/Ohio St. punter puts best foot forward, pins MSU

Ohio St. punter puts best foot forward, pins MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In a sloppy matchup between two top-25 teams, Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman stole the show, helping the Buckeyes pin Michigan State inside the 6-yard line five times in the second half of a 26-6 victory Saturday.

His performance ultimately earned him a postgame interview on television, an interview coach that Urban Meyer jokingly said he wasn’t aware of.

“I wouldn’t have let him [get interviewed] had I known that was happening,” Meyer said with a smile.

Chrisman’s performance got off to a rocky start. He shanked a 4-yard punt in the first quarter that could’ve set the tone for the game and the rest of his time on the field, but he redeemed himself with punts to the 1-, 2-, 3-, 5- and 6-yard lines.

Overall, Chrisman had nine punts for an average of 37.8 yards, with a long of 53. In all, he dropped six punts inside the 20-yard line.

Meyer once again joked he thought about benching Chrisman after his shank, but that there wasn’t anyone else to replace him.

“I think I didn’t realize how strong the wind was [on the shanked punt],” Chrisman said. “[It] pushed it out of my hand right off the drop, came off the side of the foot about 10 rows deep into the bleachers.

“After you have a punt like that … I don’t know where it ranks in Ohio State’s worst punts in history, but it’s definitely my worst punt. I was just like, ‘Man, I just gotta ball out after this one.'”

The redshirt sophomore did that and more, helping No. 10 Ohio State win the field-position game by pinning Michigan State deep in its own territory. On one occasion, with 18th-ranked Michigan State inside its own 2-yard line, the Spartans intentionally snapped the ball out of the back of the end zone on fourth down, taking a safety, to try to flip the field back in their favor.

When asked after the game about being interviewed on television and being brought in for the postgame news conference, Chrisman had fun with his first time answering questions.

“This is the first time being on TV after the game, and I didn’t even know this [media] room existed, so we’ll see how it goes,” Chrisman said. “I’ve seen guys [get interviewed on TV] after the game, but never a punter. I’ve seen the kicker a couple times, hit a couple clutch field goals, but did not know it was possible to be a punter.”