Ohio State football: Starter lost, Stroud honored, game time set

Ohio State’s efforts to fix a leaky defense will not include Josh Proctor.

Head coach Ryan Day announced on the weekly Buckeye Roundtable radio show on 97.1 FM Monday night Proctor is out for the season as a result of a leg injury suffered Saturday against Oregon.

A 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior from Owasso, Okla., Proctor was Ohio State’s starting deep safety.

He had seven tackles in the opener against Minnesota but went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury late in that game. He did not start against Oregon but came off the bench multiple times as the Buckeye defense struggled to contain the Ducks.

He appeared to get his leg caught bent backwards while making a tackle in the third quarter and was carted off the field after a long delay.

Ohio State has several options to replace Proctor, starting with his top backup Bryson Shaw.

Shaw started at deep safety in Proctor’s place last week but appeared culpable in at least two of Oregon’s touchdowns as he was out of position on a play-action pass and failed to get a hand on CJ Verdell on a 77-yard touchdown run.

Junior Marcus Hooker was the starter at deep safety early last season but was benched after struggling. He was suspended for spring practice as a result of a DUI but returned to the team in August. True freshman Jantzen Dunn has also practiced at the position, and there are a handful of other defensive backs who could be candidates to move to what is an important role as last line of defense in the Ohio State scheme.

They include senior Marcus Williamson, who played both safety spots last season, and redshirt freshman Cam Martinez. Sophomore Lathan Ransom has been starting at the other safety spot, but he was recruited as a deep safety and could move back there and be replaced in his current role by Williamson or Martinez.

Proctor was a four-star recruit and a top 100 prospect in 247Sports Composite rankings for 2018. He appeared to be coming into his own before the injury. He is eligible for a medical redshirt and could return next season.

---Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was chosen Big Ten Freshman of the Week after throwing for 484 yards and three touchdowns against the Ducks.

He came within 15 yards of Dwayne Haskins’ single-game school record, and he ranks second in the nation with 389.0 passing yards per game.

Stroud was also Big Ten Freshman of the Week after his first start of the season.

Michigan running back Blake Corum was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week while Nebraska linebacker Luke Reimer took home defensive honors. Rutgers punter Adam Korsak and Iowa punter Tory Taylor shared the special teams award.

---The Big Ten Network announced Monday it has tabbed Ohio State’s fourth game of the season for primetime on the conference channel.

The Buckeyes will host Akron at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25.

Entering the season, the Zips were widely expected to be among the worst teams in the country, and they are 0-2 to start the season with losses to Auburn and Temple.

Night kickoffs at Ohio Stadium were once reserved for only the biggest games of the year (aside from Michigan), but that has changed with the evolution of conference television contracts.

Fox Sports has had ratings success putting its best game of the week on at noon — taking advantage of a dearth of appealing matchups in that time slot — with ESPN/ABC and CBS still using the 3:30 window for premium games. That leaves some of the scraps to BTN, which gets at least two games from every conference member per season.

Ohio Stadium did not host a night game until 1985, but it has had at least one in 12 of the past 13 seasons.

The Buckeyes are 16-5 all-time at home under the lights.

This Saturday’s home game against Tulsa will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on FS1.

About the Author