OSU's Prince shook off struggles vs. Minnesota

Bill Rabinowitz
brabinow@dispatch.com
Ohio State offensive lineman Isaiah Prince blocks Indiana's T.D. Roof in a game on Oct. 6. Prince didn't play well for much of the game against Minnesota last week, but he "rallied back and finished well,” coach Urban Meyer said. [Eric Albrecht/Dispatch]

After a difficult sophomore season two years ago, Isaiah Prince established himself as a leader on the Ohio State offensive line.

But the struggles reminiscent of 2016 reappeared last week against Minnesota, specifically against defensive end Carter Coughlin in the third quarter. The Big Ten sacks leader had his way with Prince, who at one point became openly frustrated.

Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra

“He had a great first half,” Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said. “Then in the second half, he was trying to be too perfect. Once he made the (false start) penalty, once he had the sack, and then he got flustered and lost his cool. At the end of the third quarter, it was like, OK, you have to calm down and gain your composure back.”

Prince did play better down the stretch.

“The four running plays on that last drive to put the game away, he was destroying people,” Studrawa said.

Still, Studrawa acknowledged that he was concerned that issues he thought were in Prince’s past reappeared.

“In ’16, he lost it a couple times,” he said. “Last year, he never did. There was not one episode that he did. You think you’re over it and then it pops back up.”

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer did not seem particularly worried that Prince’s struggles would continue.

“He rallied back and finished well,” Meyer said. “He moved on and we’ve had a great week of practice.”

Haubeil will kick

Meyer said on his radio show Thursday that Blake Haubeil will handle kicking duties against Purdue.

“He’ll get the start on Saturday,” Meyer said on WBNS-FM (97.1).

Haubeil, a sophomore from Buffalo, New York, was pressed into action last week when Sean Nuernberger was injured late in warmups. The injury is believed to be to Nuernberger’s groin. A similar injury caused him to miss the 2016 season.

“He kicked the last warmup right before we went in the locker room,” Meyer said. “Those kind of injuries, if you push through it, you might be done for the year.”

Haubeil was perfect on three field-goal attempts, including a 47-yarder, and three extra-point kicks.

“We do have a lot of confidence in Blake,” Meyer said. “There's a thump when he hits that thing. What a great kid, too."

Injury updates

Meyer said left tackle Thayer Munford (hip) was probable to play. Munford didn’t practice Wednesday, but Studrawa said he hoped Munford would practice Thursday.

The injury status for others remains as Meyer said earlier in the week. Defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison will play. Defensive tackle Robert Landers is probable. Cornerback Damon Arnette is questionable.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch

Listen to the BuckeyeXtra Football podcast: