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Ohio State practices in the Horseshoe with season on horizon

Bill Rabinowitz
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day talks to his team before the start of practice at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 3, 2020.

With the belated start to its season three weeks away, Ohio State's football team practiced at Ohio Stadium on Saturday morning.

Media were allowed to watch a portion of practice, but not the part that included team drills or even 7-on-7 drills so not too much could be gleaned. Among the players not present were senior running back/receiver Demario McCall, freshman safety Kourt Williams and senior wide receiver Jaylen Harris. Ohio State did not provide an explanation for the absence of those players.

Sophomore defensive tackle Taron Vincent and freshman cornerback Lejond Cavazos were not seen during the media availability, but a team spokesman said they did practice.

Quarterback Justin Fields threw the ball crisply. Freshmen C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller also threw with zip on their passes.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws the ball during practice at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 3, 2020.

In offensive-line drills, sophomore Harry Miller took reps at left guard with the starters, as expected.

Ohio State opens its season Oct. 24 against visiting Nebraska. Fans will not be permitted at games, and coach Ryan Day wants to get his team acclimated to playing in an empty stadium. The team practice in the Horseshoe last Saturday as well.

"Being in an empty stadium is unique," he said. "We're going to try to pipe in a little bit of music and have some (simulated) crowd noise as we move into next week just so that they get a feel for what that really is going to be like," he said. 

"I know that the Big Ten is still trying to get the guidelines around what gameday is going to be like in terms of piping in music and noise and what that means when the ball's being snapped. We're going to try to replicate that the best we can.

"But we know it's not like playing in front of over 100,000 people every week. So we're gonna have to bring our energy when you run out of that tunnel."

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch