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Ohio State receiver Chris Olave 'in good spirits' after hit to head

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra

Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave is “in good spirits” after a collision in the second half of the Buckeyes’ season-opening 52-17 win over Nebraska, coach Ryan Day said.

“He seemed good,” Day said. “He was in good spirits. He had a good look in his eye. That’s all I really know at this point.”

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During the final seconds of the third quarter, Olave caught a pass from quarterback Justin Fields, and while running just past the Cornhuskers’ 25-yard line was hit in the head by safety Deontai Williams.

Leaning in with his shoulder, Williams delivered a blow that was hard enough that it jarred the ball from Olave's grasp before he hit the ground and left the receiver dazed on the Ohio Stadium turf for several minutes. Linebacker JoJo Domann recovered the ball for Nebraska at thge21.

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (2) heads up field after a catch against Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Quinton Newsome (6) during the 3rd quarter in their NCAA Division I football game on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Trainers examined Olave before he later left for the locker room and did not return. Day expected to learn more about his recovery from the hit as soon as Sunday.

Williams later was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter for a separate hit on Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

One of Ohio State’s top pass-catchers who led the team in touchdown receptions last fall with 12, Olave caught six passes for 104 yards through three quarters of the opener.

He nearly pulled in a leaping 43-yard touchdown pass from Fields in the end zone late in the second quarter but lost control of the ball as he landed on the ground after being upended by Nebraska cornerback Dicaprio Bootle.

Olave's status will be key for the Buckeyes as they prepare to face Penn State next Saturday night in their first road trip of this season.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman