Ohio State coach Urban Meyer sent Troy High School coach Matt Burgbacher a framed photo of walk-on defensive lineman Christopher Fong recently along with a signed letter.
Meyer wrote, “The Buckeyes are a very proud family which has great tradition, pride and an expectation of excellence. Being a part of this family is a great honor, and we feel very privileged to have a member of your high school as a representative of our family. It is our hope you will proudly display this photo of your Buckeye in a prominent position in your school. We thank you for sending him to Columbus to be a contributing part of our family.”
Fong is a second-year walk-on senior defensive lineman.
Next game: Ohio State plays at Illinois next Saturday. The game will be played at noon.
Illinois (5-4, 2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Purdue 48-14 on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind. Wes Lunt threw three touchdown passes. Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed 16 times for 180 yards and two scores. The Illini entered the game ranked last in the Big Ten in rushing offense. Purdue ranked last in rushing defense.
Coaching changes: The Illinois coach is Bill Cubit. He took over when Tim Beckman was fired a week before the season opener. It’s the first time the Buckeyes have faced a program with a recently-fired coach this season. However, they have left a trail of fired or retired coaches in their wake. Here’s the list:
• Ohio State beat Virginia Tech 42-24 on Sept. 7. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer announced Nov. 1 he will retire at the end of the season, his 29th with the Hokies.
• Ohio State beat Hawaii 38-0 on Sept. 12. Hawaii fired head coach Norm Chow on Sunday. The Rainbow Warriors were 2-7.
• Ohio State beat Maryland 49-28 on Oct. 10. Maryland fired head coach Randy Edsall a day later.
Birthday bash: Ohio State celebrated the 50th birthday of its mascot, Brutus Buckeye, on Saturday night. Former Brutuses were honored on the field during the game, and the halftime show paid tribute to Brutus.
Ohio State will dedicate a 478-pound bronze Brutus statue on Tuesday on campus. The statue will stand outside the Schottenstein Center.
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