COLUMBUS — Ohio State could be without kicker Blake Haubeil for an uncertain length of time and back-up cornerback Cam Brown’s season is over.
Those were two of the biggest items to come out of OSU football coach Ryan Day’s Zoom conference with the media on Tuesday.
Haubeil missed a 20-yard field goal early in the second quarter of OSU’s 38-25 win over Penn State last Saturday night after being bothered by soreness in his groin in pre-game warm-ups, Day said after the game.
Haubeil left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Walk-on kicker Dominic DiMaccio made one short field goal but missed on a second attempt, also from short range.
Tuesday, Day said, “I don’t know exactly how long that’s gonna be with Blake, if he’ll be ready tomorrow or if it’s kind of a day-to-day thing.” He also said freshman kicker Jake Seibert, who did not travel to Penn State, is an option if Haubeil can’t kick against Rutgers on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium.
Seibert was the No. 2-rated kicker in the 2020 recruiting class and is the heir apparent to Haubeil when he graduates.
“Jake’s definitely an option,” Day said. “He came here for a reason. Especially now with the rule that this year doesn’t count (against his eligibility) he’s definitely an option.”
Brown played a back-up role but cornerback was already a position where Ohio State did not have great depth before his injury.
Several media reports said Brown suffered a torn Achilles tendon but Ohio State does not offer specifics on injuries.
“It’s very costly. Cam came with experience this season at a position where we couldn’t afford to lose anyone. To lose Cam is a significant hit but obviously we wish he gets a healthy procedure and healthy recovery but I really feel bad for Cam and his family,” Day said.
Shaun Wade, Sevyn Banks and Marcus Williamson are the only healthy cornerbacks with significant experience OSU has.
Former 5-star recruit Tyreke Johnson, now in his third year at Ohio State, has been used only infrequently so far in his career. But he was the first name Day mentioned when discussing possible replacements for Brown.
“I think Tyreke Johnson has to step up. I think Ryan Watts has to step up. We’re hoping to get Lejond (Cavazos) back and get him on the field. Marcus Williamson may have to do a little bit of that,” he said. “Those guys are going to have to step up in a big way. Some of the younger guys, like Cam Martinez, we’re going to have to get those guys ready.”
Defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs said, “Anytime you lose good players it’s going to affect you and other players have to step up. The whole next man up thing is no joke, especially this year.
“I think we’ve been training our guys from June for the possibility of having to play in a game suddenly. I think that is really important to try to prepare them for that. In the secondary room now it’s all hands on deck.”
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau