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BuckIQ: Offensive line under microscope for high-octane Ohio State attack

Ohio State Football

BuckIQ: Offensive line under microscope for high-octane Ohio State attack

COLUMBUS — A few of the traditional measures of success for an Ohio State offensive line no longer apply.

But just because the Buckeyes are putting up eye-popping statistics through the air, scoring points in bunches and the team remains unbeaten doesn’t mean those blockers won’t still get publicly challenged as long as Urban Meyer is leading the program.

As soon as the win over Minnesota was over last week, Meyer was pointing to what he thought were weaknesses on Saturday, which obviously isn’t uncommon for a perfectionist like the seventh-year Ohio State coach. But while he was making it absolutely clear that he expects improvement, there are plenty of reasons to look at the Buckeyes up front and see a team getting the job done at a high level.

“I don’t think we played particularly well [Saturday],” Meyer said. ” … We gave up three sacks. We have to keep Dwayne [Haskins] upright. Short yardage is not a strength. Red zone is not a strength, and running the ball is not a strength.

“That’s something we’ve got to get figured out.”

But if there really much to fix?

When it comes to running on fourth-and-short, it’s obvious that Ohio State could improve. But evaluating the rest of the blocking takes a bit of a sharper eye and a deeper dive into the statistics than just looking at rushing yardage.

The most important factor beyond the box score to keep in mind: Haskins threw the football on at least 10 snaps that had run options built into the play. Had the defense given the Buckeyes a look that allowed them to keep it on the ground with J.K. Dobbins or Mike Weber, that performance against Minnesota might have been perceived a lot differently.

Instead, Ohio State just had to “settle” for 412 passing yards in another double-digit win. Ho-hum.

But at BuckIQ, the breakdowns are about more than just statistics. And for the latest episode with Reid Fragel in the film room, the former Ohio State offensive lineman is taking a closer look at the schemes and techniques to see where any problems are popping up — and how they might be addressed.

Roll the tape!

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Austin Ward

Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.