Freshman Tracker: Chris Olave Makes a Mark and Sevyn Banks Goes for Six in The Game

By Matt Gutridge on November 25, 2018 at 3:30 pm
Chris Olave and Sevyn Banks celebrate teaming up for a blocked punt for a touchdown in the win over Michigan.

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.

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
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
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  
MAX WRAY OL        
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