Several key players who didn’t play against UNLV should be available against Rutgers on Saturday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.
But a backup defensive tackle has been lost for the year.
Meyer said that running back Mike Weber has been cleared medically and will play against the Scarlet Knights. Weber was in uniform on Saturday but did not play. Meyer said there was no need to risk aggravating the hamstring injury that has lingered since before training camp.
Meyer also said that middle linebacker Chris Worley and defensive tackle Robert Landers are probable against the Scarlet Knights.
The news was not as good for reserve tackle Malik Barrow, who suffered a torn ligament in his right knee during the second half against UNLV. He had the same injury in his left knee in high school.
“Our prayers are with him and his family,” Meyer said. “He’s such a great kid.”
Ohio State is a 29-point favorite against Rutgers, which lost 27-17 on Saturday to Nebraska. The Scarlet Knights are coached by former OSU assistant Chris Ash, who was instrumental in the success of the 2014 national championship team.
“He did OK,” Meyer quipped. “I give him a good solid A-minus. You could tell right away. Chris is a great coach.”
Ash is in the second year of a major rebuilding project at Rutgers, but Meyer said the Scarlet Knights are making progress. He said that Rutgers’ defense has improved as much as any in the country from 2016 to ’17.
The Buckeyes play Big Ten opponents the rest of the season.
“It’s interesting to see in the locker room that when I said it’s time for conference play, the players got excited,” Meyer said. “That’s why you go to work, to try to get a ring.”