Chip Trayanum Says “It Means A Lot” To Get Final Carry Against Notre Dame

By September 25, 2023 (9:00 am)Football

Sixth-ranked Ohio State had just one play – and one yard – separating it from not only a win over No. 9 Notre Dame on the Fighting Irish’ home turf, but it would double as a potentially program-defining play, with the Buckeyes – at least according to head coach Ryan Day – tired of hearing about the team’s alleged lack of toughness and physicality.

“I’ve been emotional – the team will tell you that – for the last couple of days,” he said after the game. “When I started hearing some of the things that they were saying – first off, it’s not true. I don’t know where people get off just saying things. It really upsets me. Put the film on. People make comments, and they don’t watch film. Our guys are tough. They’re physical.”

With not only the game but the program’s reputation on the line, Ohio State decided on a play call that put the ball in the hands of the player that seemingly best exhibits that determination and grit that Day says his team does not get enough credit for. And it wasn’t quarterback Kyle McCord, running back TreVeyon Henderson or any of Ohio State’s star wide receiver.

No, the ball was handed off to linebacker-turned-running back Chip Trayanum, who barreled forward into the end zone (albeit with one second remaining) to give Ohio State a 16-14 lead, with Jayden Fielding’s eventual extra point putting the cap on the Buckeyes’ road win over the Fighting Irish. Trayanum transferred to Ohio State ahead of last season originally expecting to play linebacker, but he stepped in where he was needed for the Buckeyes, and he stepped up against Notre Dame.

“It means a lot,” Trayanum said. “It just echoes the confidence that my teammates and my coaches have in me just to give me the ball with the game on the line like that. Just to keep our season, our dreams alive at the end of the day. So it means a lot that they have confidence like that in me, and I just knew the job had to be done. It’s as simple as that. I mean, we always preach one-play, one-yard, and toughness and fight, and I believe that one play sums it all up.

“I’m not a flamboyant person or anything like that. But I am humble,” he continued. “Ultimately, I’m just grateful, just knowing that I didn’t really get a lot of reps in the game tonight. But I tried to make all my reps count, at the end of the day. That’s what I really tried to do, and when my number was called, I just made (the play). That’s what we strive for, competitive excellence.”

As he alluded to, Trayanum received just seven carries for 13 yards, including the aforementioned game-winning score, but he made the most of his carries in a moment that will be remembered along with the likes of other great moments in Ohio State history.

I’ve never even envisioned a moment like this,” he said. “But ultimately, it happened at the end of the day. I’m just thankful. It was such a tough nail-biting game. I mean, we knew it was gonna come down to the fourth quarter. We didn’t know it was going to come down to the last play and one yard, but we always preach at the beginning of the game, keep swinging, keep swinging and keep swinging. And that’s exactly what we did.”

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