The ghosts of Iowa and Purdue past did not rear their ugly heads Friday in Evanston. The Buckeyes blasted Northwestern, 52-3, and eight of Ohio State's nine true freshmen who made the trip saw the field.
Garrett Wilson had a quiet night according to the box score. However, the stats don't tell the entire story. He entered the game on the seventh play of Ohio State's opening drive. Two downs later, Garrett the Great caught an 11-yard pass that put the Buckeyes on the Northwestern's 20-yard line. On the next snap, Justin Fields found Chris Olave for a 20-yard touchdown strike and the Scarlet and Gray never looked back.
Wilson was on the sideline during Ohio State's second drive and the offense promptly went three-and-out. Day saw the light and put Wilson on the field for all 13 snaps of the Buckeyes' third possession. The talented freshman had a key 13-yard catch that put the team on Northwestern's 21-yard line. Two plays later, the drive ended with the impressive 19-yard touchdown pass to J.K. Dobbins out of the backfield.
With the game in hand, Wilson was called upon for only 24 snaps. The only game this year in which he was used less was the second game against Cincinnati (21). That speaks volumes as to how the staff views the freshman from Texas. As other freshmen saw season-highs in snaps, Wilson was pulled from the game to save him for more important contests on the horizon.
Marcus Crowley was the only other freshman to find his name in the box score. His number, which has changed from 23 to 24, was called for the last series of the game. Crowley showed his speed and vision on his second and last carry of the game. He found a hole off the right tackle and raced down the sideline for an impressive 53-yard gain. Following the explosive run, Chris Chugunov took three consecutive knees to end the game.
Other true freshmen who saw offensive playing time were Jameson Williams, Harry Miller and Dawand Jones. Williams (20 snaps) and Jones (6 snaps) saw their most extensive playing time of the season.
Jones' first snap as an offensive lineman for the Buckeyes was a memorable one. He entered the game at left tackle at the 7:58 mark of the fourth quarter. The mountain of a man helped clear the way for Master Teague's 73-yard touchdown run.
The grass aint slowing Master Teague down tonight. pic.twitter.com/Fnu5zftiM3— Eleven Warriors (@11W) October 19, 2019
As the season continues, will we see Jones – who has now played in three games, leaving just one more game before he'd have to burn his redshirt – on the field in short yardage and goal line situations?
Williams was on the field for the Buckeyes' final 18 offensive plays and also played on the punt block team. In the first half, Austin Mack and Williams were the two Buckeyes that almost blocked a Northwestern punt. Late in the third quarter, Williams beat his man down the sideline, but a Wildcat defender grabbed the speedy receiver and prevented a possible touchdown.
On the defensive side, Zach Harrison entered the game late in the second quarter. For the majority of his snaps, Harrison was part of Ohio State's 4-3 defensive scheme. For two plays, however, he played nose tackle when the Buckeyes went with a three-man front.
The first occasion was in the second quarter and Northwestern was facing a 3rd-and-seven. Harrison teamed up with Chase Young and Jashon Cornell and the scheme worked, as the Wildcats threw an incompletion and were forced to punt.
The second time the Buckeyes went with the 3-3-5 formation was in the third quarter with the Wildcats facing 4th-and-11. This time Harrison played in the middle of Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Tyreke Smith. Again the defense made a stop, and Northwestern turned the ball over on downs.
Linebackers Cade Stover and Craig Young played on special teams. Neither played in the previous game against Michigan State, and Stover had not played since the Miami University game.
Steele Chambers was the only true freshman who made the trip that did not play on Friday.
Under the NCAA's redshirt rules, a player can appear in up to four games at any point throughout the season and still count it as his redshirt year. In all, 13 freshmen have seen playing time this season, with six – Crowley, Harrison, Miller, Williams, Wilson and Young – now ineligible for redshirts as they've appeared in more than four games.
|NAME||POS||DEBUT||NORTHWESTERN STATS||GP||SEASON STATS|
|ZACH HARRISON||DE||FAU||29 Def. Snaps||7||8 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks|
|JAMESON WILLIAMS||WR||FAU||20 Off. Snaps||7||2 catches, 74 yards, TD|
|GARRETT WILSON||WR||FAU||3 catches, 28 yards||7||13 catches, 129 yards, 3 TD|
|MARCUS CROWLEY||RB||FAU||2 rushes, 53 yards||6||17 rushes, 155 yards, 1 catch, 7 yards, TD|
|HARRY MILLER||OL||FAU||12 Off. Snaps||6|
|CRAIG YOUNG||LB||FAU||ST Snaps||6||1 tackle|
|DAWAND JONES||OL||UC||6 Off. Snaps||3|
|CADE STOVER||LB||UC||ST Snaps||3|
|STEELE CHAMBERS||RB||UC||3||10 rushes, 79 yards, TD|