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Snap Counts: Bryson Shaw Plays Every Defensive Snap As 61 Total Buckeyes See Action in Closer-Than-Expected Game Against Tulsa

Bryson Shaw Plays Every Defensive

Ohio State’s third game of the 2021 season against Tulsa was supposed to be an opportunity for the Buckeyes to play deep into their bench. It didn’t work out that way.

While the Buckeyes ultimately won the game by 21 points, Tulsa trailed by just seven points for most of the fourth quarter. As such, Ohio State had to play its starters for the entire game, and only 61 total Buckeyes – only four more than against Oregon – got on the field against the Golden Hurricane.

Maybe next weekend against Akron, a second Ohio State quarterback or Ohio State’s second-team offensive line will finally get a chance to play. Against Tulsa, however, most of the Buckeyes’ key players stayed in the game for all four quarters – though there were some noteworthy changes to the rotations on both sides of the ball.

Even though Ohio State never pulled away from Tulsa, its defensive rotation expanded for the third game in a row, as 28 total defenders – 13 defensive linemen, six linebackers and nine defensive backs – played at least one defensive snap. Offensively, TreVeyon Henderson started at running back while Miyan Williams didn’t play at all after starting the first two games.

Nine different players were on the field for more than 50 snaps on both offense and defense; Bryson Shaw, who started at free safety with Josh Proctor out for the season, led all Buckeyes in playing time by playing all 88 of Ohio State’s defensive snaps against Tulsa.

We take a look at all of this week’s snap counts below. Offensive and defensive snap counts were provided by Pro Football Focus’ premium statistics, while special teams snap counts were compiled by Eleven Warriors data analyst Matt Gutridge.

Quarterbacks

C.J. Stroud: 67

For the third week in a row, Stroud took every snap at quarterback for the Buckeyes even though he’s continuing to battle a shoulder injury. He threw far fewer passes against Tulsa than he did against Oregon, attempting just 25 passes after throwing 54 times one week before, but was on the field for every offensive play while Kyle McCord, Jack Miller and Quinn Ewers continue to await their first playing time of the season.

Running Backs

TreVeyon Henderson: 42
Master Teague: 25

Henderson’s rise to the top of Ohio State’s running back depth chart took just three weeks, as the true freshman who began the year as the Buckeyes’ fourth running back went from being the No. 2 running back against Oregon to a first-time starter against Tulsa. He took full advantage of the opportunity, breaking Ohio State’s freshman rushing record by running for 277 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

It was only a matter of time before Henderson became the Buckeyes’ top running back, but the bigger surprise was that Miyan Williams didn’t play at all. Instead, the No. 2 running back snaps against Tulsa went to Teague, who didn’t play at all against Oregon. (Note: Pro Football Focus listed Williams as playing one snap, but we reviewed the film and determined that snap should have been attributed to Teague, as Williams did not play.)

Ryan Day said after the game that Williams was available to play, but that the Buckeyes opted to play Henderson and Teague over Williams against Tulsa because Teague had a better week of practice. Teague rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries vs. the Golden Hurricane.

Wide Receivers

Chris Olave: 60
Garrett Wilson: 56
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 32
Marvin Harrison Jr.: 8
Emeka Egbuka: 7
Julian Fleming: 7
Chris Booker: Special teams only
Xavier Johnson: Special teams only

Ohio State continued to rely mostly on its established starters at receiver against Tulsa, as Olave played all but seven offensive snaps – though surprisingly didn’t catch a single pass, not counting a 47-yard reception that was nullified by a facemask penalty against Paris Johnson Jr. – while Wilson was in the game for all but 11 of the Buckeyes’ offensive plays.

The Buckeyes didn’t use as many three-receiver sets as usual as they went with a run-heavy game plan against Tulsa, but Smith-Njigba played most of the snaps in the slot when there were three wideouts on the field.

Harrison and Egbuka each played their highest snap counts of their young Ohio State careers so far against Tulsa, but neither has caught a pass as a Buckeye yet. Fleming caught one pass for seven yards in Saturday’s third quarter, though he did not finish out the game on the kickoff, kickoff return or punt units – all of which he started on – indicating that he had to exit the game early, though it was not clear if and when he was injured.

Tight Ends

Jeremy Ruckert: 57
Cade Stover: 25
Mitch Rossi: 14
Gee Scott Jr.: 1

Ohio State used multi-tight end sets frequently against Tulsa, and four tight ends saw playing time as a result, with Stover (who made his first career catch) and Rossi (who PFF graded as the Buckeyes’ best run blocker against Tulsa) both playing the highest snap counts of their Ohio State careers so far.

Scott got in the game for just one snap but made the most of it, also making the first catch of his career to convert a third down for the Buckeyes.

Offensive Linemen

Nicholas Petit-Frere: 67
Luke Wypler: 67
Paris Johnson Jr.: 67
Dawand Jones: 67
Matthew Jones: 53
Thayer Munford: 14
Donovan Jackson: 1
Josh Fryar: Special teams only
Enokk Vimahi: Special teams only

Ohio State started the game with the same offensive line as its first two games of the season – Petit-Frere at left tackle, Munford at left guard, Wypler at center, Johnson at right guard and Dawand Jones at right tackle – but Jones replaced Munford in the lineup at left guard after Munford went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter.

Jackson, as he also did in the season opener at Minnesota, came in for one play as a sixth offensive lineman, checking into the game for a 3rd-and-1 run on Ohio State’s final possession of the game.

Snap Tracker: Offense
Pos Player MINN ORE TLSA TOTAL
QB C.J. STROUD 50 86 67 203
RB TREVEYON HENDERSON 7 38 42 87
RB MIYAN WILLIAMS 22 48 DNP 70
RB MASTER TEAGUE 13 DNP 25 38
RB MARCUS CROWLEY 9 ST DNP 9
WR GARRETT WILSON 43 85 56 184
WR CHRIS OLAVE 42 81 60 183
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA 29 80 32 141
WR JULIAN FLEMING 8 5 7 20
WR MARVIN HARRISON JR. 7 1 8 16
WR EMEKA EGBUKA 5 ST 7 12
WR CHRIS BOOKER ST ST ST ST
WR XAVIER JOHNSON ST ST ST ST
TE JEREMY RUCKERT 45 82 57 184
TE CADE STOVER 15 10 25 50
TE MITCH ROSSI 4 ST 14 18
TE GEE SCOTT JR. 1 DNP 1 2
OL NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE 50 86 67 203
OL LUKE WYPLER 50 86 67 203
OL PARIS JOHNSON JR. 50 86 67 203
OL DAWAND JONES 50 86 67 203
OL THAYER MUNFORD 50 86 14 150
OL MATTHEW JONES ST ST 53 53
OL DONOVAN JACKSON 1 ST 1 2
OL JOSH FRYAR ST ST ST ST
OL ENOKK VIMAHI ST ST ST ST

Defensive Ends

Tyreke Smith: 58
Javontae Jean-Baptiste: 47
J.T. Tuimoloau: 45
Jack Sawyer: 17
Jacolbe Cowan: 10
Cormontae Hamilton: 8
Darrion Henry-Young: 4

With Zach Harrison unavailable against Tulsa, Jean-Baptiste took his place in the starting lineup while Smith played the most snaps among all defensive ends. Tuimoloau also saw a substantial increase in playing time and played in heavy rotation as the Buckeyes’ third defensive end – Smith, Jean-Baptiste and Tuimoloau were all on the field in a three-man front in some pass-rushing situations – while Sawyer played double-digit snaps for the first time as the fourth defensive end.

Even though the game remained competitive for four quarters, all seven scholarship defensive ends who were available to play saw snaps against Tulsa. Cowan played double-digit snaps for the first time in his career while Hamilton (who also lined up inside in some three-man fronts) and Henry-Young both made their first appearances of the year, with all of Henry-Young’s snaps coming on the game’s final series.

Defensive Tackles

Haskell Garrett: 54
Antwuan Jackson: 37
Tyleik Williams: 22
Ty Hamilton: 17
Jerron Cage: 11
Taron Vincent: 8

After playing many of his snaps at nose tackle in Ohio State’s first two games of the season, Garrett played primarily at his natural position of 3-technique against Tulsa. Vincent started the game at nose tackle alongside Garrett, but ended up playing just eight early snaps vs. the Golden Hurricane after playing 49 snaps in each of the Buckeyes’ first two games.

Jackson played the most snaps at nose tackle alongside Garrett against Tulsa, while Hamilton was the next man up in the nose tackle rotation and Cage made his season debut after missing the Buckeyes’ first two games.

Williams, a true freshman who played just three snaps in the Buckeyes’ first two games, rotated with Garrett at 3-technique and was impressive in the first extended playing time of his Ohio State career, recording 1.5 tackles for loss including a crucial third-down sack for a 17-yard loss with Tulsa threatening to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

Linebackers

Cody Simon: 68
Tommy Eichenberg: 53
K’Vaughan Pope: 24
Steele Chambers: 17
Dallas Gant: 1
Palaie Gaoteote: 1
Cade Kacherski: Special teams only

Simon made his first career start and played the most snaps of any linebacker against Tulsa in place of Teradja Mitchell, who played the most linebacker snaps in the first two games but did not play against the Golden Hurricane after being listed as a game-time decision due to an undisclosed injury. Eichenberg started at Mike linebacker and played the second-most snaps of any Ohio State linebacker for the third game in a row.

Pope, who did not play at all against Minnesota and played just seven snaps against Oregon, also saw his role increase in Mitchell’s absence as he played the third-most snaps of any linebacker. Chambers also played his highest snap count of the season so far as the backup Will linebacker.

Gaoteote, who has played exclusively as a Sam linebacker in three-linebacker packages in his first two games as a Buckeye, played just one snap as the Buckeyes rarely had three linebackers on the field against Tulsa (though he made that snap count by making a 3rd-and-1 run stop). Gant, whose playing time has decreased in each of the first three weeks, also played just one defensive snap against Tulsa.

Cornerbacks

Denzel Burke: 78
Cameron Brown: 73
Sevyn Banks: 25
Lejond Cavazos: Special teams only
Demario McCall: Special teams only

Although Banks returned to Ohio State’s outside cornerback rotation against Tulsa after not playing in either of the first two games, he came off the bench and was the third man in the rotation behind Burke, who’s started and played the most snaps among all cornerbacks in each of his first three games as a Buckeye, and Brown, who started and played the second-most snaps at cornerback for the second week in a row.

Cavazos, who was the third man in the cornerback rotation behind Burke and Brown against Oregon, did not play any defensive snaps against Tulsa.

Denzel Burke played the most snaps of any Ohio State cornerback for the third game in a row against Tulsa.

Safeties

Bryson Shaw: 88
Ronnie Hickman: 64
Lathan Ransom: 64
Cameron Martinez: 39
Marcus Williamson: 22
Craig Young: 14
Marcus Hooker: Special teams only
Ryan Watts: Special teams only
Kourt Williams: Special teams only

Although Day said Hooker, Watts and Williams were additional options to play at free safety following Josh Proctor’s season-ending injury, Shaw played every single snap at the position against Tulsa. Williams nearly got into the game for one snap at bullet, but was substituted back out of the game before a play was run.

Hickman started at bullet and Ransom started at cover safety for a third consecutive game, and each of them were on the field for exactly 64 of Ohio State’s 88 defensive snaps.

Martinez, who had not played a single defensive snap before the Tulsa game, also saw significant playing time as a cover safety/slot cornerback against the Golden Hurricane, playing many of his snaps in nickel packages on which he and Ransom were both on the field together. Williamson also played his highest snap count of the year to date in the cover safety rotation.

Young, Hickman’s backup at bullet, also played his highest snap count of the season, with most of his snaps coming in pass-rushing nickel packages in which he lined up as a linebacker near the line of scrimmage.

Snap Tracker: Defense
Pos Player MINN ORE TLSA TOTAL
DE TYREKE SMITH 48 51 58 157
DE ZACH HARRISON 65 55 DNP 120
DE JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE 28 33 47 108
DE J.T. TUIMOLOAU 13 12 45 70
DE JACK SAWYER 4 3 17 24
DE JACOLBE COWAN 2 DNP 10 12
DE CORMONTAE HAMILTON DNP DNP 8 8
DE DARRION HENRY-YOUNG DNP DNP 4 4
DT HASKELL GARRETT 47 55 54 156
DT ANTWUAN JACKSON 49 27 37 113
DT TARON VINCENT 49 49 8 106
DT TY HAMILTON 20 12 17 49
DT TYLEIK WILLIAMS DNP 3 22 25
DT JERRON CAGE DNP DNP 11 11
LB TOMMY EICHENBERG 49 38 53 160
LB CODY SIMON 37 35 68 140
LB TERADJA MITCHELL 70 61 DNP 131
LB DALLAS GANT 41 5 1 47
LB STEELE CHAMBERS 9 9 17 35
LB K’VAUGHAN POPE ST 7 24 31
LB PALAIE GAOTEOTE DNP 4 1 5
LB CADE KACHERSKI ST ST ST ST
CB DENZEL BURKE 63 74 78 215
CB CAMERON BROWN DNP 58 73 111
CB RYAN WATTS 49 ST DNP 49
CB LEJOND CAVAZOS 14 19 ST 33
CB SEVYN BANKS DNP DNP 25 25
CB DEMARIO MCCALL 15 ST ST 15
S RONNIE HICKMAN 62 67 64 193
S LATHAN RANSOM 39 57 64 160
S BRYSON SHAW 15 54 88 157
S JOSH PROCTOR 63 21 DNP 84
S CAMERON MARTINEZ DNP DNP 39 39
S MARCUS WILLIAMSON ST 9 22 31
S CRAIG YOUNG 6 7 14 27
S MARCUS HOOKER ST ST ST ST
S KOURT WILLIAMS DNP DNP ST ST

Field Goals/Extra Points

Noah Ruggles (kicker): 7
Jesse Mirco (holder): 7
Bradley Robinson (long snapper): 7
Mitch Rossi (wing): 7
Matthew Jones (end): 7
Josh Fryar (tackle): 7
Dawand Jones (guard): 7
Donovan Jackson (guard): 7
Paris Johnson Jr. (tackle): 7
Enokk Vimahi (end): 7
Cade Stover (wing): 7

Ohio State made no changes to its field goal unit against Tulsa. Ruggles continued his perfect start to the season, making field goals from 43 and 44 yards out as well as all five of his extra point attempts.

Kickoffs

Noah Ruggles (kicker): 7
Chris Booker: 7
Marcus Hooker: 7
Cade Kacherski: 7
Xavier Johnson: 7
K’Vaughan Pope: 7
Ryan Watts: 7
Marcus Williamson: 6
Julian Fleming: 4
Ronnie Hickman: 4
Cade Stover: 4
Palaie Gaoteote: 3
Demario McCall: 3
Kourt Williams: 3
Emeka Egbuka: 1

Ruggles, Booker, Hooker and Kacherski kept their streaks alive of being on the field for every Ohio State kickoff so far this season. Gaoteote, McCall, Williams and Egbuka – all of whose reps in kickoff coverage came on the Buckeyes’ final three kickoffs of the day – made their debuts on the kickoff unit against Tulsa.

Kickoff Returns

Emeka Egbuka (returner): 5
Chris Booker: 5
Steele Chambers: 5
Marvin Harrison Jr.: 5
Xavier Johnson: 5
Cade Kacherski: 5
Mitch Rossi: 5
Cade Stover: 5
Craig Young: 5
Marcus Williamson: 5
Julian Fleming: 3
Ryan Watts: 2

Egbuka remained Ohio State’s lead kickoff returner for the second game in a row and had two returns for 53 combined yards, including a 36-yard return. The only change to the kickoff return unit from the Oregon came after Fleming left the game, with Watts replacing him as a blocker for Tulsa’s final two kickoffs of the day.

Punts

Jesse Mirco (punter): 3
Bradley Robinson (long snapper): 3
Tommy Eichenberg (upback): 3
Mitch Rossi (upback): 3
Xavier Johnson (guard): 3
Steele Chambers (guard): 3
Dallas Gant (tackle): 3
Lathan Ransom (tackle): 3
Jeremy Ruckert (wing): 3
Chris Olave (gunner): 3
Chris Booker (gunner): 2
Julian Fleming (gunner): 1

Booker made his debut as a gunner on Ohio State’s two second-half punts against Tulsa. The rest of the punting unit remained unchanged as Mirco averaged 44.3 yards per punt against the Golden Hurricane, downing all three of his boots inside the 20-yard line.

Punt Blocks/Returns

Garrett Wilson (returner): 6
Lathan Ransom: 6
Denzel Burke: 4
Steele Chambers: 3
Ronnie Hickman: 3
Marcus Hooker: 3
Antwuan Jackson: 3
Xavier Johnson: 3
Cameron Martinez: 3
Cody Simon: 3
Ryan Watts: 3
Cameron Brown: 2
Jerron Cage: 2
Lejond Cavazos: 2
Tommy Eichenberg: 2
Haskell Garrett: 2
Javontae Jean-Baptiste: 2
Demario McCall: 2
Jack Sawyer: 2
Craig Young: 2
Sevyn Banks: 1
Marvin Harrison Jr.: 1
Cade Kacherski: 1
Chris Olave: 1
K’Vaughan Pope: 1
Tyreke Smith: 1
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 1
J.T. Tuimoloau: 1

Because Ohio State left its defenders on the field for most of Tulsa’s punts and it played a wide variety of players on defense, 28 different Buckeyes saw action on the punt return/block unit as Tulsa punted six times. Aside from Wilson, who’s lined up as the returner for every punt Ohio State has forced this year and had a 20-yard punt return against the Golden Hurricane, Ransom was the only other Buckeye on the field for all six Tulsa punts.

Extra Point Block

Haskell Garrett: 4
Ronnie Hickman: 4
Antwuan Jackson: 4
Javontae Jean-Baptiste: 4
Lathan Ransom: 4
Bryson Shaw: 4
Cody Simon: 4
J.T. Tuimoloau: 4
Cameron Brown: 3
Denzel Burke: 3
Tommy Eichenberg: 3
Sevyn Banks: 2
K’Vaughan Pope: 1

Ohio State’s kick-blocking unit consisted of mostly the same players for each of Tulsa’s two field goals and two extra points on Saturday, with Garrett, Hickman, Jackson, Jean-Baptiste, Ransom, Shaw and Simon on the field for all four of them.

Snap Tracker: Special Teams
Pos Player MINN ORE TLSA TOTAL
TE CADE STOVER 19 12 16 47
WR XAVIER JOHNSON 11 16 18 45
TE MITCH ROSSI 15 13 15 43
WR CHRIS BOOKER 14 11 14 39
LB CADE KACHERSKI 11 15 13 39
K NOAH RUGGLES 15 9 14 38
S LATHAN RANSOM 10 14 13 37
WR JULIAN FLEMING 15 13 8 36
S RONNIE HICKMAN 12 12 11 35
CB RYAN WATTS 13 9 12 34
LB STEELE CHAMBERS 9 13 11 33
S MARCUS WILLIAMSON 10 9 11 30
S MARCUS HOOKER 9 9 10 28
P JESSE MIRCO 9 7 10 26
LS BRADLEY ROBINSON 9 7 10 26
S CRAIG YOUNG 9 10 7 26
CB DENZEL BURKE 7 10 7 24
LB TOMMY EICHENBERG 7 8 8 23
LB K’VAUGHAN POPE 6 6 9 21
OL JOSH FRYAR 7 4 7 18
WR MARVIN HARRISON JR. 6 6 6 18
DT ANTWUAN JACKSON 5 6 7 18
OL DONOVAN JACKSON 7 4 7 18
OL PARIS JOHNSON JR. 7 4 7 18
OL DAWAND JONES 7 4 7 18
OL MATTHEW JONES 7 4 7 18
LB TERADJA MITCHELL 9 9 0 18
OL ENOKK VIMAHI 7 4 7 18
DT HASKELL GARRETT 5 6 6 17
WR GARRETT WILSON 3 6 6 15
S CAMERON MARTINEZ 5 6 3 14
S BRYSON SHAW 5 5 4 14
WR EMEKA EGBUKA 0 6 6 12
CB LEJOND CAVAZOS 0 9 2 11
DE ZACH HARRISON 6 5 0 11
DE JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE 2 3 6 11
LB CODY SIMON 2 2 7 11
DE TYREKE SMITH 5 5 1 11
RB MARCUS CROWLEY 8 2 0 10
WR CHRIS OLAVE 2 3 4 9
LB DALLAS GANT 2 3 3 8
CB DEMARIO MCCALL 2 1 5 8
TE JEREMY RUCKERT 2 3 3 8
CB CAMERON BROWN 0 2 5 7
RB TREVEYON HENDERSON 6 0 0 6
S JOSH PROCTOR 6 0 0 6
DE J.T. TUIMOLOAU 0 0 5 5
DT TARON VINCENT 3 2 0 5
CB SEVYN BANKS 0 0 3 3
LB PALAIE GAOTEOTE 0 0 3 3
TE GEE SCOTT JR. 3 0 0 3
S KOURT WILLIAMS 0 0 3 3
DT JERRON CAGE 0 0 2 2
DE JACK SAWYER 0 0 2 2
WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA 0 1 1 2
DT TY HAMILTON 1 0 0 1

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