Chrisman's punts wowed Meyer, if not Big Ten

Tim May
tmay@dispatch.com
Ohio State's Drue Chrisman had five punts downed inside the 7-yard line against Michigan State on Saturday. [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

Coach Urban Meyer opted not to opine Monday on whether Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman was shortchanged by the Big Ten, which didn't name him the special teams player of the week after his splendid display of placement punting in the win at Michigan State on Saturday.

But there was no doubt the third-year sophomore had a major impact on the 26-6 victory after rebounding from a 4-yard shank on his first kick of the day to plop five of the next eight at the MSU 6-yard line or closer to the goal line. Meyer was asked whether he’d ever had a punter provide such an impact on game.

“When I read those stats, I don’t believe I have,” said Meyer, in his 17th year as a head coach, the seventh at OSU.

With OSU leading 7-6, Terry McLaurin downed a Chrisman punt at the MSU 1 near the end of the third quarter. The Spartans opted to take a safety four plays later rather than risk having a punt blocked.

Early in the fourth quarter, Johnnie Dixon downed a punt at the MSU 2. On the next play, defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones recovered a botched shotgun snap in the end zone for the touchdown that pushed the OSU lead to 16-6.

Indiana’s Logan Justus was named the league special teams player of week after hitting a 42-yard field goal with 2:32 left to give the Hoosiers a 34-32 win over Maryland, OSU's opponent this week.

Browning expected back

Backup middle linebacker Baron Browning made the trip to MSU but was ruled out of the game because of an unspecified injury suffered last week in practice.

“I don’t want to get deep into injuries, but he’s probable for this week,” Meyer said.

He did not mention whether safety Isaiah Pryor would be available. Pryor was ruled out of the past two games because of a shoulder injury.

On Durkin’s absence

Meyer said he has spoken with former colleague D.J. Durkin since Durkin was fired as Maryland coach Oct. 31, but Meyer did not go into detail.

In the wake of the investigation into the death of Terrapins lineman Jordan McNair, who in June succumbed due to complications from heatstroke suffered in late May, Durkin was suspended before the season, reinstated Oct. 30 and then fired the next day due to fallout from his reinstatement.

Durkin’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant on Meyer’s first staff at Bowling Green in 2001, and he was linebackers coach for Meyer at Florida in 2010.

Meyer said he is “very close with him and his family. Like very close.”

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports

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