Ohio State football defensive end Tyreke Smith a game-time decision against Maryland

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State’s pass rush could be bolstered for Saturday’s game against Maryland by the potential return of defensive end Tyreke Smith.

After missing the Buckeyes’ past two games for undisclosed reasons, Smith was listed as a game-time decision on the pregame availability report.

While starting the first three games, Smith had eight tackles with one for a loss. He didn’t record a sack, but was able to put pressure on quarterbacks, registering three hurries.

Freshman J.T. Tuimoloau started in place of Smith the previous weeks and could take on a similar role against the Terrapins if Smith is unable to return.

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Tyreke Smith (11) runs between drills during football training camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.

Maryland has one of the more explosive offenses in the Big Ten, led by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of former Alabama star passer Tua Tagovailoa who has thrown for 1,497 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions this season.

Wide receiver Julian Fleming and cornerback Demario McCall are also game-time decisions this week.

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Reserve linebacker Palaie Gaoteote is also in line to return after he was sidelined last week at Rutgers.

Gaoteote was a game-time decision against the Scarlet Knights before being ruled out during warmups.

Others who remain out include running back Miyan Williams, who did not travel with the team to Rutgers.  

Williams started the first two games against Minnesota and Oregon, rushing for a combined 202 yards and one touchdown, but did not carry the ball the following week against Tulsa and has seen budding star freshman TreVeyon Henderson take on a larger workload in the backfield.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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