Ohio State football: Buckeyes getting some key players back for Indiana game?

Ohio State football entered its off week with a few personnel questions.

Ryan Day offered a few answers this week as the Buckeyes try to get as healthy as they can for the final six games and what they hope is a long postseason run.

1. Day hopes Miyan Williams is back for the Indiana game.

The redshirt freshman from Cincinnati started the first two games of the season at running back and scored the first touchdown of the season, but he did not play in Week 3 against Tulsa despite being listed as available.

He had nine carries for 47 yards against Akron but was listed as unavailable the last two weeks.

Day tries to avoid specifics with health situations, but he acknowledged Williams has been dealing with something.

“He seems to be doing well,” Day said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him get back out there practicing this week and feeling better. He needs to get back in the rhythm of practicing. Once you get healthy and get back on the field, you start to feel better, but until then he probably wants to get going.”

On Saturday, Williams tweeted, “I’m good. I’ll be back soon.”

True freshman TreVeyon Henderson took over as the starter in Week 3 and has a team-high 605 yards rushing. He leads the Big Ten with 11 touchdowns.

2. He seems less certain about Cam Brown.

Junior cornerback Cam Brown spent much of the offseason working his way back from an Achilles injury, and he has dealt with other unspecified injuries since the start of the season.

Day called him day-to-day at this point.

“Hopefully this is just another bump in the road because he’s been playing really well and is a big part of our defense,” Day said. “He’s had some trouble staying on the field, but he’s played really well and hopefully we’ll have him back for the Indiana game.”

Brown, who likely would be a regular part of a three-man rotation with senior Sevyn Banks and freshman Denzel Burke if fully healthy, has made 10 tackles and broken up five passes in three games.

“Midway through this season, I think we are better than we were six weeks ago, but overall we are looking for more consistency and production from that spot,” Day said.

3. A pair of senior defensive linemen are also in wait-and-see mode.

Tyreke Smith also has been limited to three games because of injuries this season, but Day said he hopes the defensive end is good to go against the Hoosiers next week.

What happens with Haskell Garrett is less certain. The senior defensive tackle left the win over Maryland last week with an apparent leg injury. Day made it sound like he won’t practice this week but could be back next week.

Smith has eight tackles in three games while Garrett has 18 stops and has been coming on lately.

Garrett, who was a first-team All-American last season and made a somewhat surprising decision to return to school instead of entering the NFL draft, has five tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks.

4. Harry Miller appears to have a new role.

A five-star recruit in the 2019 class, Miller was long considered Ohio State’s future center.

He started at guard last season as an effort to get him on the field, and an unspecified health situation kept him out of the first five games.

When he returned last week, it was as a reserve guard.

“He is probably more of a swing guy now,” Day said. “He can do both, which is good. Anytime you have versatility and can play both that’s a good thing. He played it last season and played it in the preseason. He can play both positions.”

Redshirt freshman Luke Wypler has started every game at center this season.

“He has to keep working at it, but so far I’m pleased with the way he has played,” Day said. “He has been solid across the board. We’ll keep evaluating and keep looking. We have rotated guys in and out of there, which is good. We have a pretty deep offensive line room, which is a value as we head into the second half of the season.”

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus has given Wypler solid grades so far this season. He is the No. 25-rated center in the country per the site.

5. Day said he feels good about his non-starting quarterbacks at this point.

While C.J. Stroud has been spectacular the past two weeks as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, backups Kyle McCord and Jack Miller III have also gotten into multiple games and thrown their first collegiate passes.

“You don’t get a second chance in a game,” Day said. “In practice (we can say), ‘Hey call it back and run it again.’ In a game, you either do or you don’t.”

That increases what Day calls “competitive excellence.”

“That’s something as a quarterback you have to understand,” Day said.

“You have to prepare properly. Some guys step in and you can tell they aren’t ready. Other guys do a great job preparing, but they may never get in a game. All it takes is one snap and you’re the guy we need. I think they understand that, but it’s getting more and more real.”


Saturday, Oct. 23

Ohio State at Indiana, 7:30 p.m., ABC, 1410

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