Ohio State Football: The offensive line is as advertised

The Ohio State Football team expected a little bit of a struggle from C.J. Stroud early.Ceb Osu21min Kwr 45
The Ohio State Football team expected a little bit of a struggle from C.J. Stroud early.Ceb Osu21min Kwr 45 /

The Ohio State football team came out with a 45-31 victory versus the Minnesota Golden Gophers Thursday night. In the first half, the Buckeye offense looked sloppy with only 10 first-half points to show for.

Ohio State’s offense exploded in the second half with 28 offensive points, all of which came on huge plays. While there were some struggles on offense during the first half, the Buckeye offensive line was a steady ship all night long.

Several weeks ago, it looked like some interesting moves were being made on Ohio State’s offensive line. Essentially, the right tackle Dawand Jones played himself into a starting role. This forced the Buckeyes to move some guys around, Nicholas Petit-Frere moved to left tackle while Thayer Munford moved to left guard. Munford has been a longtime anchor at left tackle, so it was surprising seeing his move to left guard.

However, the idea of having a starting offensive line made of Petit-Frere, Munford, Harry Miller, Paris Johnson Jr., and Dawand Jones was very exciting. The Ohio State coaching staff wanted to field the five best offensive linemen, if that required moving around players then so be it.

The projected starters on the offensive line created a line that is oozing with potential. Before the Minnesota game kicked off, the former Ohio State All-American offensive lineman, and now radio analyst, Jim Lachey said this could be the best offensive line he’s ever seen at Ohio State.

Think about all of the fantastic offensive lines to come through Ohio State in the last 30 years, that is very eye-opening. After seeing the line’s performance, what Lachey said doesn’t seem so bold now.

The offensive line had a dominant performance for the Ohio State football team

Right off the bat, there was adversity for the offensive line before kickoff. News broke Thursday afternoon that the projected starting center, Miller, would miss the Minnesota game due to COVID issues. Luke Wypler, the redshirt freshman, stepped into the starting role and played solid. There were some issues with snaps against Minnesota, several were sent into the dirt. Besides that, Wypler played a solid game.

Even with a backup center playing Thursday evening, the Buckeye offensive line looked great. With so many players stepping into new positions, it was extremely impressive what they did. As the year goes on, they could become an absolute dominating force. Honestly, they were pretty dominant already against Minnesota.

The offensive line opened up massive holes for running backs all night long. This led to 201 rushing yards, 7.7 yards per carry, and a 71-yard explosive run by Miyan Williams. Some of the holes were so big you could drive a truck through it, and there was good push most of the night. Look at this tremendous push on a rush by Williams.

Minnesota defenders were thrown everywhere, two were even pancaked. Alongside some dominant run blocking, C.J. Stroud had a comfortable pocket most of the night. The offensive line did not allow one sack, and Minnesota got only 1 TFL on a rush by Williams.

The offensive line also had a clean performance, making their play even more stellar. Not one penalty was thrown on the Buckeye offensive line. That’s right, no false starts, no holds or blocks in the back. It was an all-around very strong performance for the line.

The only true knock is some of Wypler’s inconsistent snaps, but that’s not the starter going forward. Hopefully Miller, the former five-star center recruit, will start his first game at center against Oregon. At that point, the snaps could become more consistent, meaning the offensive line only gets better.

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Minnesota doesn’t have the most imposing defense, so some expectations need to be tempered. Still, the offensive line still showcased why they could be one of the best, or even the best line in the country this season.