Defense stepped up after Bosa limped off

Tim May
Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa (97) forces a fumble by TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) that leads to a defensive touchdown during the first quarter Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Defensive tackle Davon Hamilton fell on the fumble in the end zone for an OSU touchdown. [Adam Cairns]

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nick Bosa suffered an apparent strain in his left hip early in the third quarter Saturday night during Ohio State’s 40-28 win over TCU, but the extent of the injury needed further evaluation, acting head coach Ryan Day said.

The junior defensive end limped off the field after first being treated with 13:45 left in the third. He went on to the locker room accompanied by team physician Chris Kaeding.

“When we lost Nick, it was a little bit of a wakeup call, because we lost our best lineman,” defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones said. “So we knew we had to go out there and play. … We’ve got to rely on ourselves and rely on each other. I think, after a hard first half, we did.”

Bosa returned to the bench later in the third quarter in street clothes.

>> See 100 photos from Ohio State's win over TCU

Earlier, Bosa was part of a second touchdown this season. He stripped TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson of the ball at 7:13 of the first quarter and defensive tackle Davon Hamilton won the scramble for it in the end zone.

Bosa’s first TD came in the season opener when he stripped Oregon State’s quarterback of the ball and recovered it in the end zone.

The one Saturday provided the Buckeyes with their only touchdown of the first half and a 10-0 lead.

History-making play

Both schools made history on the same play Saturday night.

But don’t expect to hear the Buckeyes bragging about it.

TCU running back Darius Anderson slashed through a big hole off left tackle from his 7 yard line and raced 93 yards for a go-ahead touchdown at 9:08 of the second quarter. It was the longest run from scrimmage in TCU history.

At the same time, it was the longest run from scrimmage ever given up by Ohio State.

It appeared defensive end Jonathan Cooper was pushed wide and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones was shoved inside while the outside linebacker to that side, Malik Harrison, had gone wide. Bottom line, no one was there to challenge Anderson once he burst through the opening. His score helped TCU take a 14-10 lead.

The play brought to mind the 80- and 78-yard TD runs by Oregon State’s Artavis Prince against Ohio State in a 77-31 OSU win in the season opener.

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Wide-open play

Ohio State hybrid back Parris Campbell had been waiting most of the game for a chance to show his speed, and on a pivotal play in the third quarter, it came.

He caught an inside screen from Dwayne Haskins Jr. and, due to a block by tight end Rashod Berry, suddenly found himself coming out of the blocks untouched for a 63-yard touchdown sprint.

It was the play that ignited a 20-point run by the Buckeyes over 4:01 and flipped them from losing by eight to taking control.

“I’m always a patient player, and in the swing of a game you never know when it’s going to come,” Campbell said. “I stayed level-headed, I stayed calm, and I knew it would come eventually.”

In the middle

Baron Browning and Tuf Borland were sharing time at middle linebacker for Ohio State heading into the game, and there’s a good chance that’s going to continue in the weeks ahead. That’s OK with Pete Werner, one of the starting outside linebackers who rarely leaves the field when the game’s in doubt.

“They’re both doing a really good job out there,” Werner said before the game. “It’s kind of weird for me because I’m either in with Baron or Tuf, in some rotation. They do bring their own (strengths). They’re both good players where (the only question is) who’s going to be out there with you at that time.”

In terms of the differences between the two, Werner seemed to indicate it’s a matter of comparing experience. Borland emerged as the starter midway through last season but is bouncing back from an Achilles tendon injury in the spring. Browning, a sophomore and former five-star recruit from nearby Kennedale, Texas, is seeing his first extended playing time.

“Baron’s got a little more speed, Tuf’s got great vision,” Werner said. “They’re both good players in their own way. They both have their own qualities which are kind of hard to name.”

His task simply is “just communicate with them,” Werner said. “My job is my job, and they won’t affect that. So depending on who is in for them, that really doesn’t change me at all.”

Birthday tweetings

At midday Saturday, Ohio State receivers coach Brian Hartline used Twitter to issue birthday greetings to four members of his group. Terry McLaurin, K.J. Hill and C.J. Saunders were celebrating their birthdays Saturday, and receiver Johnnie Dixon’s birthday is Sunday.

Traveling Texans

Six of the seven Texans on the Ohio State roster made the trip.

They included running back J.K. Dobbins (La Grange), cornerback Jeffrey Okudah (South Grand Prairie), Browning (Kennedale), right guard Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth) and reserve quarterback Matthew Baldwin (Lake Travis). Not making it was receiver Ellijah Gardiner (Kemp).

That list does not include third-year sophomore defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson. He is a Georgian who originally signed with Auburn in 2016 but transferred to Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas, in 2017 before transferring to OSU in the winter.

The presence of Baldwin was notable, because the last time he was on the AT&T Stadium field he suffered a knee injury in the Texas 6A-Division I state championship game vs. Allen.

The injury came on the first play of the game, which Allen won. Baldwin underwent surgery afterward, and though he enrolled at Ohio State for the spring semester, he was limited in spring practice and still rehabilitating going into the season.

When the Buckeyes went to a third quarterback last week against Rutgers, they used Chris Chugunov, a graduate transfer from West Virginia who didn’t start practicing with the Buckeyes until fall semester started Aug. 21.

Patterson on series

TCU coach Gary Patterson clearly was no fan of the original home-and-home series scheduled between the Horned Frogs and Buckeyes by his former athletic director Chris Del Conte — now at Texas — and OSU’s Gene Smith.

The series was reduced last year to this one-game meeting, with each program receiving $5 million to make the change.

Patterson had no complaints. He pointed out how the Oklahoma-Ohio State series penalized the loser in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. Ohio State won at Oklahoma in 2016 and qualified, then Oklahoma returned the favor in 2017 at Ohio Stadium and was selected while Ohio State was left on the outside.

“Playing Ohio State twice, I don’t think, is something that helps our program,” Patterson said. “Playing ’em once definitely helps our program. Playing ’em twice — I don’t think that’s a good business plan. You already have enough high-intensity games. Great challenge for us, glad we’re playing it, but it’s a lot better business plan to play it once instead of twice.”


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