Lathan Ransom, Tommy Eichenberg Battle Through Hand Injuries to Lead Ohio State’s Defense Against Maryland

Tommy Eichenberg was Ohio State’s main tackler in opposition to Maryland, and Lathan Ransom made one of the necessary performs within the Buckeyes’ 43-30 win over the Terrapins. Neither one was wholesome for a couple of play of Saturday’s sport.

Eichenberg, in accordance to Ohio State defensive finish Zach Harrison, was enjoying with “two damaged fingers” in opposition to the Terrapins. Meanwhile, Ransom broke his thumb on Ohio State’s first defensive play.

That did not cease both of them from making a major impression in College Park, as Eichenberg recorded 13 whole tackles, together with a deal with for loss. In comparability, Ransom recorded seven whole tackles with a deal with for loss, a cross breakup and his second blocked punt in as many weeks.

Harrison mentioned their toughness impressed the remainder of the Ohio State protection.

“Just seeing them on the market with the accidents they’ve, form of makes us be like, ‘We’re cool,'” Harrison mentioned. “If Tommy’s on the market with two damaged fingers and Lathan’s coping with what he is coping with and so they’re on the market on the sphere enjoying, like what do I gotta say if I’m somewhat sore or my knee’s damage or so and so. I simply gotta go play. We all gotta go play.”

Ransom, likewise, mentioned he was impressed to play by way of his damage by Eichenberg.

“Tommy’s enjoying with two messed-up fingers,” Ransom mentioned. “What’s my excuse not to go on the market and play?”

Lathan Ransom performed the remainder of the sport with a forged on his hand after breaking his thumb on Ohio State’s first defensive play.

Despite his two injured fingers, Eichenberg continued to play like an All-American in opposition to Maryland, recording no less than 13 tackles in a sport for the fourth time this season to carry his deal with whole for the 12 months to 105 – probably the most any Buckeye has had in a season since 2015.

Ransom, in the meantime, flipped the sport’s momentum in Ohio State’s favor when the Buckeyes wanted a swing. With Maryland going through 2nd-and-4 on the opening drive of the second half, Ransom made an 8-yard deal with for loss in opposition to Terrapins tight finish CJ Dippre, which he mentioned got here on the identical play on which Ransom broke his thumb and Dippre gained 25 yards on Maryland’s first offensive play of the sport.

“That was a giant, huge explosive originally of the sport. That was on me. And had to get that fastened, make changes and did not let it occur once more,” Ransom mentioned.

Two performs later, Ransom exploded off the sting to block a punt try by Maryland’s Colton Spangler, knocking the ball down along with his injured hand to give the Buckeyes the ball deep in Maryland territory and arrange a go-ahead landing that gave Ohio State a lead it could maintain for the remainder of the sport after beforehand trailing 13-10.

Ryan Day gushed about Ransom’s efficiency after the sport.

“To block two punts in back-to-back weeks … that is superb,” Day mentioned. “That was a very enormous level of the sport and bought us numerous momentum.”

Harrison described Ransom, who turned the primary Buckeye to block punts in back-to-back video games since Mike Doss in 2001, as “one of many hardest dudes on this staff.”

“We had been on the sideline, and Lathan walks up and he is like, ‘Bro, my hand’s damaged,'” Harrison mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘Damn. You gonna play?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I gotta play.’ … Him and Tommy, simply having these two guys on the market with what they’re coping with, it simply form of makes you are feeling like, ‘Well, I’m good.’ My fingers work. I’m good.”

Saturday’s sport was removed from the 12 months’s greatest efficiency for Ohio State’s protection. The Buckeyes gave up 318 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, each the second-most they’ve allowed in any sport all season (behind solely the Penn State sport, through which they gave up 31 factors and 371 passing yards). Given that many of the different 9 groups the Buckeyes have confronted this season are groups which have persistently struggled to cross the ball successfully, the cross protection stands out as one in every of Ohio State’s greatest issues coming into subsequent week’s sport in opposition to Michigan and past into the postseason.

Harrison and Ransom mentioned they would want to return and watch the movie to consider why Ohio State’s cross protection struggled in opposition to Maryland, however Day acknowledged that the cross protection wants to play higher.

“I assumed (Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa) performed his coronary heart out at present. I assumed he performed rather well. Did a pleasant job. But yeah, I imply, there’s some performs in there that we gotta have a look at and check out to tackle what is going on on there as a result of, definitely, we would like to see higher play,” Day mentioned. “Our primary purpose within the plan to win is to play nice protection. And they did throw for too many yards at present, for certain. But we’ll have a look and check out to work out that a part of it.”

In the tip, although, Ohio State’s protection made sufficient performs for the Buckeyes to win the sport. The Buckeyes held the Terrapins to subject targets within the pink zone on every of their two opening possessions – which saved Maryland from constructing an even bigger lead earlier within the sport – and they didn’t permit any factors on Maryland’s remaining three possessions, finally sealing the sport when Harrison strip-sacked Tagovailoa and Steele Chambers plucked the unfastened ball out of the air for a landing with simply 9 seconds remaining.

Whenever the Buckeyes have been in shut video games this season, from their season opener at Notre Dame to their newer battles with Penn State and Northwestern, Ohio State’s protection has come by way of within the clutch to make the performs the Buckeyes have wanted them to make with the sport on the road. Harrison believes that is a credit score to the boldness instilled in them by first-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

“The sport’s by no means out of attain. If we get a lead, we really feel like we will win the sport. If they gotta rating to take the lead again, that is simply one thing that I preserve harping on, Coach Knowles has introduced that mentality that each time we step on the sphere that we’re one of the best protection within the nation,” Harrison mentioned. “And that is what we actually imagine.”

Harrison additionally believes the Buckeyes having to battle in opposition to Maryland was a superb factor as they enter a sport they know can be a battle subsequent week in opposition to Michigan.

“I believe we would have liked it,” Harrison mentioned. “I believe we would have liked a superb, shut sport that got here down to the wire to show to ourselves that we will beat anyone in any form of sport we play in.”

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