Offensive line apparently without Munford for Rose Bowl

Tim May
Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins (2) is congratulated offensive lineman Thayer Munford (75) and offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon (66), rear, after scoring a 42-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 3, 2018. Ohio State won 36-31. [Adam Cairns]

LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t hard to spot Ohio State left tackle Thayer Munford and right guard Demetrius Knox driving down the practice field on Thursday as the Buckeyes moved their preparations into high gear for Tuesday’s Rose Bowl against Washington.

Munford actually was driving a large, diesel-powered utility vehicle with Knox in the passenger seat. It was already known that Knox, a fifth-year senior who had been a starter since midseason last year, won’t play in the Rose after suffering a foot sprain late in the win over Michigan. But Munford apparently won’t play either, due to what is believed to be a knee problem, according to insiders. A team spokesman would not confirm that.

The Buckeyes were prepared in both cases. Wyatt Davis took Knox’s place in the Big Ten title game win over Northwestern and played well, coaches said. Josh Alabi replaced a banged-up Munford several times this season, including for an extended period in the overtime win at Maryland.

Feeling Young again

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young played most of the season with aches and pains in both ankles — a high-ankle sprain in his right, and regular sprain in his left. But in the lull since the Big Ten title game, he said Thursday, he seems to have regained 100 percent usage of both.

“I’m full-go,” Young said. “I’m ready to go.”

He willed himself through games during the regular season, though, even in the win at Penn State in which he delivered the fourth-down tackle that sealed it. There were times when he put the pain out of his mind.

“There were definitely moments like that, then 40 minutes after the game I’d be limping,” Young said. “But that’s part of the game, and something I can tell my kids and grandkids one day. But it was definitely good experience.”

Seeing some sights

Although Young said he prefers “chilling” around the team hotel, the swanky Inter-Continental downtown, fellow defensive end Jonathon Cooper has other plans for the week.

“Yeah, I mean, I’m in LA,” the Gahanna native said. “I’ve never been in LA before, never been to California. I just want to enjoy the experience. I want to see — I went to LA Live (near the Staples Center, home of the Lakers) last night, just walked around there, saw people ice skating. I’ve never been ice skating before. I might do that.

“I’m just here to enjoy it … because not a lot of opportunities come like this. But No. 1 is to win the game, of course.”