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Bits: Ryan Day updates Chris Olave’s status, men’s basketball to play UNC, Notre Dame

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Nebraska v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

Welcome to Buckeye Bits, where we bring you all of the Ohio State sporting news that you need to know from the day that was. Normally, we don’t spend too much time on recruiting in Bits, because in like 11 hours, we will have our daily State Secrets recruiting column, that gets you all caught up on that stuff, but I’ve just gotta say, things have been crizzazy over the past 24 hours when it comes to OSU football recruiting.

I try not to get my hopes up about the whims of 15-17 year old boys, but if what appears to be percolating just beneath the surface actually happens, this could be a really special four to five (or more) year run for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes. Caleb has more about that in the first article linked below, and I’m sure tomorrow’s State Secrets will as well, so I’ll leave the details to the experts, but man, is this exciting.


From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Ohio State’s 2022 class ramping up to be one for the history books

Caleb Houser, LGHL

Like I said, tons of recruiting news.

An improved Duane Washington Jr. could elevate Ohio State hoops from good to great

Connor Lemons, LGHL

You getting ready for shooty hoops to return? Lots of MBB news below as well.

Stick to Sports podcast: Thoughts on Gus and Joel’s announcing, Is Paul Hollywood an Ohio State fan?

Tia Johnston (and me), LGHL

I make on average 12-13 podcast episodes per week between my day job, LGHL, and a regular freelance gig, but this new Stick to Sports show that Tia and I are doing might be my favorite of them all!

Ohio State’s Halloween showdown with Penn State is this week’s Big Ten spotlight game

Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL

Take the Buckeyes and make lots of money.

Players to Watch: Penn State

Gene Ross, LGHL

Micah Parsons Journey Brown Noah Cain

Ohio State running back Master Teague is ready to make an impact on the field

Brett Ludwiczak one more time, LGHL

Lots of people are already down on Teague, but give him and Trey Sermon a minute to figure out how this rotation is going to work and they will be fine.

Penn State Q&A with Black Shoe Diaries

Gene Ross again, LGHL

Get the inside scoop on this weekend’s game against the Nits.


From around the gridiron...

Ryan Day: Chris Olave has “good, strong week of practice” ahead of Ohio State-Penn State

Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

While the Buckeyes won’t officially release an availability report until tomorrow morning, based on what Ryan Day and Garrett Wilson said about Chris Olave during today’s media availabilities, it looks like he will at least be a game-time decision, if not completely cleared.

If Olave was forced to miss Saturday’s game in Happy Valley following the devastating hit that he suffered in the second half of last week’s game against Nebraska, that would certainly open up opportunities for Jameson Williams and the star-studded freshman wide receiver class.

However, having the veteran on the outside to stretch the defense — and in turn opening up lanes for Wilson coming out of the slot — is the best recipe for an OSU victory on Saturday night. So, here’s to hoping he’s healthy and ready to go in two days’ time.

Ohio State Forced to Make “Hard Decisions” on 74-Man Travel Roster Due to Risk of Positive COVID-19 Tests on the Road

Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

At one point, Ohio State had planned to travel to State College, Penn. on the morning of their game against the Nittany Lions. However, with renewed confidence in their ability to protect players, they instead will be traveling tomorrow and staying at a hotel — which they have rented out the entirety of — over night.

However, because they will already be on the road when their daily COVID tests occur on Saturday, Day and his staff will have no ability to make changes to their 74-player travel roster if there are any positive tests. So, in making decisions on who will make the trek east on I-70 to I-99, Day said on his radio show that they were planning on having two players travel for every position, and then as many versatile players as possible.

So, if a player can play multiple positions, there’s a better chance that he is going to be making the trip. However, despite the planning, Day is still a bit nervous about the possibility of things going negative once his team is outside the closely controlled confines of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

If anyone’s looking for a Christmas present for me, I wear 13s.

Ohio State vs. Penn State film study: Four pressing questions (paywall)

Bill Landis, The Athletic

I know people want their content for free these days, but Bill Landis’ film breakdowns are worth the price of an Athletic subscription on their own. This one does a great job of breaking down four questions about Saturday’s game against PSU:

1. Can Ohio State improve defending the quarterback run?
2. How will the Buckeyes defend Freiermuth?
3. How will Ohio State’s offensive line handle Penn State’s pressure?
4. Can Ohio State get more out of its run game, and will it matter?

Justin Fields is Ready for his Endgame

RJ Young, FOX Sports

This is a fantastic look at Justin Fields’ journey to being on the cusp of one of the greatest seasons in college football history. A truly wonderful longread from RJ Young that is well worth your time. Maybe keep it in an open tab until Saturday when you need to pass the time waiting for the Buckeye game to start at 7:30 p.m. ET.


From around the hardwood...

Ohio State basketball to play North Carolina in Cleveland as part of the CBS Sports Classic

Stephen Means, cleveland.com

In other men’s basketball scheduling news...

College basketball schedules have been up in the air for the past few months as when and how games would be played this season was being decided. It now appears that things are falling into place as the Buckeyes have been slotted into two big-time matchups.

First, for the second season in a row, OSU will play the North Carolina Tar Heels. Last year was in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (more on that in a minute), but this year it will be in Cleveland in the CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 19, the Saturday of the B1G’s Football Champions Weekend. In 2019, the Buckeyes went to Chapel Hill and absolutely embarrassed Roy Williams’ Heels 74-49. I imagine UNC will be looking for some revenge.

Shortly after that game was announced, we learned that the Buckeyes are set to play Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on either Dec. 8 or 9. It’s always fun to battle the Irish, no matter what sport it is.

Congrats to Ohio State legend, Andrew Dakich.

Andy Katz breaks down the Buckeyes.


From everywhere else...

Twenty years later, Taliaferro remains grateful for Ohio State medical staff (pay wall)

Kyle Rowland, The Blade

I was in Ohio Stadium for this game back in 2000. I was a sophomore at OSU at the time and sitting somewhere on the northwest side of A-Deck when the injury happened. Adam Taliaferro’s went down almost directly across the field from me. I didn’t see the injury occur, and much of the immediate aftermath was blocked from my view.

But, my most emotional, body-tingling memory was when the cart carrying the Penn State player was entering the tunnel to take him to the Ohio State Medical Center, and what was left of The Horseshoe crowd in a 38-6 blowout of the Nittany Lions started cheering for the young man.

Fast forward two years and while still suffering the effects of a partial paralysis, Taliaferro returned to Ohio Stadium to one of the loudest and most heartfelt ovations that I have ever witnessed. While Penn State will always be one of OSU’s most bitter of rivals, Adam Taliaferro and his relationship with Ohio State will always hold a special place in my heart.

Never gets old.

He’s alive... HE’S ALIVE!


After some unexpected start and stops, I am back to posting a column every single day from preseason camp until whenever Ohio State’s football season ends. Some days they will be longer and in depth, some days they will be short and sweet. Let me know what you think of this one, and what you’d like to see me discuss in the comments or on Twitter. Go Bucks!