Senior K'Vaughan Pope could play strongside linebacker if Ohio State continues to predominantly use a 4-3 formation.

Ohio State Football Spring Game

Ohio State dismisses LB K’Vaughan Pope after blowup

The Ohio State football program dismissed senior linebacker K’Vaughan Pope from the team Sunday, one day after Pope was involved in a bizarre incident with coaches on the sideline of a game.

With the Buckeyes on defense in the second quarter of a 59-7 win over Akron, Pope tried to enter the game but was waved off by a teammate. Instead of simply returning to the sideline, Pope headed toward the Ohio State locker room before a member of the coaching staff intercepted him and brought him back.

The Ohio State blog Lettermen Row reported that Pope removed his gloves, threw them into the stands and tried to remove his jersey while on the sideline as well. A few coaches spoke with Pope before someone led him to the locker room.

Before the game ended, Pope tweeted “f– Ohio State” but then deleted the tweet. He tweeted a separate message, saying, “good lucc to my teammates.”

“K’Vaughan will continue to have the use of programs that benefit our student-athletes, such as our Student-Athlete Support Services Office, and we will support him with his progress toward graduation,” head coach Ryan Day said in a news release. “He will remain on scholarship through the duration of this semester.”

Pope tweeted an apology on Sunday.

“Last night I let my emotions get the best of me. For that I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Buckeye Nation,” he said. “I made a mistake and know that I need to be better and do better. I’m going to take this time to reflect and work on my mental well-being.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) runs in the touchdown over Akron Zips safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell (8)during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman QB Kyle McCord helps No. 10 Ohio State rout Akron

Ohio State spotted Akron an early lead before freshman quarterback Kyle McCord, in his first collegiate action, helped the No. 10 Buckeyes to a 59-7 rout of the Zips in Columbus on Saturday.

Akron (1-3, 0-0 MAC) led 7-0 before the Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) took a 38-7 halftime lead on two McCord touchdown passes, a pair of rushing touchdowns by TreVeyon Henderson and a 46-yard pick-six by Ronnie Hickman.

McCord was 13-of-18 for 319 yards with the two TDs and an interception before being replaced midway through the third quarter.

He got the nod after coach Ryan Day decided to rest C.J. Stroud, who struggled in his first three career starts this season with a sore shoulder.

McCord was the fourth true freshman to start at QB for Ohio State.

Along with running back Henderson (93 yards on eight carries), it was the first time Ohio State started two true freshmen in the backfield.

After incompletions on his first two attempts, McCord completed 11 of his next 13 for 229 yards through halftime, including a 5-yard TD to Chris Olave and a 34-yard strike to Jaxon Smith-Njigba to make it 21-7.

Akron surprised the Buckeyes when, on their second possession of the game, the Zips went 55 yards on nine plays, capped by a DJ Irons pass of 4 yards to Konata Mumpfield to go ahead 7-0.

Irons was 14-of-29 for 115 yards and was sacked seven times.

During the second quarter, Ohio State senior linebacker K’Vaughan Pope had a heated exchange with the coaches after being waved off the field while trying to go in for a defensive package. He was told to leave the sidelines and was escorted to the locker room by a staff member as he threw some of his equipment into the stands.

On Twitter shortly after that he posted, “good lucc [sic] to my teammates,” then “f– ohio state,” before deleting the latter.

–Field Level Media

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws the ball against Oregon Ducks during the fourth quarter in their NCAA Division I game on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Osu21ore Kwr 33

No. 9 Ohio State seeks redemption at home vs. Tulsa

Ohio State looks to restart its quest for a national title when the No. 9 Buckeyes host Tulsa on Saturday.

The Buckeyes (1-1) were ranked third last week before then-No. 12 Oregon handed them a 35-28 loss in Ohio Stadium, ending the third-longest active FBS home winning streak.

It was also the first regular-season loss for Ryan Day since becoming head coach before the 2019 season.

“You find out a lot about people, find out about their true character,” Day said. “A great opportunity for our guys to learn about that and grow.”

Tulsa (0-2) gave Oklahoma State all it could handle before losing 28-23 on Saturday.

Tulsa’s tough loss last week was a better performance than the season opener when UC Davis stung the host Golden Hurricane 19-17 for their first loss to a lower-level Football Championship Subdivision team in more than 30 years.

Seventh-year Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery looks forward to the challenge of facing what should be a motivated Ohio State team.

“The good part about our football team is we played in front of a lot of big crowds and in a lot of big stadiums since I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s a special place, obviously, with all the tradition and the history that goes along with it.

“We’ve been in loud stadiums before and now it’s just about us going in and handling the environment in between the lines and executing plays.”

All the pressure is on the Buckeyes to replicate the 2014 season when they also lost the second game, at home to Virginia Teach, but went undefeated the rest of the way to win their most recent title with a victory over Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff championship game.

Ohio State’s turnaround must start with an improved defense that has put defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs on the hot seat.

In their first two games, the Buckeyes allowed Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim to run for 163 yards, while Oregon’s CJ Verdell had 161 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown.

Day said changes in roles for the defensive staff have been discussed.

“We are looking at all those types of things,” he said. “No hard decisions have been made.”

Deneric Prince has rushed for 180 yards and two TDs in two Tulsa games and the Golden Hurricane are averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

The Buckeyes allowed Oregon’s rushers a 7.1-yard average per carry and did not have a sack for the first time since 2018, stats that give Tulsa’s Montgomery hope.

“It’s about us going up and finding ways to move the football, being unique in that part of it,” he said. “You’ve got to continue to find chain movers if you will.”

There’s no question Ohio State can move the ball. The 612 total yards vs. Oregon were its most ever in a loss. C.J. Stroud threw for 488 yards, second-most in program history, but the Buckeyes failed to score four times in the first half when they had the ball inside the Ducks’ 40.

Day doesn’t blame Stroud.

“For me to do what I need to do on offense, I need the defense to be on point,” the coach said.

— Field Level Media

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller (76) prepares to snap the ball during the first quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.

Cfb Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan State Spartans

Two starters out for No. 4 Ohio State vs. Minnesota

Starting center Harry Miller and cornerback Cameron Brown have been ruled out of No. 4 Ohio State’s season-opener Thursday night against Minnesota.

They are among 11 inactives listed by the Buckeyes. Senior defensive tackle Jerron Cage is also listed as out for the game.

Miller didn’t make the trip to Minnesota. Redshirt freshman Luke Wypler is expected to start in Miller’s place. Wypler saw just 15 snaps as a true freshman in 2020.

Brown, who suffered a season-ending injury last season, could be cleared for Week 2 vs. Oregon.

–Field Level Media

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws during football training camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Ohio State Football Training Camp

Reports: Ohio St. QB Quinn Ewers lands $1.4 million NIL deal

Before ever seeing the field in a college game, new Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers is earning more than $1 million for his name, image and likeness.

GT Sports Marketing, a company that deals in athlete autographs, signed a multi-year deal with Ewers, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Ewers was the No. 1-rated quarterback in the Class of 2022 before he reclassified to 2021. He headed to Columbus early because in his home state of Texas, there were not yet laws in place for him to capitalize on NIL rights as a high schooler.

Action Network was the first to report the news. ESPN reported that the deal was worth $1.4 million overall and marks Ewers’ third NIL deal to date.

It’s unknown just when Ewers will begin to see the field for Ohio State. Redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud was named the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback for their season opener Thursday at conference opponent Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) jogs during warm-ups for football training camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.

Ohio State Football Training Camp

C.J. Stroud named Ohio State starting quarterback

C.J. Stroud will start at quarterback for Ohio State when the Buckeyes open the season Sept. 2 at Minnesota.

Coach Ryan Day made the announcement Saturday morning. He’d been mostly tight-lipped during summer practices as Stroud battled for the position with fellow redshirt freshman Jack Miller and freshman Kyle McCord.

Stroud, a 6-foot-3 Southern Californian, was the No. 2 pro-style QB prospect in the Class of 2020, per the 247Sports composite. Miller, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was ranked No. 13 in the same class.

McCord, a five-star prospect from Mount Laurel, N.J., was the No. 6-ranked quarterback in the 2021 class.

Stroud appeared in three games in the abbreviated 2020 season, backing up Justin Fields. His season highlight was a 48-yard rushing touchdown against Michigan State.

In the spring game, he completed 16 of 22 pass attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Miller also had a rushing touchdown last season, scoring on a 2-yard run against Nebraska.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; A member of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries his helmet off the field after defeating the Northwestern Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star DL J.T. Tuimoloau commits to Ohio State

Five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau announced his commitment to Ohio State in a televised decision special Sunday.

Tuimoloau is ranked the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2021 by 247Sports, No. 4 overall by ESPN and No. 6 overall by Rivals. He was the highest-ranked recruit in the class who had yet to make a college decision.

From Sammamish, Wash., he picked the Buckeyes over Oregon, Washington and Southern Cal. He made official visits to each of those schools in June and canceled a planned trip to Alabama.

Tuimoloau marks the fifth five-star prospect in the class to choose Ohio State, following defensive lineman Jack Sawyer, wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, running back TreVeyon Henderson and quarterback Kyle McCord. The Buckeyes’ 2021 class is ranked No. 2 overall, behind only Alabama, by 247Sports.

The Buckeyes and Crimson Tide each have three of the Top 10 players in the 2021 class. Southern Cal, Georgia, Oklahoma and Miami have one each.

Tuimoloau, who checks in at 6-foot-5 and about 280 pounds, is considered a versatile prospect who can play both on the end and inside at tackle. He will need to make travel arrangements for Columbus quickly, as the 2021 college football season begins in less than eight weeks. He is expected on campus this week.

Ohio State opens the following week with a Big Ten showdown at Minnesota on Sept. 2.

The Buckeyes also have a commitment from the No. 1 player in the 2022 class on the 247Sports composite, quarterback Quinn Ewers of Southlake, Texas. That Buckeyes class, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, has four five-star commits.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day (center) looks on during the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State without 23 players vs. Michigan State

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day isn’t the only one unavailable for the No. 4 Buckeyes against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.

The Buckeyes listed 23 players as out in the pregame status report, including starting linebacker Tuf Borland and starting offensive linemen Thayer Munford, Josh Myers and Nicholas Petit-Frere.

While Day is out due to COVID-19, the Buckeyes don’t list reasons for players who are out so the extent of any spread is uncertain. It was required to be under 7.5 percent within the program due to Big Ten protocols.

Big Ten coaches who test positive for COVID-19 are required to be out for 10 days. That puts Day’s earliest possible return from isolation on Monday.

Several positive tests within the program caused the Buckeyes to cancel last week’s game at Illinois. The status of Saturday’s game wasn’t certain because of a positivity rate protocol the Big Ten instituted prior to the season.

If Ohio State (4-0) was at or above 7.5 percent within the program, the team would have been ineligible to play at Michigan State. The Buckeyes need to play six games to be eligible to play for the Big Ten championship.

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will fill in for Day against the Spartans.

The Buckeyes are scheduled to close the Big Ten season on Dec. 12 against Michigan.

The Wolverines canceled their Saturday game against Maryland after 15 reported cases of COVID-19 in the program through Friday of this week, putting the season finale in jeopardy.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day on the sidelines during the game against the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Day, Saban absences create minimal impact on odds

Ryan Day and Nick Saban are two of the most influential coaches in college football, but their absences on Saturday are not expected to put their teams on upset alert.

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide moved from a 25-point favorite (-110) against the Auburn Tigers at PointsBet to 24.5 (-110) after Saban tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, who debuted at No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings, moved from a 29-point favorite (-115) to beat 2-3 Illinois to 27.5 (-110) after Day tested positive on Friday.

Both coaches will not be on the sideline on Saturday.

“The absence of Saban and Day aren’t really moving the numbers too much,” odds consultant Scott Cooley said. “The reason being is that you have two superior teams playing against two inferior teams, at least according to the power ratings and odds.

“If these matchups were creating spreads 10 points or less, then you’d see some adjustment or betting reaction for the coaches. But since we’re looking at almost four-score (under)dogs, it’s not going to move the needle.”

Ohio State isn’t planning to fly to Champaign until Saturday morning as it waits on more test results, according to reports.

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who also is associate head coach, will run the squad in place of Day.

“Coach Ryan Day is one of the individuals who has tested positive,” the school said in a statement. “He is in isolation and will not travel to Illinois or coach the team. Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach of the Buckeyes on Saturday.”

Day reportedly would need to isolate for 10 days and be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before he can return to his coaching duties.

There were reports Thursday that an unknown number of Ohio State players in more than one position group have tested positive for COVID-19, leaving in doubt whether the Buckeyes (4-0) could play this weekend.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith reiterated that the team wants to play.

“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” Smith said. “I feel terrible for (Day) and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test.

“Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day (center) and defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs(right) and place kicker Dominic DiMaccio (28)after the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Multiple Ohio State players positive for COVID-19

An unspecified number of Ohio State players in more than one position group have tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple media reports.

The No. 4 Buckeyes (4-0) are scheduled to play at Illinois (2-3) on Saturday. As of Thursday morning, the game was still scheduled, but reports said a final decision would not be made until another round of testing was completed.

Ohio State’s Nov. 14 game at Maryland was canceled because of an outbreak among the Terrapins. Under Big Ten rules, teams must play at least six games to be eligible to play in the Big Ten Championship Game, set for Dec. 19 in Indianapolis.

The Buckeyes’ remaining scheduled games are at Michigan State on Dec. 5 and against Michigan in Columbus on Dec. 12.

–Field Level Media