being hit all that much in the regular season.

Fields said he talked to Wyatt Davis multiple times before he made his decision to return to the program, obviously wanting the offensive lineman to return. He understands the importance of a good O-line for successful QB play.

When asked about his leg injury late last season, Fields admitted that it was something that really bothered him. He said at times it hurt him just walking around campus.

Perhaps the most important part of today’s Zoom call, Fields was joined by his dog Uno.

From around the hardwood...

Chris Holtmann also spoke to the media on Friday afternoon. He talked about a few of his new additions to the roster, and apparently the Buckeyes are hoping to get a waiver approved for Bucknell transfer Jimmy Sotos to play this year.

He also gave some important injury updates to a few guys who missed significant time last season. Justice Sueing appears good to go, but it’s going to be a little while before Musa Jallow and Seth Towns are ready to play.

Our own Connor Lemons hopped on with BT Powerhouse to preview the upcoming Ohio State basketball season. Check it out!

From everywhere else...

Whoever is writing the script for the year 2020 is leaving no stone unturned.

The Marlins have never lost a playoff series in franchise history. Baseball is chaos.

This is football-related but Ohio State posted it right before I submitted this piece so I could not leave it out. Enjoy your weekend, everybody! 22 days until Buckeyes football.