WR Corey Brown Doesn’t Make Trip to Purdue
By Brandon Castel
WEST LAFAYETTE — The Buckeyes will be without wide receiver Corey Brown Saturday in their game at Purdue after the sophomore re-aggravated his ankle injury during practice this week.
Photo by Jim Davidson
An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed Friday night that Brown did not make the trip to West Lafayette, where the Buckeyes look to win their fourth game in a row after dropping the first two in Big Ten play.
A native of Springfield, Pa.—just west of Philadelphia—Brown is second on the team with 11 catches for 119 yards this season. He missed three games earlier in the year because of the ankle injury but leads the team with nine catches over the last four games.
The rest of the team has combined for 10 total catches during that span.
Brown said this week that the ankle was only 90 percent healed from the original injury, which occurred in the second week of the season against Toledo. He continued to play while rehabbing it during the week because the Buckeyes desperately needed some experience at the wide receiver position.
“We knew it was going to be a matter of growing throughout the season,” receivers coach Stan Drayton said.
“Our deal is that as an offensive unit we’re going to play into our strengths. Right now the strength of this football team offensively is to make sure we get the proper amount of run calls in. These guys have to understand that when their opportunity comes they have to be ready. Most times we have been ready, but there have been times where we have not.”
The Buckeyes are already without with two of their top receivers in senior DeVier Posey (suspension) and redshirt freshman Verlon Reed (season-ending knee injury), so the latest injury cannot help Ohio State’s struggling pass attack, which currently ranks No. 118 out of 120.
Ohio State’s passing offense is ahead of only Navy and Army, two teams that hardly try to throw the football, but they are ranked No. 25 in the country in rushing offense.
“You have to have some balance to protect your strength, to protect the run. You have to be able to threaten a team with a shot play, threaten them deep, get those safeties thinking about it,” Drayton said.
“There may be opportunities where we didn’t complete a deep ball, but the reason we’re having success in the run game is because that threat still presents itself. I think our balance will come, in time. Obviously we’re getting close to that time where it needs to start showing up.”
Without Brown in the lineup, the Buckeyes will likely start sophomore Chris Fields along with one of the true freshmen, Devin Smith or Evan Spencer. Smith leads the team with 227 yards receiving on 10 catches. He also has four of the team’s 11 touchdown grabs, including the game-winner against Wisconsin.
Ohio State has very little depth behind that group, with redshirt freshman T.Y. Williams being the only other eligible scholarship receiver. That might force the Buckeyes to use more of Jordan Hall and/or Jake Stoneburner at receiver against the Boilermakers.
With the way things have gone lately, that might not be a bad thing.
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