Two freshmen had prominent roles in the play that many consider to be the turning point of The Game. With Ohio State leading 27-19 in the third quarter, Chris Olave swooped down the line, raced through the parted middle of Michigan's line and made a textbook block of Will Hart's punt. The ball flailed end-over-end and was snatched from the air by a streaking Sevyn Banks, who raced untouched for a 33-yard touchdown return.
The sudden strike put the Buckeyes up 34-19 and the team never looked back in the 62-39 whooping of the Wolverines. The blocked punt was a fitting finale to Olave's fantastic day. The wide receiver from California also caught two passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores were from 24 yards out and were the first of his Buckeye career.
To make the day even more special, Olave had his family in town for the game. "For the first time (this season), my family came out from San Diego. It's been a blessing, and doing it for the seniors it's been an honor," said Olave.
The San Marcos, California product has seen playing time in every game this season.
Tight end Jeremy Ruckert tallied 10 snaps and played in his ninth-straight game. The only game Ruckert did not play in this season came in week three versus TCU.
Wide receiver L'Christian "Blue" Smith returned to action for the first time since playing special teams against Nebraska. Against Michigan, the Huber Heights Wayne graduate saw time on kickoff team and had his first offensive snap since Week 4. This is the fourth game in which Smith has played.
On the defensive side, Tyler Friday, Tyreke Smith, Tommy Togiai and Taron Vincent saw action in the trenches. Smith was the only player in the group to record a tackle against Michigan. He was used primarily at defensive end but played defensive tackle on three snaps as Ohio State employed the "rushmen" package. Smith now has eight tackles on the season.
Vincent was used primarily when Ohio State deployed a 3-3-5 defense. He was the lone defensive tackle in this scheme as Dre'Mont Jones was pushed out to the edge. Friday had consecutive snaps in the second and third quarters, but was limited to a total of four plays.
Seven players helped out on special teams in The Game. Dallas Gant, Teradja Mitchell and Josh Proctor joined Banks, Olave, L. Smith and T. Smith on the specialty units. K'Vaughan Pope and Master Teague III played last week, but did not see the field against Michigan.
In all, 22 freshmen have seen playing time this season, with 12 – Cameron Brown, Friday, Gant, Mitchell, Olave, Pope, Proctor, Ruckert, T. Smith, Teague, Togiai and Vincent – ineligible for redshirts as they've appeared in more than four games. Banks is one appearance away from losing his redshirt eligibility.
|NAME||POS||DEBUT||MICHIGAN STATS||GP||SEASON STATS|
|SEVYN BANKS||DB||Nebraska||1 punt return, 33 yards, 1 TD, ST snaps||4||1 punt return, 33 yards, 1 TD, 1 tackle|
|CAMERON BROWN||DB||Tulane||5||1 tackle|
|TYLER FRIDAY||DE||Oregon State||4 snaps at DE||9||3 tackles, 1 sack, 1TFL|
|DALLAS GANT||LB||Oregon State||ST snaps||12||6 tackles|
|JAELEN GILL||HB||Rutgers||2||1 catch, 11 yards|
|MARCUS HOOKER||DB||Minnesota||2||1 tackle|
|JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE||DE||Oregon State||2|
|TYREKE JOHNSON||CB||Penn State||3|
|MATTHEW JONES||OL||Penn State||1|
|TERADJA MITCHELL||LB||Oregon State||ST snaps||10|
|CHRIS OLAVE||WR||Oregon State||2 catches, 48 yards, 2 TDs, blocked punt, 17 snaps at WR, ST snaps||12||6 catches, 108 yards, 2 TDs, 2 tackles, blocked punt|
|NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE||OL||Oregon State||3|
|K'VAUGHAN POPE||LB||Oregon State||10||1 tackle|
|JOSH PROCTOR||S||Oregon State||ST snaps||9||1 tackle|
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||Oregon State||10 snaps at TE||10||1 catch, 13 yards|
|L'CHRISTIAN "BLUE" SMITH||WR||Tulane||1 snap at WR, ST snaps||3|
|TYREKE SMITH||DE||Oregon State||1 tackle, 12 snaps at DL, ST snaps||12||8 tackles|
|BRIAN SNEAD||RB||Oregon State||2||11 rushes, 37 yards, 1 TD|
|MASTER TEAGUE III||RB||Oregon State||5||17 rushes, 106 yards, 1 TD, 1 tackle|
|TOMMY TOGIAI||DT||Oregon State||10 snaps at DT||10||8 tackles|
|TARON VINCENT||DT||Oregon State||8 snaps at DT||8||2 tackles|
|ALEX WILLIAMS||DE||Oregon State||2|