The snap counts for Ohio State’s first game of the 2020 season are in.
Even though Ohio State’s starters played into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s season opener against Nebraska, the Buckeyes still managed to get 75 players onto the field for at least one snap on offense, defense or special teams by the end of their 52-17 win over the Cornhuskers.
Just as we have for the past few years here at Eleven Warriors, we’re taking on the task of going back and watching every snap in every Ohio State game once again this year in order to keep track of how many snaps and in what roles each Buckeye plays over the course of the season.
Only offensive and defensive snaps are counted in the totals, though participants on each special teams unit are listed at the bottom of the article. All snap counts were compiled by Eleven Warriors and should be considered unofficial.
Justin Fields: 65
Jack Miller: 6
Fields played every snap at quarterback until Ohio State’s final possession of the game, when Miller made his collegiate debut. It’s notable that Miller got the opportunity to finish out the game over fellow freshman C.J. Stroud – and he made the most of it with a 21-yard run followed by a 2-yard rushing touchdown – but probably too early to draw any conclusions from that, as both freshmen are expected to see backup quarterback snaps when opportunities arise over the course of the season.
Master Teague: 30
Trey Sermon: 28
Steele Chambers: 7
Xavier Johnson: 6
Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had said last month that he expected Teague and Sermon to split snaps evenly to begin the season, and that’s how it played out against Nebraska. While Teague started the game, he played only two snaps and had only one carry (12 to 11) more than Sermon, as they alternated series at running back for most of the game.
Chambers checked into the game for one possession in the third quarter, while Johnson took over at running back for the Buckeyes’ final series of the game.
Chris Olave: 52
Garrett Wilson: 48
Jameson Williams: 48
Julian Fleming: 19
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 17
Kamryn Babb: 6
Gee Scott Jr.: 4
Chris Booker: Special teams only
Demario McCall: Special teams only
Sam Wiglusz: Special teams only
Ohio State mostly abandoned its receiver rotation of recent years for the season opener, as Olave, Wilson and Williams all played more than 70 percent of snaps with Fields and the rest of the first-team offense.
Olave was on the field for every snap but one until the final minute of the third quarter, when he took a hit to the head and left the game. Fleming took his place in the lineup for the rest of the game.
In three-receiver sets, Wilson lined up in the slot – with Smith-Njigba rotating in for occasional snaps there – while Williams lined up outside on the opposite side of Olave. Wilson and Williams also each paired up with Olave for some snaps when the Buckeyes had two wide receivers and two tight ends on the field. Because Ohio State started with two tight ends on the field, Williams didn’t officially start the game, but he ended up playing starter’s snaps.
Scott played his first snaps at wide receiver on Ohio State’s second-to-last possession of the game, while Babb – finally able to play in a game after missing his first two seasons as a Buckeye with knee injuries – made his debut in the receiving corps on the Buckeyes’ final series of the day.
Luke Farrell: 40
Jeremy Ruckert: 33
Jake Hausmann: 9
Mitch Rossi: 6
Cade Stover: 2
As expected, Farrell and Ruckert split the vast majority of snaps at tight end in Saturday’s game, while they were both on the field together for 15 snaps, including the first two snaps of the game, giving them both starts.
Hausmann mixed in for occasional playing time but played just one offensive snap before the late third quarter, while Rossi and Stover each got the opportunity to play near the end of the game.
Thayer Munford: 65
Josh Myers: 65
Wyatt Davis: 65
Nicholas Petit-Frere: 65
Harry Miller: 61
Matthew Jones: 10
Dawand Jones: 6
Luke Wypler: 6
Enokk Vimahi: 6
Paris Johnson Jr.: 6
Max Wray: Special teams only
Munford, Myers, Davis and Petit-Frere all played every offensive snap until Ohio State’s final possession of the game to tie with Fields for the most snaps played among all Buckeyes on Saturday. Miller came out of the game one series earlier than the rest of the starting offensive linemen, giving Matthew Jones a chance to play four snaps at left guard with the first-team offense.
Dawand Jones nearly saw playing time with the first-team offensive line at right guard after Davis briefly had to check out of the game, but Davis didn’t end up missing a snap thanks to a lengthy targeting review while he was receiving medical attention on the sidelines. Dawand Jones did finish out the game at left tackle, though, playing the final series of the day alongside Matthew Jones at left guard, Wypler at center, Vimahi at right guard and Johnson right tackle, with Wypler and Johnson making their Ohio State debuts.
Jonathon Cooper: 31
Tyler Friday: 26
Tyreke Smith: 21
Javontae Jean-Baptiste: 19
Zach Harrison: 15
Noah Potter: 2
Darrion Henry-Young: 2
Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said going into the season that he thought all of his top five defensive ends were starting-caliber players, and he rotated them heavily during the season opener.
Cooper and Friday both played the most snaps after starting the game, while Smith and Jean-Baptiste were the second pair of defensive ends on the field and Harrison was the last of those defensive ends to enter the game, but all of them played at least 15 snaps. Cooper and Smith rotated with each other for Ohio State’s first 52 defensive snaps of the game, while Friday, Jean-Baptiste and Harrison rotated on the other side. Ohio State did not use any four-defensive end “Rushmen” packages in the season opener, lining up with exactly two defensive ends on every play.
Potter and Henry-Young checked in for Ohio State’s final two defensive plays of the game, with Henry-Young making his Buckeye debut in the process.
Tommy Togiai: 41
Antwuan Jackson: 30
Haskell Garrett: 23
Jerron Cage: 15
Ty Hamilton: 5
Zaid Hamdan: 2
Togiai and Jackson started the game at defensive tackle and each played a majority of the Buckeyes’ 58 total defensive snaps in Saturday’s game, while Garrett rotated with Jackson at 3-technique and Cage rotated with Togiai at nose tackle. Hamilton checked in for the Buckeyes’ last two defensive series at the 3-technique spot, while Hamdan took the field for Ohio State’s final two defensive plays.
Baron Browning: 47
Pete Werner: 42
Tuf Borland: 34
Dallas Gant: 18
Teradja Mitchell: 16
Craig Young: 9
K’Vaughan Pope: 2
Ryan Batsch: Special teams only
Cade Kacherski: Special teams only
Mitchell Melton: Special teams only
Ben Schmiesing: Special teams only
Cody Simon: Special teams only
Trayvon Wilburn: Special teams only
In his first game as Ohio State’s starting Sam linebacker, Browning was on the field for all of Ohio State’s first 47 defensive plays of the game. Werner, who moved to inside linebacker after starting at Sam for the past two years, played all but five of those 47 snaps, pairing with Browning as one of two linebackers on the field in the Buckeyes’ nickel defense.
Borland was on the field alongside Werner for all but two of those snaps in the base defense, but briefly left the game for two plays with an injury and checked out of the game in nickel situations.
Gant replaced Borland and Mitchell replaced Werner on the field for one series in the third quarter before finishing out the game in those spots. With Justin Hilliard sidelined for the game by an injury, Young checked in as the backup Sam linebacker for Ohio State’s first two defensive series of the fourth quarter before being replaced by Pope for the Buckeyes’ final two defensive plays.
Shaun Wade: 47
Marcus Williamson: 41
Sevyn Banks: 39
Cameron Brown: 23
Ronnie Hickman: 9
Tyreke Johnson: 9
Lloyd McFarquhar: 2
Lathan Ransom: 2
Darryl Sinclair: 2
Wade, like Browning, was on the field for all of Ohio State’s first 47 defensive snaps of the game while playing his new position at outside cornerback. Williamson, who replaced Wade as the starting slot cornerback, was on the field for all of those snaps in the Buckeyes’ base defense – where he sometimes lined up as a second deep safety rather than as a cornerback – but was replaced by Brown in nickel packages.
Banks was on the field for all but eight of those snaps, including Ohio State’s first 35 defensive plays, as the Buckeyes’ other starting outside cornerback. Brown replaced Banks for eight snaps in the third quarter and continued to play into the fourth quarter with the second-team defense, when Johnson replaced Wade and Hickman replaced Williamson.
McFarquhar and Sinclair played the game’s final two snaps at outside cornerback while Ransom played the final two snaps at slot cornerback/cover safety.
Marcus Hooker: 35
Josh Proctor: 24
Bryson Shaw: 5
Kevin Dever: Special teams only
Hooker made his first career start at deep safety and was on the field for 35 of Ohio State’s first 47 defensive snaps of the season. Proctor played the other 12 of those snaps and 18 total snaps at safety in the base defense, while he also checked in as a second safety – sometimes lining up deep and sometimes lining up in the box – for each of the six plays that Ohio State switched to its nickel package.
Shaw checked in at center-field safety for the Buckeyes’ final five defensive plays of the game.
Field Goals/Extra Points
Blake Haubeil (kicker)
Drue Chrisman (holder)
Bradley Robinson (long snapper)
Jeremy Ruckert (wing)
Matthew Jones (rocker)
Paris Johnson Jr. (tackle)
Dawand Jones (guard)
Jerron Cage (guard)
Max Wray (tackle)
Enokk Vimahi (rocker)
Luke Farrell (wing)
Ohio State had the same lineup on the field for all of its extra points and one field goal on Saturday. Haubeil, Chrisman, Ruckert, Farrell, Dawand Jones and Cage all returned to the unit from last season, while Matthew Jones, Johnson, Wray and Vimahi are new additions to the lineup along with Robinson, who replaces Liam McCullough as the Buckeyes’ new long snapper.
Blake Haubeil or Dominic DiMaccio (kicker)
Ronnie Hickman or Bryson Shaw or Kevin Dever (gunner)
Cade Kacherski or Cody Simon (gunner)
Craig Young or Ryan Batsch (gunner)
Teradja Mitchell or Cade Stover or Mitchell Melton (gunner)
Jameson Williams or Chris Booker or Lloyd McFarquhar (gunner)
K’Vaughan Pope or Trayon Wilburn (gunner)
Cameron Brown or Lathan Ransom (gunner)
Xavier Johnson or Darryl Sinclair (gunner)
Marcus Hooker or Dallas Gant or Steele Chambers or Ben Schmiesing (gunner)
Marcus Williamson or Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Sam Wiglusz (gunner)
Hooker, Williamson, Brown Kacherski, Williams, Mitchell and Pope have all been regulars on the kickoff coverage unit in the past, and all of them returned to the lineup alongside Haubeil on Saturday, joined on the first-team unit by Hickman, Johnson and Young.
Gant, Booker, Ransom, Shaw, Smith-Njigba and Stover each also substituted onto the kickoff coverage unit for reps alongside the starters, while the lineup for the Buckeyes’ final kickoff of the game consisted solely of true freshmen (Melton, Simon and Ransom) and walk-ons.
Demario McCall (returner)
Xavier Johnson (blocker)
Steele Chambers (blocker)
Cade Stover (blocker)
Mitch Rossi (blocker)
Cade Kacherski (blocker)
Dallas Gant (blocker)
Gee Scott Jr. (blocker)
Ronnie Hickman (blocker)
Chris Booker (blocker)
Kamryn Babb (blocker)
McCall retained his role from last season as Ohio State’s lead kickoff returner, though he gained just 14 total yards on two combined returns. Johnson, Rossi and Gant also returned to the kickoff return unit from last season, while new additions to the unit included Babb, Booker, Hickman and Scott, who were all playing in their first games as Buckeyes on Saturday.
Drue Chrisman (punter)
Bradley Robinson (long snapper)
Tuf Borland (upback)
Jake Hausmann (upback)
Baron Browning (guard)
Dallas Gant (guard)
Pete Werner (tackle)
Luke Farrell (tackle)
Xavier Johnson (wing)
Chris Olave or Jaxon Smith-Njigba (gunner)
Josh Proctor (gunner)
Chrisman is back for his fourth season as Ohio State’s starting punter, while Borland, Hausmann, Gant, Farrell and Olave each also reprised their roles on the punting unit from last season. Smith-Njigba replaced Olave for the Buckeyes’ second punt after Olave left the game with his injury, while Proctor was on the opposite side of the field as the other gunner for both of Chrisman’s two punts in the opener.
Garrett Wilson or Demario McCall (returner)
Sevyn Banks or Tyreke Johnson (rusher/blocker)
Chris Booker (rusher/blocker)
Dallas Gant (rusher/blocker)
Steele Chambers (rusher/blocker)
Gee Scott Jr. (rusher/blocker)
Bryson Shaw (rusher/blocker)
Xavier Johnson (rusher/blocker)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (rusher/blocker)
Kamryn Babb (rusher/blocker)
Cameron Brown (rusher/blocker)
Wilson was back deep for all but one of Nebraska’s punts on Saturday, highlighted by a 22-yard punt return, while McCall was on the field for one.
Along with Wilson, Gant, Banks and Brown have also previously been regulars on the punt return/block unit, while the others took on new roles in Saturday’s game.
Field Goal/PAT Block
Shaun Wade (lineman)
Marcus Hooker (lineman)
Zach Harrison (lineman)
Jonathon Cooper (lineman)
Tommy Togiai (lineman)
Antwuan Jackson or Haskell Garrett (lineman)
Pete Werner (lineman)
Teradja Mitchell (lineman)
Josh Proctor (lineman)
Sevyn Banks (lineman)
Tuf Borland (safety)
Ohio State’s field goal block unit on Saturday consisted mostly of defensive starters, with everyone lined up on the line of scrimmage except for Borland. Werner came close to blocking multiple Nebraska kicks, showing his athleticism by springboarding over the line and leaping into the backfield, but ultimately did not get his hands on an attempt.
|QB||JACK MILLER III||6|
|WR||GEE SCOTT JR.||4|
|OL||PARIS JOHNSON JR.||6|