One of the many impressive aspects of Ohio State's season-opening win over Virginia Tech on Monday night was how well nearly everyone new to the starting lineup played for the Buckeyes.
Coach Urban Meyer told reporters Wednesday night first-time starters Tyquan Lewis, Raekwon McMillan and Chase Farris all received "champion" grades for their play against the Hokies. So did Gareon Conley, a new full-time starter at cornerback who made one start last season, while redshirt freshman receiver Parris Campbell was named the "special forces" player of the game for the Buckeyes.
"Parris Campbell, obviously a redshirt guy that didn't play last year, was all over the field," Meyer said. "He had a tackle inside the 20-yard line on kickoff, and he's the one that hit the punt returner for a no gain on punt."
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The coach added that the team was happy to hear how well Farris performed in his first start after he endured injuries and positions changes before becoming the No. 1 right tackle as a senior.
"Our guys like him," Meyer said. "He's really invested for this for a long time, and he's earned that."
Lewis, a sophomore defensive end, had six tackles, including 2.0 for loss and 1.5 sacks. while McMillan tied for the team lead with eight tackles in his first game as the team's No. 1 middle linebacker.
Conley, another sophomore, also had eight tackles.
Meyer was also happy with Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard, who shared the defensive end position normally occupied by All-American Joey Bosa, who was suspended for the opener.
Holmes had six tackles and forced a fumble while Hubbard had four tackles, including a sack.