It’s finally Penn State-Ohio State week. Saturday’s matchup in Columbus figures to be one of the most pivotal games of the college football season. Penn State football comes into the game 6-0, looking to prove that it belongs in the conversation for the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff. Ohio State hopes to cement that the conference title still runs through Columbus, not Ann Arbor. But will the Buckeyes have to defend their home turf without some of their biggest playmakers? The status of Ohio State stars Emeka Egbuka, TreVeyon Henderson, and Miyan Williams is now in question after the Buckeyes’ Week 7 game at Purdue.
Status of multiple Ohio State stars in question after Week 7
Friday evening, it was reported that standout Ohio State WR Emeka Egbuka didn’t travel to West Lafayette for the Buckeyes’ Week 7 game against Purdue. According to On3’s Ohio State affiliate Lettermen Row, who later confirmed the news, the decision was expected after Egbuka left the Maryland game with an apparent leg injury last week.
Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka did not travel and will miss Saturday’s game at Purdue.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 13, 2023
However, he wasn’t the only Buckeyes star battling injuries this weekend. When the Big Ten’s mandated injury report came out Saturday morning, it included several other Ohio State stars. RBs Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson were listed as out and questionable, respectively. Henderson ultimately didn’t go on Saturday.
Ohio State missing more than just Emeka Egbuka today.
Running back Miyan Williams is out.
TreVeyon Henderson is listed as questionable and defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie is also listed as questionable.
— Cameron Teague (@cj_teague) October 14, 2023
Things didn’t improve for the Buckeyes once Saturday’s game started. Ohio State backup RB Chip Trayanum left the game in the first quarter and did not return after suffering a big hit. Dallan Hayden ultimately led the way for the Buckeyes on the ground with 11 rushes for 76 yards and a score in Ohio State’s 41-7 win over Purdue.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day wasn’t able to provide much information in an injury update after the game. However, he did note the Buckeyes were hopeful to have their stars return for Penn State next week.
Ryan Day on the health of Ohio State's running back room: "We hope to get everybody back next week."
— Chase Brown (@chaseabrown__) October 14, 2023
How could these injuries impact the Penn State game?
Obviously, losing several stars would be a severe blow to Ohio State right before one of the biggest games of the season.
Emeka Egbuka has 22 catches for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. But the Buckeyes have what is likely the best WR room in all of college football. Marvin Harrison Jr., widely accepted as the best WR in the country, is still expected to be full go. Harrison has 31 receptions for 604 yards and 5 scores this year.
The Buckeyes also could be missing their top three rushers if TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams, and Chip Trayanum can’t go against Penn State. Henderson is Ohio State’s leading rusher with 44 carries for 295 yards and 5 scores on the year. Trayanum has 51 carries for 235 yards and 3 scores, while Williams has 25 rushes for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns. Haden earned his first touches of 2023 on Saturday in only his second appearance of the season.
This matchup will prove to be the toughest test of the year for the Penn State defense, which came into the weekend ranked No. 1 in total defense nationally. The Nittany Lions held off the Buckeyes for 3 quarters before giving up 28 points in the 4th quarter last year.
Saturday’s epic showdown between Penn State football and Ohio State will kick off at 12 p.m. on FOX’s Big Noon.
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