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Buckeye Bits: Shots fired by Fields, Hooker’s first-game jitters out of the way, more

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

Nebraska v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday! Friendly reminder that if Haskell Garrett can sack a quarterback less than two months after being shot in the face, you can make it through the rest of the week.


From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Podcast: ‘Hangout in the Holy Land’ previews the Penn State game

Gene Ross and George Eisner, LGHL

In their third episode of Hangout in the Holy Land, Gene and George discuss why, after watching the Nebraska game a second time, they each came away more confident in Ohio State’s offensive line and defensive formations than they were previously. They then preview this Saturday’s matchup against Penn State, the potential challenges the Nittany Lions may bring, as well as the areas Ohio State will be able to take advantage of.

Column: Ryan Day is okay with Justin Fields getting sacked and you should be too

Matt Tamanini, LGHL

If you, like every other Buckeye fan in the world, were screaming “JUST GET RID OF IT!!” at Justin Fields on Saturday, this column is for you.

Buckeye Bits: Ryan Day previews Penn State, Chris Olave’s availability, more

Gene Ross, LGHL

The Buckeyes’ head coach met with the media on Tuesday. Find out what he had to say in yesterday’s Buckeye Bits.


Biggest news of the day...

Oof. I definitely didn’t think we’d get through the season without an outbreak, but I definitely didn’t think it was going to happen in week two.

Even though Wisconsin didn’t reach the Big Ten “red/red” level with its team and population positivity rates, which automatically triggers a seven-day pause in team activities, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and chancellor Rebecca Blank made the joint decision to pause anyway, saying it was in the best interest for the Badgers to play the rest of the season.

Alvarez met with the media on Wednesday, and when asked about the status of their Nov. 7 game against Purdue, he said they would see where they are as far as testing and make that decision closer to game time.

For now, Alvarez said the six infected players will be staying in an individual hotel.

Paul Chryst also met with the media, as he was one of the six staff members to test positive.

“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said in a statement released by the university on Wednesday. “I informed my staff and the team this morning and am currently isolating at home. I had not been experiencing any symptoms and feel good as of this morning.

“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week. But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”

So...now what? The B1G made the decision that all games called off due to COVID-19 would be declared a no-contest, but does that still apply if the school chose to cancel?


What the Buckeyes are saying...

In Columbus, a handful of players met with the media to recap last Saturday and preview their next opponent. First up was QB1.

Fields said the team has to manage their expectations and not get ahead of themselves. If they start looking ahead, bad things happen (as we’ve seen in the past).

And then shots were fired.

PSA: if you spend your Saturday trying to injure Justin Fields and his wide receivers, he will come for you in the media.

The offensive line’s performance on Saturday wasn’t as seamless as we were expecting, and Fields said getting that protection right is one of the team’s top priorities at the moment.

As for Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Ohio State right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere was next to the podium. He began by saying that Penn State is a talented team with a great defensive line, and very active blitzing, so the Buckeyes needs to be ready for stunts and blitzes that the Lions may throw at them.

And if you’re worried about Ohio State’s safety in terms of COVID-19, Petit-Frere has assured us that his head coach is on top of it.

Shaun Wade echoed Petit-Frere’s message, saying the message of wearing masks and continuing to social distance has been constant and the team has been holding each other accountable.

Moving onto football talk, Wade said Ohio State’s defense hasn’t yet implemented a scheme to deal with Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth, but he’s warned his teammates Pete Werner and Josh Proctor about him.

As far as his own performance, Wade said he was pleased with how he did in Game 1, but he “definitely” has more in him.

Last but not least, Marcus Hooker concluded the day’s interviews, admitting he had some first-game jitters against Nebraska.

Hooker said his first start came faster than he thought it would, and he feels like he’s not exactly a starter because he shares the position with Josh Proctor. And while he said he’ll always be a little nervous before a game because he cares, this time he’ll have the comfort of knowing that he can make the plays he made last week.

Worth noting...

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