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Herron out for Buckeyes, line getting healthy

10/13/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Running back depth could be an issue for No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday at Purdue (Big Ten Network, noon ET), but offensive line depth won't be.

The Buckeyes will be without sophomore running back Dan Herron, who reaggravated a left ankle injury against Wisconsin after carrying the ball only two times for eight yards. Herron originally hurt his ankle Sept. 26 against Illinois and sat out the next week at Indiana.

Head coach Jim Tressel said Tuesday Herron "probably got set back a week or two." Junior Brandon Saine will make his third consecutive start at running back, and freshman Jordan Hall will serve as Saine's backup. Tressel wants to get Jermil Martin more involved as well.

Meanwhile, the Jaamal Berry watch continues for Ohio State, which must decide soon whether to redshirt the heralded recruit, who has battled hamstring problems this season.

"I keep waiting for Jamaal Berry to be healthy because when he's been healthy he's been very, very good, but right now it's Brandon and Jordan," Tressel said. "But Jamaal Berry has been back, got a lot of reps."

Saine had a quiet game against Wisconsin (14 carries, 55 yards), but he should be able to handle the load.

Ohio State is getting healthier on the offensive line as tackles Andrew Miller (flu) and Jim Cordle (ankle) are expected to return this week. Miller and Cordle began the season as the starters, though sophomores J.B. Shugarts and Mike Adams have started the last few games.

It will be interesting to see what type of rotation the Buckeyes use at tackle or even guard, where Cordle has played before.

Bottom line: The Buckeyes offense needs a spark at Purdue after slipping to 10th in the Big Ten in total offense (338.3 yards per game) and last in pass offense (166.2 ypg).