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Buckeye Bits: Ryan Day tests positive for COVID-19, Larry Johnson to be interim coach

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

Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone! Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and your refrigerator is now stocked with leftovers that you will graze on consistently for the remainder of the weekend. There was a bit of a scare earlier this week with some reported COVID-19 cases within the Ohio State program, but it seems as though Saturday’s game is still all systems go.

It already sorta feels like a Saturday with all the college football and basketball on today, but of course this is just an added bonus to what should be an a nice socially distant few days of vegging out on the couch watching sports and eating food. Unfortunately, there was some bad news from the Buckeyes on Friday, so let’s get to the headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Buckeyes in the running for two top 2022 national prospects
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)

Ohio State’s 2022 class has been on an absolute tear these past few weeks, and the good news just continues to roll in for the Buckeyes.

Land-Grant Holy Land’s Black Friday sale on Ohio State t-shirts
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)

Need to stock up on some new Ohio State gear? What about a Christmas gift for a loved one? We’ve got you covered!

Ohio State vs. Illinois: 2020 game preview and prediction
(Meredith Hein, LGHL)

Ohio State enters this weekend’s game as 28-point favorites, as the Illini bring with them a solid rushing attack but a likely overmatched defense.

Podcast: ‘Hangout in the Holy Land’ breaks down OSU, previews Illinois
(Gene Ross and George Eisner, LGHL)

We missed last weeks episode after an unexpected personal matter came up, but George and I are back this week with the latest edition of Hangout in the Holy Land.

Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson all hope to stay in CFP mix
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)

As he does each Friday, Brett is back with all your college football gambling picks.

From around the gridiron...

Head coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19. The Ohio State headman is doing well physically and is in isolation, according to AD Gene Smith, but he will not make the trip with the team to Illinois. He is not the only member of the team to test positive, but Ohio State has not yet released any further information. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will function as the team’s interim head coach against the Illini.

Per NCAA rules, Day will have to miss at least 10 days and be fully symptom free before he returns to action. A team spokesperson has said that he will be sidelined until Dec. 7, which puts him out of commission for the Michigan State game as well but allows him to return for TTUN as long as he is healthy.

Usually, the big news each Friday is the release of Ohio State’s availability report. This week, they will not be releasing that information until Saturday morning, as the program is undergoing an additional round of COVID-19 testing. We will not know officially who will suit up for the Buckeyes until around two hours before kickoff, but if it eases your stress even a little bit, photos from yesterday’s practice show Justin Fields is probably not one of the players in question.

Also, something about practicing in a full winter jacket seems pretty badass.

However, with case numbers on the rise, there is a chance we see some significant absences in tomorrow’s availability report.

So, moving forward with the notion that Saturday’s game will in fact be played, the Lettermen Row boys are back with another round of bold predictions. This week’s prognostications include a new face at safety, a big day for Ohio State’s defensive line, a 200-yard game for Master Teague, and more.

Terry McLaurin continues to tear it up in the NFL, having a big game on the biggest stage during yesterday’s Thanksgiving action. Receivers coach Brian Hartline loves what he sees.

Speaking of the relationship between Hartline and McLaurin, the Washington Football Team wide receiver spoke with Birm of Lettermen Row about just how much the assistant coach changed the culture of Ohio State’s receiver room and helped make him the player he has become in the NFL.

Fox’s Joel Klatt attempted to break down what exactly is wrong with Ohio State’s secondary this year, specifically in their game against Indiana where they let up a million yards to Michael Penix through the air. Shaun Wade’s father Randy appears to agree with Klatt’s analysis, and knows the Buckeyes can still turn things around.

From around the hardwood...

Ohio State wasn’t involved, but we have our first major upset of the college basketball season as the defending champs were taken down by San Francisco on Friday. As the great Jon Rothstein is one to say, this is ONLY November.

In case you missed it while you were out celebrating Thanksgiving, Ohio State picked up a massive commitment in the 2022 class from high four-star point guard Bruce Thornton. The No. 30 player in the nation and the No. 7 PG in the cycle, the Georgia native is the third member of Chris Holtmann’s junior class — which is now No. 1 in the country.

The mens hoops team is 1-0 on the season, easily dispatching Illinois State in the season opener. Their next game will take place on Sunday afternoon, when they will UMass-Lowell at 4 p.m. ET at the Covelli Center.

From everywhere else...

Barriers are being broken in college football, as Sarah Fuller has a chance to be the first female to suit up in a Power 5 game in the sport’s history. The Vanderbilt women's soccer player would be the team’s place-kicker against Missouri if she plays.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl has been cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns. It becomes the third postseason bowl game with a Big Ten tie in — joining the Quick Lane Bowl and Redbox Bowl — to be stripped away this year as a result of the pandemic.

In case you missed this yesterday, that Northwestern lineup is looking really solid this year — and not just on the football field...

The Baltimore Ravens COVID-19 outbreak keeps moving their game back further and further. Originally scheduled for Thanksgiving and postponed to Sunday, it has now been moved again to Tuesday afternoon. It is likely the last ditch effort to get that game in, as any further postponement would probably result in the game being cancelled altogether.