OSU's Alabi starts at right tackle, but Bowen plays, too

Henry Palattella,Joey Kaufman
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (33) celebrates with teammates after sacking Michigan State Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke (14) during the first half of Saturday's NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 5, 2019. [Barbara J. Perenic/Dispatch]

Joshua Alabi started at right tackle Saturday night in place of Branden Bowen for the second consecutive game.

Bowen was available against Michigan State after he was listed as a game-time decision, but he did not return to his starting role. Later in the first quarter, Bowen replaced Alabi.

The Buckeyes went three-and-out on their opening series against the Spartans after quarterback Justin Fields was sacked for a loss of 18 yards on third down.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in the days prior to kickoff that it was possible that both Alabi and Bowen would continue to play. After starting in the Sept. 28 win at Nebraska, Alabi had been named the team’s player of the game for his performance.

“We talked about how we'll play those guys as much as we can and try to play depth,” Day said.

Bowen lined up at right tackle for most of the game. He said he did not play at Nebraska last week due to back spasms.

Munford injured, but returns

Left tackle Thayer Munford suffered a leg injury late in the first quarter, prompting trainers to tend to him on the field for several minutes afterward.

Munford was lying on the turf when they arrived, then later limped off toward the sideline. Munford went through drills on the sideline, then returned with the offense for its following series.

If he had remained out of the game, Alabi was poised to replace him at left tackle.

Harrison gets share of a sack

Freshman defensive end Zach Harrison combined with Chase Young for a sack early in the second quarter.

Harrison, who starred at Olentangy Orange High School and was the highest-rated recruit in the latest recruiting class, tallied his first sack of the season in last month’s win at Indiana.

Greene applauded for Rose Bowl nod

Former Ohio State quarterback Cornelius Greene was recognized on the field during the first half for being announced last month as a member of the Rose Bowl’s latest Hall of Fame class.

Greene was MVP of Ohio State's 42-21 win over Southern California in the 1974 Rose Bowl.

He was joined on the field by former teammate Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy-winning running back.

One fewer RB for Spartans

Michigan State’s third-leading rusher, Connor Heyward, announced last week that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal.

The younger brother of former Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward, Connor Heyward began preseason camp as the Spartans’ top tailback but has been supplanted by Elijah Collins, who entered Saturday’s game with 413 rushing yards.

Heyward, a junior with two years of eligibility remaining, had 79 yards on 24 carries this season and 618 yards in his career. He is the second Spartans player to enter the transfer portal in the past two weeks, joining linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle.

“We wish Connor the best,” Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. “He's a tremendous young man.”


Starting Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette did not play in the second half due to an undisclosed injury. Arnette, who was on the sideline in street clothes, was replaced by sophomore Cameron Brown. “He’s going to be fine,” Day said, “but they're going to evaluate him.” … Ohio State receiver C.J. Saunders, who missed the first five games this season with an injury, was in uniform. He had been listed as a game-time decision on the team’s status report Friday. … Backup defensive end Tyler Friday was not in uniform. He had been listed as a game-time decision before kickoff. … Representatives from 14 NFL teams were in attendance, as were officials from the Senior Bowl and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, two college football all-star games. … The announced attendance of 104,797 was the largest crowd for an Ohio State home game this season.

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