COLUMBUS — Ohio State’s rebuilt defensive line is about to get even greener.
Sophomore defensive tackle Tommy Schutt will be out six to eight weeks with a broken foot, coach Urban Meyer said, pushing freshman Michael Hill into a top backup role and Chase Farris back to his old spot on the defense. Meyer said Farris, a sophomore defensive-turned-offensive lineman, has shifted back to defensive tackle to account for Schutt’s injury and will play a limited role Saturday.
Schutt figured prominently in the line rotation as the top backup at both interior positions, while coaches said he was pushing junior Joel Hale hard for the starting nose guard job. Hill, a 6-foot-2, 305-pound four-star recruit from Pendleton, S.C., will back up starting tackle Michael Bennett.
JUST LIKE HOME: Fans at Ohio Stadium will get the living-room experience this year.
In an effort to keep luring fans away from their TV and into Big Ten stadiums, the conference announced Wednesday that schools will be allowed to show an unlimited number of replays at any speed on the videoboards.
Schools previously were able to show one replay at no less than 75 percent of live speed — an official-friendly rule in the same spirit as Major League Baseball’s ban on replays of disputed calls.
“Our goal on game day is to blend the best parts of an in-stadium experience with the best parts of an at-home experience,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. “Enhanced replay is just one way to do that.”
DEPTH CHART: Ohio State’s first depth chart featured a few mild surprises.
Though mostly a matter of semantics — skill players will be moved around — junior Evan Spencer is listed as the starter at the “Z” receiver position, and top returning wideouts Corey Brown and Devin Smith are listed as co-starters in the “X” role.
Another receiver, senior Chris Fields, is penned in as the starting H-back while senior Jordan Hall — viewed by coaches as the best option to fill the hybrid role — is the starter at running back in place of suspended starter Carlos Hyde.
Freshman Dontre Wilson, who is expected to see time Saturday as a running back and receiver, is the backup H-back. He is one of 15 freshmen on the two-deep.
SCHEDULE SHAKEUP: Are you ready for some football?
The Buckeyes’ nonconference showcase game at Virginia Tech in 2015 will be played on a Monday night, Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver revealed in a radio interview this week. Originally scheduled for Sept. 19, the game would be moved to Labor Day night, Sept. 7.
An Ohio State spokesman confirmed a shakeup is coming to the 2015 schedule but declined further comment. The Buckeyes will host Virginia Tech on Sept. 20, 2014.
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