Sept. 8, 2014

Michael Thomas is Ohio State’s leading receiver with nine catches for 137 yards and two TDs.
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#18/22 Ohio State vs. Kent State
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (104,944), Columbus, Ohio

TV: ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror
Bob Wischusen (Play-by-Play)
Matt Millen (Analyst)
Quint Kessenich (Reporter)

Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the flagship station for the 64-station Ohio State Radio Network. The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the play-by-play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on Sirius radio channel 112 and XM channel 196.

First and 10

  • Ohio State and Kent State are meeting for the third time with the Buckeyes leading 2-0.
  • Urban Meyer has faced Kent State twice in his head coaching career, both wins while at Bowling Green in 2001 (24-7) and 2002 (45-14).
  • Ohio State has won 38 consecutive games vs. in-state opponents.
  • Ohio State is 74-8 overall at Ohio Stadium since the start of the 2002 season.
  • Forty-nine (49) of Ohio State’s 55 points scored this season have been by freshmen (true & redshirt) and sophomores (89.0 percent).
  • Ohio State has recorded seven pass plays of 20 or more yards through two games, four of those of at least 40 yards.
  • Sophomore WR Michael Thomas recorded a team-high 98 yards receiving on six catches, both career highs, vs. Virginia Tech.
  • Head coach Urban Meyer is 48-5 in his career in games played in August/September.
  • Ohio State hosted a record crowd of 107,517 last Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
  • The loss to the Hokies snapped Ohio State’s 25-game regular season win streak.

Ohio State Falls in Home Opener
Virginia Tech rode the passing of Michael Brewer and a blitz-happy defense that registered six second-half sacks (when Ohio State was forced to throw) to a 35-21 win over No. 8 Ohio State before a record Ohio Stadium crowd of 107,517. Brewer, pressured and battered by the Buckeyes all evening, threw for only 199 yards, but he completed seven third-down passes for first downs to keep scoring drives alive and the Buckeyes fighting from behind for virtually the entire game. The Hokies built a 21-7 halftime lead and, once the Buckeyes tied it at 21-all with under 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, regained the lead on the next series on Brewer’s second touchdown pass of the day. Ohio State had the ball for three more possessions after that score, but quarterback J.T. Barrett was intercepted on two of those drives while under a ferocious rush that netted six sacks in the game’s final 8 minutes 11 seconds.

“Gutsy” Effort by QB J.T. Barrett
Red-shirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, making just his second collegiate start and only his second start in the past 23 months (he missed the second half of his 2012 high school senior season with an injury), threw for 219 yards and one touchdown plus three interceptions. He also gained 125 rushing yards and scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run, but netted 70 with 55 yards lost, including 54 on sacks. It was the second consecutive week he has led the Buckeyes in rushing.

“Gutsy effort by our quarterback,” head coach Urban Meyer said after the game. “Obviously not good enough, but a quarterback is a product of those around him, and we all have to get better.”

First Non-Conference Home Loss
The loss to Virginia Tech represents the first non-conference game loss at home for an Urban Meyer-coached team. His teams had won all 35 of their previous non-conference home games. Here is the list of wins by Meyer’s teams:

  • Bowling Green (3-0) – 2001 over Temple; 2002 over Tennessee Tech and Missouri
  • Utah (5-0) – 2003 over Utah State, California and Oregon; 2004 over Texas A&M, and North Carolina
  • Florida (20-0) – 2005 over Wyoming, Louisiana Tech and Florida State; 2006 over Southern Miss, Central Florida and Western Carolina; 2007 over Western Kentucky, Troy, Florida Atlantic and Florida State; 2008 over Hawaii, Miami and The Citadel; 2009 over Charleston Southern, Troy, Florida International and Florida State; 2010 over Miami U., South Florida and Appalachian State
  • Ohio State (7-0) – 2012 over Miami U., Central Florida, California and UAB; 2013 over Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M.

A Couple Other Firsts
The loss to Virginia Tech was the first by Ohio State in an Ohio Stadium home opener in 36 years, or since Penn State defeated Woody Hayes’ 1978 Ohio State team with freshman quarterback Art Schlichter starting, 19-0. The loss was also the first to an unranked non-conference team in 33 years, or since Florida State defeated Ohio State, 36-27, in 1981.

Record Crowd Makes Ohio State No. 1
A record crowd of 107,517 fans were in Ohio Stadium for the Ohio State/Virginia Tech game. The crowd is the largest of this young season in college football and positions Ohio State No. 1 in average home attendance through the first two weeks of the season.

2014 Home attendance – Average

  1. 107,517 – Ohio State (Ohio Stadium)
  2. 106,811 – Michigan (Michigan Stadium)
  3. 104,728 – Texas A&M (Kyle Field)
  4. 100,997 – Tennessee (Neyland Stadium)
  5. 100,338 – LSU (Tiger Stadium)

Top 5 Ohio Stadium crowds

  1. 107,517 vs. Virginia Tech; Sept. 6, 2014
  2. 106,102 vs. Nebraska; Oct. 6, 2012
  3. 106,033 vs. USC; Sept. 12, 2009
  4. 105,899 vs. Penn State; Oct. 26, 2013
  5. 105,899 vs. Michigan; Nov. 24, 2012

Regular Season Win Streak Snapped
The loss to Virginia Tech also snapped two impressive Ohio State winning streaks: a 25-game regular season winning streak and a 15-game home winning streak.

Big Ten Win Streak Still In Play
Ohio State’s all-time winning and regular-season streaks may have ended, but the 2014 Ohio State team can still make additional winning streak history. The Big Ten Conference record for regular season Big Ten wins is 20, set by Ohio State from 2005-07 and these current Buckeyes currently have 16 consecutive Big Ten wins.

A Top 5 Big Ten Win Streak
Ohio State’s 24 consecutive wins in 2012 and 2013 rank among the Top 5 longest winning streaks in Big Ten Conference history. It was the longest winning streak in the Big Ten in 64 years, or since Michigan won 25 consecutive games between 1946-49.

Longest Big Ten Winning Streaks
29 – Michigan, 1901-03
26 – Michigan, 1903-05
25 – Michigan, 1946-49
24 – Ohio State, 2012-13
24 – Minnesota, 1903-05
22 – Ohio State, 1967-69
21 – Minnesota, 1933-36
20 – Iowa, 1920-23

Three 20-Game Win Streaks For Meyer
Last season Urban Meyer became the first head coach at the highest level of the collegiate coaching ranks (major college, Division I, FBS, etc.) to have three winning streaks of at least 20 games. A total of 40 head coaches at this level have lead a team to a winning streak of at least 20 games. Nine of those coaches have had two winning streaks of at least 20 wins. Meyer is the first to add a third such winning streak to his name.

And Only One Three-Game Losing Streak
The win over Navy snapped a two-game losing streak for coach Urban Meyer’s team. Meyer has had just one losing streak reach three games in his 155-game head coaching career: in 2010 at Florida. He has had only four multi-game losing streaks in all, with all of them two-game streaks except for the 2010 trio while at Florida. The others: in 2002 at Bowling Green; 2007 at Florida; and 2013 at Ohio State.

WR Thomas; RB Elliott Each Score Again
Sophomores Michael Thomas and Ezekiel Elliott each scored for the second consecutive week for the Buckeyes. Thomas had a fine 53-yard catch-and-run touchdown to bring the Buckeyes to within 21-14 late in the third quarter. And Elliott weaved his way around the left side for a 15-yard score to tie the game at 21-all early in the fourth quarter.

Scouting Kent State
The Golden Flashes are 0-2 on the season after home losses to Ohio University (17-14) and South Alabama (23-13). Kent State was 4-8 last season with a 3-5 mark in the MAC East division.

The Golden Flash offense is led by sophomore Colin Reardon, who has passed for 477 yards on 47 of 81 passing with one INT and four TDs. He threw for a season-best 264 yards on 30 of 41 passing in the season-opening loss to Ohio. Sophomore running back Nick Holley is KSU’s leading man on the ground with 37 rushing yards while sophomore Ernest Calhoun is the leading receiver with 14 catches for 119 yards. Sophomore Nate Holley, Nick’s twin brother, leads the defense with 27 tackles. He had 18, including 12 solo, vs. Ohio.

Head coach Paul Haynes, who served as an assistant coach at Ohio State for seven years from 2005-11, is in his second season at his alma mater with a 4-10 record. He spent the previous two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Arkansas before taking over at Kent State. Haynes coached alongside first-year Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Chris Ash during the 2012 season at Arkansas.

Ohio State Assistants To Head Coaches
Paul Haynes is one of seven former Ohio State assistant coaches who are collegiate head coaches. The Buckeyes will play against four of them this season.

Assistants to Head Coaches
Tim Beckman (at OSU 2005-06) – Illinois
Bill Conley (1984-87; 92-03) – Ohio Dominican
Mark Dantonio (201-03) – Michigan State
Paul Haynes (2005-11) – Kent State
Darrell Hazell (2004-10) – Purdue
Nick Saban (1980-81) – Alabama
Everett Withers (2012-13) – James Madison

Two additional former Ohio State assistants – Pete Carroll and Lovie Smith – are head coaches in the National Football League with Seattle and Tampa Bay, respectively.

Ohio State vs. The MAC
The Buckeyes are 29-1 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference. Ohio State has played at least one MAC school in each of the past 17 seasons.

School Record
Ohio *6-0
Bowling Green 4-0
Buffalo 1-0
Akron 7-1
Miami (OH) 5-0
Massachusetts 0-0
Kent State 2-0
Central Michigan 0-0
Northern Illinois 1-0
Western Michigan 0-0
Ball State 0-0
Toledo 3-0
Eastern Michigan *0-0

*win from the 2010 season vacated

Ohio State vs. Ohio Schools
Ohio State is 180-48-15 all-time vs. in-state schools and has won 38 consecutive games dating to a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in 1921. Ohio State last hosted an in-state opponent in the 2012 opener vs. Miami University.

Frosh & Sophs Have Six of Seven TDs
Young players have accounted for six of Ohio State’s seven touchdowns this season. This total includes the two TDs apiece by Michael Thomas and Ezekiel Elliott, plus a rushing touchdown from J.T. Barrett vs. Virginia Tech and a fumble return for a score vs. Navy by freshman LB Darron Lee. And when you include freshman kicker Sean Nuernberger’s 13 kicking points, those two classes have scored 49 of the team’s 55 points.

Grant Stands Out vs. Home State Team
Richmond, Va., native Curtis Grant had a huge game against Virginia Tech, recording career highs in both solo tackles (nine) and total tackles (13) and leading the Buckeyes in both categories. He also had two tackles-for-losses totaling seven yards.

Buckeye “D” Averaging 10.0 TFLs
Big games by Joshua Perry (11 tackles including 3.0 TFLs), and Joey Bosa (3.0 TFLs for 19 yards in losses) in addition to Grant’s two TFLs has the Buckeye defense now averaging 10.0 tackles-for-loss per game. After registering eight vs. Navy last week, the Buckeyes added 12 more vs. Virginia Tech with a total of seven Buckeyes getting into the TFL stat column vs. the Hokies.

Season Leaders in TFLs
DE Joey Bosa – 4.0 for -22
LB Curtis Grant – 3.0 for -18
LB Joshua Perry – 3.0 for -11
DT Adolphus Washington – 3.0 for -11
LB Darron Lee – 3.0 for -5

Buckeye Secondary Locked In
The Buckeyes have made solid strides in the secondary thus far in 2014, having not allowed a pass play of more than 20 yards, albeit through only two games. The longest pass play against the Silver Bullets came at the hands of Virginia Tech, an 18-yarder from Michael Brewer to Willie Byrn in the second quarter. Ohio State, which ranks 11th in the NCAA in pass defense, did not face much of a passing attack vs. Navy. However, the secondary kept the VT passing game in check for the most part with two interceptions and two PBU’s.

To put that in perspective, Ohio State, with four new offensive linemen and a redshirt freshman QB, has aired out seven pass plays of at least 22 yards this season (two for TDs), including four of at least 40 yards.

Apple and Bell Notch INTs
Freshman Eli Apple recorded his first interception in the second game of his career when he picked off a Michael Brewer pass in the first quarter Saturday vs. Virginia Tech. Vonn Bell’s second career interception (Orange Bowl vs. Clemson was his first) came late in the third quarter.

Bosa T2nd Nationally in FF
Joey Bosa has a forced fumble in each of the first two games and both plays led to huge Ohio State touchdowns. His forced fumble on Navy QB Keenan Reynolds last week was scooped up by Darron Lee and returned 61 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. Saturday his sack of Hokie quarterback Michael Brewer and ensuing fumble was recovered by Rashad Frazier at the VT 15. Two plays later Ezekiel Elliott scored to tie the game at 21-all.

National Leaders – Forced Fumbles
3 – Nigel Harris, South Florida
2 – Joey Bosa, Ohio State
2 – Six others

Barrett: 3rd-Most Passing Yards In Debut
J.T. Barrett’s 226 passing yards in his first start represents the third-highest total in an Ohio State quarterback’s debut start. The most: fifth-year senior Kenny Guiton’s 276 yards vs. California in the third game last year.

Most Passing Yards in First Start

  1. 276 – Kenny Guiton vs. California, 2013
  2. 243 – Steve Bellisari vs. Ohio, 1999
  3. 226 – J.T. Barrett vs. Navy, 2014
  4. 182 – Art Schlichter vs. Penn State, 1978
  5. 180 – Joe Germaine vs. Illinois, 1996

Devin Smith: 19 Career TDS at 41.7 Yards Per Score
Devin Smith has caught 19 career touchdown passes at an average distance of 41.7 yards per score. Smith, who has 90 career receptions for 1,666 yards, is tied for fifth all-time with Joey Galloway and Dane Sanzenbacher at Ohio State with his 19 TD receptions.

Devin Smith TD Receptions
2011 – 14 from B. Miller vs. Akron
2011 – 32 from B. Miller vs. Colorado
2011 – 17 from B. Miller vs. Colorado
2011 – 40 from B. Miller vs. Wisconsin
2012 – 23 from B. Miller vs. Miami
2012 – 25 from B. Miller vs. Cal
2012 – 72 from B. Miller vs. Cal
2012 – 63 from B. Miller vs. Michigan State
2012 – 60 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2012 – 46 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2013 – 47 from B. Miller vs. Buffalo
2013 – 90 from K. Guiton vs. Cal
2013 – 47 from K. Guiton vs. Cal
2013 – 5 from K. Guiton vs. FAMU
2013 – 26 from B. Miller vs. Wisconsin
2013 – 14 from B. Miller vs. Iowa
2013 – 39 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2013 – 53 from B. Miller vs. Michigan
2014 – 80 from J.T. Barrett vs. Navy

Buckeyes In The Polls
Ohio State is ranked No. 22 in this week’s Associated Press and No. 18 USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls. Since the start of the 2002 season, Ohio State has been ranked in the AP Top 10 more times than any other school (145). Oklahoma (123) and LSU (121) are second and third, respectively.

The Buckeyes, who have been ranked by the AP Top 25 more times (824) than any other school, appeared in the AP preseason poll for the 26th consecutive season this year, the longest streak in the nation. It also marks the 47th consecutive season Ohio State has appeared in the AP poll, tying Alabama for the longest active streak.

Five Seniors Named Captains for 2014
Five seniors were chosen by vote of their teammates, included injured and out-for-the-year quarterback Braxton Miller, cornerback Doran Grant, linebacker Curtis Grant, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and tight end Jeff Heuerman.

A Lot of Yards to Replace
With the preseason injury to Braxton Miller, Ohio State entered the 2014 season without more than 3,100 yards of total offense from its 2013 squad, on top of losing top playmakers Carlos Hyde (1,521 yards rushing) and Corey “Philly” Brown (771 yards receiving). But as the Buckeyes showed in the win vs. Navy, they will replace those yards by committee with several talented players to spread the ball around to.

The Buckeyes returned just 11 percent of its total offense from a year ago heading into this season, the leading men being sophomore RB Ezekiel Elliott (262 yards rushing) and sophomore H-B Dontre Wilson (250 yards rushing; 210 yards receiving). The Buckeyes do, however, return two senior wide receivers in Devin Smith and Evan Spencer and senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, who have more than 160 catches, 2,600 yards and 28 TDs between them.

Four News Starters Along O-Line
The Buckeyes have unveiled a new-look offensive line the first two games with four new starters in RG Billy Price, C Jacoby Boren, LG Pat Elflein and RT Darryl Baldwin. LT Taylor Decker is the only veteran with 16 career starts; 14 at right tackle last year and is the new leader of the pack at left tackle this season.

Ohio State’s offensive linemen have just 30 career starts combined — the fewest in the Big Ten and the second-fewest in the nation behind Tennessee:

School Starts
1. Tennessee 16
2. Ohio State 30
3. Arkansas State 32
4. San Jose State 33
5. Army 34
Louisiana Tech 34
7. Temple 36
Boise State 36
9. Purdue 41
10. Colorado State 41
Kansas 41

New on the Sidelines
Coach Urban Meyer’s staff features two new assistant coaches: Chris Ash is the team’s co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach and Larry Johnson is assistant head coach and defensive line coach. Ash spent the past year at Arkansas and the previous three years at Wisconsin. Johnson has coached collegiately for the past 18 years at Penn State.

The Early Arrivals
Seven prospects from the 2014 recruiting class (of 23) enrolled in January. Those seven were:

The Early Trend
The seven early arriving Buckeyes continue a trend of high school seniors electing to graduate early/complete requirements to graduate and enroll at Ohio State for a winter or spring academic session. Ohio State has a total of 21 players who have left high school early. Those players, in addition to the class of 2014 enrollees, include:

  • 2013: CB

Eli Apple, QB J.T. Barrett, CB Cam Burrows and DL Tyquan Lewis;
2012: OL Jacoby Boren, OL Taylor Decker, RB Bri’onte Dunn, QB Cardale Jones, LB Joshua Perry, DB Tyvis Powell and WR Michael Thomas; and
2011: OL Joel Hale, TE Jeff Heuerman, QB Braxton Miller.

21-0 Since 2005 With Punt Block
Urban Meyer’s teams are 21-0 since the 2005 season when blocking a punt. Last season Ohio State blocked three punts: Bradley Roby (2) vs. Indiana and at Northwestern and Doran Grant vs. FAMU.

60 Blocked Kicks
Urban Meyer-coached teams, from 2001 to the present, have blocked 60 kicks. Meyer’s Buckeyes have blocked nine kicks over the past two seasons. (Source for the first 51 blocks: University of Florida stats)

Buckeyes Building Blocks:

1. Adolphus Washington (PAT vs. UCF)
2. Orhian Johnson (PAT vs. UAB)
3. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Michigan State)
4. Travis Howard (Punt vs. Indiana)
5. Garrett Goebel (PAT vs. Purdue)
6. Johnathan Hankins (FG vs. Purdue)

7. Doran Grant (Punt vs. FAMU)
8. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Northwestern)
9. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Indiana)

Future Opponents
Ohio State Notre Dame have agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Ohio State’s impressive slate of future non-conference home-and-home series now features games with:

  • Virginia Tech: last weekend and in 2015;
  • Oklahoma: 2016 in Norman and 2017 in Columbus;
  • TCU: 2018 in Fort Worth and 2019 in Columbus;
  • Oregon: 2020 in Eugene and 2021 in Columbus;
  • Notre Dame: 2022 in Columbus and 2023 in South Bend;
  • Texas: 2022 in Austin and 2023 in Columbus; and
  • Boston College: 2023 in Columbus and 2024 in Chestnut Hill.

The Big Ten Conference
Maryland and Rutgers are now members of the Big Ten Conference and a new East/West divisional format replaces the Legends and Leaders divisions. New division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015 before moving to nine-game conference slates in 2016.

Smith, Winfield Lead Four into Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame
Two of the very best players to play their respective positions at The Ohio State University — quarterback Troy Smith and cornerback Antoine Winfield — have been elected into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and will be honored this fall during weekend celebrations centered around the game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27. They join Ralph Wolf and Frank Vogel.

Smith and Winfield are part of a 13-member Ohio State Sports Hall of Fame class that includes two other football players: Bob Vogel (1959-62) and Ralph Wolf (1935-37). The class also includes hockey player Tessa Bonhamme, women’s basketball coach Nancy Darsch, fencer Boaz Ellis, track and field performer Rosalind Goodwin, golfer Ralph Guarasci, wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, synchronized swimmer Becky Kim, track and field performer Tami Smith and tennis player Jeremy Wurtzman.

A Bigger, Better, Brighter Ohio Stadium
Capacity at Ohio Stadium has risen to 104,944 from 102,329, meaning attendance figures can expect to reach 107,000-plus this season after a record crowd of 107,517 vs. Virginia Tech. An $8.9 million project at Ohio Stadium added 2,615 seats near the south stands’ stadium tunnels. The project included a new players’ tunnel and it also added rows of permanent MUSCO sports lighting atop the stadium’s east wall and above the press box. Upon completion, the south stands will hold just over 19,300 students (an additional 9,000 students will continue to have seats in the north end of the stadium).

86 Consecutive Crowds of 100,000-Plus
Ohio State has had 86 consecutive crowds in excess of 100,000. The last time Ohio State did not have at least 100,000 at a home game in Ohio Stadium: the 2002 season vs. Kent when 98,689 were on hand for the second game of what would become a national championship-winning season. Ohio State has an all-time record of 411-110-20 in Ohio Stadium.

92nd Year in Ohio Stadium
Ohio Stadium, grand and venerable and registered on the National Register of Historic Places, is hosting its 92nd football season in 2014. Ohio Stadium is endearingly nicknamed the “Horseshoe” or the “Shoe” because of its open south end. It is also referred to as the “House that Harley Built” after Chic Harley, Ohio State’s first three-time All-American who fans flocked to see at Ohio Field in 1916-17-19. Just one year after Harley’s career at Ohio State was over, things were in motion for a new stadium for the Buckeyes.

More Than 29,000 Students Buy Tickets
The Ohio State Department of Athletics sold more than its allotment of student season tickets this year and as a result more than 29,000 students will be in the stands for home games this season. Students were allotted 28,333 season ticket packages (full season and Big Ten games-only) but demand prompted the ticket office to keep selling and an additional 1,281 season ticket packages were sold for a total of 29,614.

Ohio State student ticket packages sold
2014 Season – 29,614 ticket packages sold
2013 Season – 26,304 sold
2012 Season – 25,798 sold
2011 Season* – 22,797 sold
2010 Season* – 29,701 sold
2009 Season* – 27,960 sold
*Packages these years, when Ohio State was on the quarter system and classes didn’t start until mid-September, consisted only of last four or five games.

Buckeyes Care
Ohio State, in partnership with AEP, Kroger and Dispatch Media Group, is launching Buckeyes Care, a program that highlights the positive spirit and goodwill that is alive in our community – Buckeyes helping Buckeyes. The collaborative initiative will highlight how Ohio State student-athletes, coaches and corporate community partners are making an impact in Central Ohio and beyond. The goals and objectives of Buckeyes Care are to organize and highlight current outreach initiatives under an overarching community umbrella, engage, educate and inspire the community and build community goodwill. The four pillars of the program are fitness, wellness, education and public service.

Buckeyes Care Day will be celebrated prior to Saturday’s game. A brief program will be held in French Field House to launch the event with additional mentions and recognitions taking place. Other events are planned throughout the year, including a Community Service Champions recognition and the LIFESports Spring Game.

A website,, and #BuckeyesCare have been established to share uplifting experiences and stories from the community.