COLUMBUS — Maybe the answer for Ohio State was there all along.
Or perhaps it’s just now that Brendon White is flipping the switch into the kind of player the Buckeyes need.
Either way, there can be no doubt now that the sophomore safety can provide a solution at a position that has been begging for one nearly all season. And if it just so happened to take an injury and an ejection to get White his chance to make an impact, at least the Buckeyes know now what he can do moving forward.
“It felt good for him,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “Going back to spring [practice], safety was not a solidified position. We have to play much better at that spot. You had some injuries this week, and obviously the targeting call. And there he is, [Brendon White] is in the game. You looked out there, you had Shaun Wade at one safety and Brendon White at the other.
“He’s certainly going to play. He’s earned that right.”
There is really no doubt that his 13-tackle performance proved White belongs on the field for the Buckeyes. The question now for the program: Did he earn a full-time starting job in the process?
Even with Ohio State expecting to be back at full strength in the secondary for the first time in weeks, White’s aggressiveness, intelligence and production clearly seemed to provide a boost at a position of need. And those traits are all the ones that generally put a player’s name on top of the depth chart.
Coming off the breakout performance, former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren put White’s game under the microscope in his latest episode of BuckIQ. There is obviously plenty to like, and Boren also provides some assessments of the defense as a whole heading into a huge matchup on the road against Michigan State.
Roll the tape!
Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.