Freshman focus: Two more chip in 

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
12:00
PM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nobody has put more true freshmen on the field than Ohio State.

Ultimately the Buckeyes are expecting that to pay big dividends with those 15 players. In the short term, there will be some growing pains that make it hard to find many meaningful contributions on the stats sheet.

For the second week in a row, the newcomers played their parts on special teams and chipped in a couple tackles covering kicks. An exciting young receiver broke through for his first catch as he tries to make a move for more playing time.

But other than that, Ohio State largely needed the veterans to do the heavy lifting in a 29-15 win over UAB, and given a few breakdowns in the third phase of the game, coach Urban Meyer might actually be scaling back some of the reps for the freshmen for the time being.

"We're starting I think six or seven true freshmen on kickoff right now, and it’s probably too many," Meyer said. "I’m going to readjust that and take a look at it.

"Just trying to get those young guys in the game a little bit."

The Buckeyes figure to eventually need them to chip in more on offense and defense as the season progresses, and there have been a handful showing signs of getting close to do it. In this week's look at the freshman class, two guys make their first appearance in representing the offense and the defense as Ohio State keeps maintaining the balance of winning now and building for the future.

MICHAEL THOMAS

  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Stats sheet: One catch for 6 yards
Saban vs. Meyer
Trevor Matich discusses the coaching matchup in the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Alabama's Nick Saban and Ohio State's Urban Meyer.
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