Late in the first quarter with Ohio State looking to tack onto their 20-7 lead, redshirt sophomore right guard Branden Bowen got his leg pinned beneath him, fracturing both his tibia and fibula according to a tweet from his mother.
Bowen had started all six games this season for the Buckeyes, winning the job during fall camp. After spending the first two years of his Ohio State career at offensive tackle, he was improving and impressing each week at guard.
After the game, OSU head coach Urban Meyer said Bowen would undergo surgery immediately.
“Keep Branden Bowen in your prayers,” he said. “I think he’s going to have surgery tomorrow, broken leg. Clean break, and so just gotta get him healthy and get him back.”
Redshirt sophomore Matt Burrell replaced Bowen and played well, but Meyer wants to see some competition emerge among the contenders.
“Next man up, right now looks like Matt Burrell,” he said. “And we’ll see if there’s any competition at that spot. That’s alarming, but Matt played okay. So we’ll see what happens there.”
Redshirt juniors Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox will also compete for the right guard spot, just as they did in the preseason.
At the half, Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee — and former Buckeye center — LeCharles Bentley gave some insight into what he would tell his offensive line in a similar situation.
“Don’t be the guy to let us down,” he said. “That’s why you prepare each and every day throughout the course of the week. You have to be ready. You have to stay ready for your opportunity when it comes. And in situations like that, you don’t want to be the guy that lets everyone down.”
Undoubtedly, Urban Meyer and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa will be sharing the same kind of message this week.
Awake and well. Surgery was good. Buckeyenation your support is unreal! The Best Damn Fans in The Land ! I appreciate you all! Go Bucks!
— Branden Bowen (@BrandenBowen) October 8, 2017