Branden Bowen, Tyreke Smith should be available for Ohio State against MSU

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State receiver C.J. Saunders (80) has missed the Buckeyes' first five games with a leg injury but is listed as a game-time decision against Michigan State on Saturday. [File photo/Dispatch]

Right tackle Branden Bowen and defensive end Tyreke Smith will be available for the Ohio State football team for Saturday night’s game against Michigan State, and H-back C.J. Saunders might make his season debut.

Ohio State released its status report Friday morning and neither Bowen nor Smith was listed as unavailable or game-time decisions.

Bowen didn’t play last week against Nebraska after being listed as a game-time decision. Josh Alabi, who had been the backup left tackle, switched into Bowen’s spot and played so well that he was named Ohio State’s offensive player of the game in the Buckeyes’ 48-7 victory.

Smith is a key part of the Buckeyes’ defensive line rotation when healthy. The sophomore missed the season-opener against Florida Atlantic following groin surgery in the summer. He played against Cincinnati and Indiana but has been out the past two games.

Saunders is listed as a game-time decision. The graduate student and former walk-on from Dublin Coffman was elected one of the Buckeyes’ seven captains during training camp. But he hasn’t played because of an unspecified leg injury.

Also listed as game-time decisions are senior tight end Rashod Berry and sophomore defensive end Tyler Friday.

Listed as unavailable are receivers Kamryn Babb and Elijah Gardiner, defensive tackles Noah Donald and Taron Vincent, safety Ronnie Hickman and linebacker Teradja Mitchell. Gardiner is the only new name on that list from recent weeks.