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Buckeye Bits: So it looks like we’re gonna have a football game this weekend after all

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

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

As I said on the Tweeter Machine, when Ohio State canceled their game against Illinois, I just assumed that they would follow the pattern that every other Big Ten team that had canceled games had followed; canceling one game = canceling two games.

However, because Gene Smith and Ryan Day took a proactive approach when the team saw a spike in positive tests, they very well may have saved their B1G title hopes, which could be an important factor to saving their College Football Playoff hopes.

Anyway, judging by the hype video that they released today, it sure looks like they are planning to play against Michigan State on Saturday.

From around LGHL...

From Ryan Day’s Radio Show...

As he normally does on Thursdays, Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day took to the airwaves to discuss where his team was and how things will presumably work this weekend as they prepare to travel to East Lansing to take on Sparty... well, Day’s not traveling anywhere, since he is still in isolation following his own positive COVID test.

Day said that he has been frustrated to not be able to be with his team, and that the cancelation of the Illinois game was just another disappointment in a year full of them for the players. The coach notes that Saturday’s game will likely be one of the most difficult three hour periods of his life. But, he will not be texting in play ideas or calling Kevin Wilson on his cell phone to tell him when to #FreeDemario.

Though everything looks good for the Buckeyes — shorthanded though they might be — to make the trip to the state up north on Friday night, they will have one more hurdle to clear first as they will do another round of testing before they depart at 9 p.m. ET by charter plane.

Day said, however, that the team have exemplified incredible leadership despite all of the unfortunate starts and stops, “I don’t think they’re getting nearly enough credit for doing that,” he said.

In discussing his team’s next opponent, he noted that they were a team that was getting stronger as evidenced by their win over B1G West leading Northwestern. As always, MSU has technically solid defenders and now that they have adapted to Mel Tucker’s new system, they are going to be dangerous.

When you couple that with the fact that the Buckeyes will be short-handed, Day said, “If we don’t play really, really well and take care of the ball, we’ll be in a dog fight into the fourth quarter.”

Ohio State will not release an availability report until Saturday morning ahead of the game, meaning that we won’t be able to deduce what players tested positive until right before kickoff. OSU has been very coy about providing any substantive information on that front this week, even in social media images, but offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson — who will assume play-calling in Day’s absence — said that he will move down to field level from the coaches box for this game so that he can look into “Justin’s eyes” during the game. So, whether he meant to or not, it looks like Wilson confirmed what was widely rumored, that Justin Fields is healthy and ready to go on Saturday.

While there have been a number of players who have tested positive and exhibited symptoms, fortunately thus far, none have required significant medical attention.

Also, for the second season in a row, the Buckeyes will be wearing alternate jerseys against Sparty, as they will wear their all-white road unis, after not being able to agains tIllinois last week.

From elsewhere on the gridiron...

Johnson embracing role as OSU’s acting head coach for MSU game

Steve Helwagen, 247Sports

Status Check: Justin Fields = still good.

I think it is interesting that because of a “bad” game against Indiana, and then an extra week off following, people seem to be sleeping on Justin Fields. Can he still win the Heisman? Probably not. Can he still be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft? Maybe. But one question that no one should be asking is whether or not he is actually an absolute stud at quarterback.

A fourth Buckeye will end his college career in the Senior Bowl.

Browning has probably maximized his draft potential so far this year, so this seems like a good more for him and his future. Good luck to you, Baron.

“Play the semifinals at the higher seed’s home stadium” Challenge! Pass it on!

Here is the father of a current Ohio State player (and not coincidentally the Executive Vice President of the NFL) announcing that four former Buckeyes (Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Cameron Heyward, and Terry McLaurin) had been selected as their team’s nominees for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award this season.

From around the sporting world...

Something called the Knight Commission which has literally zero power made some recommendations today. Let our good friend Matt Brown explain what they suggested:

The OSU women’s hockey team does not have enough players to field a team currently, so next weekend’s series has been postponed.

Well, this is a swift kick in the chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You know what would help me feel better? An incredibly weird college football message board conspiracy theory.

Oh look what we have here!

And now for something completely different...

How you watch movies is going to change next year.

A lot of people believe that this is going to be the death knell for movie theaters; I don’t agree with that. There will always be blockbusters that call out for the big screen, communal experience. Theaters will also need to adapt. They will either need to become super fancy and offer a high-quality experience (as many theaters already have begun doing), or they will need to make it cheaper and even more family friendly.

I have full confidence that there is room for both types of approaches in the entertainment space, but, today’s announcement certainly puts pressure on theaters, and gives consumers more affordable options.

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!