breaking news

'We call BS.' This Florida school shooting survivor leads student outcry on gun violence

Landers closes season with strong performance for Buckeyes

Wayne grad recovers fumble in Cotton Bowl victory


Highlights

Buckeyes finish season 12-2, beat USC for first time since 1974.

Robert Landers had one regret Friday night. He recovered a fumble but didn’t return it for a touchdown. Of course, he was almost 90 yards from the end zone, so maybe he should go easy on himself.

“It doesn’t matter,” Landers said. “If it gets in my hand, I’m supposed to get six.”

The Wayne grad Landers, a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle, started the season with probably the most memorable play that didn’t count in 2017 for the Ohio State Buckeyes. His fumble return for a score at Indiana in the season opener was overturned.

» RELATED: Three reasons Ohio State beat USC

In the Cotton Bowl on Friday night against Southern California, Landers recovered a fumble forced by Jalyn Holmes with 8:04 left in the game. The play helped seal Ohio State’s 24-7 victory at AT&T Stadium. The Trojans had the ball at Ohio State’s 12-yard line and would have still had a chance to rally if they had scored at that point.

The Buckeyes blanked the Trojans in the second half in part because of the play by Landers, who also had two tackles. He finished the season with 10 tackles, including five tackles for a loss.

“The game plan, honestly, was the same as it’s been every week,” Landers said. “Play our game. Play our football. Play rushmen defense. Just go out and dominate the line of scrimmage. There was nothing out of the ordinary. We didn’t really focus on changing up too much what we do. We just stayed solid and stayed true to who we are.”

Last game: Chaminade Julienne graduate Cin’Quan Haney, a senior walk-on safety, saw his Ohio State career end in the Cotton Bowl. He spent three seasons with the team and will graduate in May with a degree in physics. He already has a job lined up in Washington, D.C., as a systems engineer for a defense contractor.

» PHOTOS: Ohio State wins Cotton Bowl

“It was just a blessing to be able to make it this far and to be a Buckeye,” Haney said. “Being on the team helped me on and off the field become a better person. It helped me get ready for the real world. Being here for my last game, it really hit me. It was bittersweet. It’s over now. It’s on to the real world. I’ll just come back and see my boys in the future.”

Position battle: J.T. Barrett’s career ended in the Cotton Bowl, and now the Buckeyes start the process of finding their next starter. Dwayne Haskins will be the favorite to win the job over Joe Burrow and Tate Martell because he was the backup quarterback this season and led the Buckeyes to a comeback victory at Michigan in the regular-season finale.

» PHOTOS: Pregame shots of Ohio State at AT&T Stadium

Haskins said teammates were telling him, “It’s your team now.” He plans to attack the opportunity as if he’s the starter.

“I am excited about it,” Haskins said. “I can’t wait for the opportunity and to work for it every day.”

Looking ahead: Ohio State opens the 2018 season at home against Oregon State on Sept. 1. The Beavers finished 1-11 in 2017 and have won 12 games in the last four seasons.

Ohio State plays Rutgers at home on Sept. 8 and then returns to AT&T Stadium to play Texas Christian on Sept. 15.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Wright State vs. Cleveland State: What you need to know about the game
Wright State vs. Cleveland State: What you need to know about the game

Who: Cleveland State (8-21, 5-11) vs Wright State (20-8, 12-3) When: 7:30 p.m. Friday Where: Nutter Center TV/Radio: ESPN3/106.5 Grant Benzinger, 6-3, Sr. G, 14.3 Parker Ernsthausen, 6-11, Jr., F, 5.0 Mark Hughes, 6-4, Jr, G, 9.9 Loudon Love, 6-9, Fr., C, 12.5 Cole Gentry, 5-10, So., G, 9.6 Kenny Carpenter, 6-5, Sr., G, 12.6 Tyree Appleby...
Wrestling: OHC outlook not as clear for Mechanicsburg

A year ago, Mechanicsburg walked into the Ohio Heritage Conference meet as the clear-cut favorite. The squad brought six returning state placers into a meet that became a large first step toward the state title in Columbus. This year, the picture is a little cloudier heading into the OHC at 10 a.m. today at Northeastern. “I am not sure how the...
Here's why Olympic figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu's fans throw Winnie the Pooh bears on the ice
Here's why Olympic figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu's fans throw Winnie the Pooh bears on the ice

In one of the strangest stories that we’ve seen out of the 2018 Winter Olympics, beloved bear Winnie the Pooh is making a comeback. The lovable bear is the unofficial mascot of Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. Every time Hanyu takes to the ice, he keeps a stuffed bear on the side of the rink for good luck, often bowing to the toy...
South Carolina football: Gamecocks return crowded stable of running backs
South Carolina football: Gamecocks return crowded stable of running backs

There are a whole bunch of running backs returning to the South Carolina football team in 2018. And the Gamecocks signed two more in December. A couple of players at the position continue to recover from injuries that will reduce the number of healthy options this spring. Neither of the two, however, are among the top three...
Hashtag clash: Olympics mean Nebraska’s #GBR gets a British flair on Twitter
Hashtag clash: Olympics mean Nebraska’s #GBR gets a British flair on Twitter

More Stories