Chase Young's suspension and an injury to Jonathon Cooper will thrust Ohio State's underclassman defensive ends into significant roles on Saturday.
Neither Young nor Cooper will play in this weekend's game against Maryland, setting Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday up as co-starters on one side of the line and Zack Harrison and Javontae Jean-Baptiste as co-staters at the other defensive end spot. Smith, Friday, Harrison and Jean-Baptiste collectively have five sacks this season, not even half of the 13.5 sacks that Young has racked up.
|Ohio State Status Report for Maryland|
LB Teradja Mitchell
WR Austin Mack
DE Chase Young
WR C.J. Saunders
DE Jonathon Cooper
WR Ellijah Gardiner
TE Cormontae Hamilton
S Ronnie Hickman
DT Taron Vincent
WR Kamryn Babb
DT Noah Donald (walk-on)
Cooper, Smith and Friday have combined to miss 10 games this season, so Ohio State has dealt with shaky defensive end depth earlier in the fall. But it has never been without Young. With games against Maryland and Rutgers in the next two weeks, the underclassmen on the roster will be put to the test.
Wide receiver Austin Mack and linebacker Teradja Mitchell are listed as game-time decisions for Saturday's game. Mack did not play in the final game before the off week versus Wisconsin, leading to Chris Olave catching seven passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns while playing a career-high 57 snaps. If Mack doesn't play, Olave will make his second career start.
Wide receiver and team captain C.J. Saunders also has been deemed unavailable for Saturday's game versus the Terrapins. Ellijah Gardiner, Cormontae Hamilton, Taron Vincent, Kamryn Babb and Ronnie Hickman also will not play on Saturday.
Demario McCall remains listed as the starting punt returner even though Ryan Day said last week that Garrett Wilson has made a "strong push" for that role.
The full depth chart for Saturday's game: