But as the Buckeyes head into a home game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC4 against Michigan State, most of their injury questions are about defensive players. Safety Lathan Ransom sat out, and cornerback Denzel Burke missed for the second time in three games.
In his weekly news conference, coach Ryan Day said whether a player participates is not up solely to him or even the player.
“You’re talking about guys who will do anything to get back on the field,” Day said. “We identify it and say, ‘Yeah, you probably could [play] in an emergency role. You are available in case something happens. But you’re not at 100 percent.’ It’s the training staff’s job to make that decision.”
The Rutgers game is one the Buckeyes will probably be glad to put behind them. Despite winning 35-16, they were outgained by the Scarlet Knights 361-328 and had the lesser time of possession 35:36-24:24. And quarterback Kyle McCord was intercepted for the second straight game.
The next challenge is Michigan State (3-6, 1-5), which snapped a six-game losing streak when it beat Nebraska 20-17 on Saturday. The Spartans have been under interim coach Harlon Barnett since Mel Tucker was fired over sexual harassment allegations. The offense hasn’t topped 25 points since.
The Buckeyes (9-0) are third in the AP and coaches polls behind Georgia and Michigan despite being slotted ahead of them in the first College Football Playoff rankings last week. The second set of rankings will come out Tuesday night. The Wolverines await the Buckeyes in the season finale in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Nov. 25. Before then, Ohio State will have its final home game on Nov. 18 against Minnesota.