Talkin' Tressel: Saine Back, Boren Out

Jim Tressel said Thursday his team will regain the services of at least one of his injured running backs with the possibility of the other returning, as well, but that news was tempered by the surprising loss of a starting offensive linemen for the week.

Running back Brandon Saine, who missed the second half of the Buckeyes' 38-7 win against Minnesota last week with a concussion, is fully cleared and will start against New Mexico State (Noon, Big Ten Network) on Saturday.

Freshman Jordan Hall will play as well, and Tressel said the staff feels comfortable with looking at redshirt freshman Jermil Martin as an option as well after he ran well against the Golden Gophers.

Additionally, Tressel hopes to see running back Dan Herron able to get his first game action since Oct. 10. He has missed three of the team's last four games because of an ankle sprain, but Tressel would like for him to get a few carries against the Aggies to better prepared him for a home stretch of games that consists of Penn State, Iowa and Michigan.

"We would love to have him turn the corner, even if it's just play a little to get over that hump of being back in game form," Tressel said. "That would be a big bonus for us both for Saturday and for beyond."

As far the banged up offensive line, Tressel repeated an earlier announcement that sophomore Mike Adams is out and announced that junior Justin Boren has been added to the injured list.

Adams had a surgical procedure on a knee that will keep him out for an undetermined amount of time, while Boren is out while suffering from a foot problem.

Jim Cordle is expected to start at left tackle in place of Adams while Tressel said Andrew Moses would replace Boren at left guard.

Asked if Boren's injury could keep him out beyond this week, he said he did not know.

"I was surprised he was going to be out this week," Tressel said. "I didn't know it until the end of yesterday's work."

In addition, Andy Miller is available to play both spots on the left side. Tight ends coach John Peterson, who also works with the Ohio State tackles, said Wednesday night to expect Miller and Cordle both to see action at tackle.

In other injury news, Tressel said backup freshman safety Orhian Johnson is cleared to play after also suffering a head injury. Backup defensive lineman Robert Rose is back to full strength after missing the Minnesota game with an undisclosed injury, but the coach said sophomore backup linebacker Andrew Sweat is out for the year.

Starting defensive tackle Dexter Larimore, who has not played since a knee injury Oct. 3 at Indiana, will not play this week but was able to return to practice on a noncontact basis this week.

As far as preparation for the 3-5 Aggies, Tressel said he felt the team had a crisp practice Tuesday but Wednesday was not so good, a fact he said might have been related to one of the practice fields being in less-than-ideal condition.

Overall, though, he did not feel his team had struggled to keep its focus in its preparation.

"It hasn't seemed difficult because I think our guys all know we need to get better," he said. "I think we'll be able to see whether or not we really knew that or if we just nodded our heads that we knew that, but we need to progress, and if we don't progress on Saturday, we could be disappointed in a lot of ways.

"I guess having the reality of our finishing schedule in front of us should make it even more obvious to us."

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