Ohio State released its weekly status report on Friday, the day before the Buckeyes’ clash against Michigan in Ann Arbor, and it is mostly good news for the No. 1 Buckeyes 11 – 0, 8-0 Big Ten.
The lone exception is that third-year sophomore defensive backShaun Wadeis listed as a “game-time decision” for the contest against the No. 13 Wolverines (9-2, 6-2) on Saturday (noon ET; FOX).
Wade is a key component of the Buckeyes’ defense, which ranks No. 1 in the country in total defense and scoring defense. The product of Jacksonville, Fla., Usually lines up as the slot cornerback for Ohio State. If he is unable to go, the Buckeyes will likely turn to sophomoreSevyn Banksor classmateCameron Brown.
Now let’s get to the good news for Ohio State. First of all, Wade is the only starter on either side of the ball for OSU that even appears on the status report. Considering the Buckeyes have played 11 games, that is about as good as you could hope for.
Also, two key reserves who were game-time decisions last week – fifth-year senior offensive tackleJoshua Alabi, and junior defensive tackleHaskell Garrett– do not appear on the status report this week. Translation: They are healthy and ready to go if needed.
Here is Ohio State’s full status report for its game at Michigan:
As I said earlier, if Wade cannot go, that would be unfortunate news because he’s a good player whose skillset would be a nice boost in a game like this. However, the good news for Ohio State there is both Banks and Brown are very good for backup corners. They will be future starters (and I think future standouts) for the Buckeyes, so it’s not like OSU would be turning to substandard players if Wade cannot go. But still, seeing No. 24 out there for the Buckeyes would obviously be the best scenario for Ryan Day’s crew.
Proctor still being out means that the Buckeyes would likely use juniorAmir Riepat deep safety if anything happened to seniorJordan Fuller. Riep has been a solid special teams player, but has not played many meaningful defensive snaps (meaning, when the game is still on the line).
While the Buckeyes hope he is not needed, it is good to get a veteran like Alabi back for this game just in caseThayer MunfordorBranden Bowengo down.
It’s also nice to have Garrett available as a backup D-tackle. Even though the Buckeyes are as deep and talented as any team in the country at DT, Garrett has been part of the rotation when he has been healthy. So, I expect to see him on the field at least a little bit on Saturday.
With the true freshman Crowley still out at running back, classmateSteele Chambersand fourth-year juniorDemario McCallwill need to be ready to go as the third-string option behindJK DobbinsandMaster Teague.
But again, all in all, this is a positive status report for the Buckeyes this deep in the season on the eve of facing their rivals.
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