The play of the Ohio State linebackers has been erratic this season, resulting in some heat on first-year LB coach Bill Davis.
The linebackers struggled mightily in coverage against Oklahoma and Iowa and have also had some issues at times against the run.
However, the unit had perhaps its best performance of the season in last week’s 48-3 blowout win over Michigan State. It came with two starters, Dante Booker and Jerome Baker, on the bench with injuries.
Tuf Borland, who filled in at middle linebacker when Chris Worley was out for several games earlier in the season, was inserted into the starting lineup against the Spartans and Worley was moved outside, where he played last year.
Sophomore Malik Harrison replaced Booker at the other outside spot.
Borland and Harrison took advantage of their opportunities to shine. Borland had a team-high 11 tackles, two for loss and a sack.
Harrison contributed four solo tackles and a sack.
Worley also played well, looking more comfortable in his old role on the outside than he has on the inside this year. Borland, Harrison and Worley helped the defense limit Michigan State to a mere 64 rushing yards.
BUCKEYE INSIDER, exclusively in Friday's Examiner.
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