COLUMBUS — Ohio State will be without starting defensive end Jonathon Cooper for today’s game against the Wisconsin Badgers.
In a rain-soaked, run-heavy game, the Buckeyes need every defensive lineman they can spare, but they will be without their senior defensive end and captain for this one.
Cooper, who has missed much of the season with an ankle injury, has been able to play the last few weeks, but showed up unexpectedly on Friday’s availability report as a game-time decision.
Cooper has just two tackles on the season, but makes an impact in other ways for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes were already without sophomore defensive end Tyler Friday, so this makes a once-deep group relatively thin.
Expect sophomore Tyreke Smith to get the start with junior All-American Chase Young, and then redshirt freshman Javontae Jean-Baptiste and true freshman Zach Harrison will back them up.
Or, the Buckeyes could once again go with senior defensive tackle Jashon Cornell at defensive end, as they did in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. As of this writing, however, Cornell is still warming up at defensive tackle.
The Buckeyes are one of the few teams equipped to handle multiple losses on the defensive line, but Wisconsin’s offensive line and running game will put that luxury to the test.
Sorry, but probably better talent behind him. Cooper is a great buckeye but not much more than average. May hurt depth but he’s not a difference maker. Replacement will do fine.
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