Ohio State Football: Offensive line determines Buckeyes’ ceiling

Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Donovan Jackson (74) lines up during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus DispatchNcaa Football Ohio State Buckeyes At Northwestern Wildcats
Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Donovan Jackson (74) lines up during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus DispatchNcaa Football Ohio State Buckeyes At Northwestern Wildcats /
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The Ohio State football team is replacing a number of players from last year’s CFP team. The most prominent position they are replacing a starter at is obviously the quarterback position. But the Buckeyes have more pressing issues than replacing a quarterback.

The biggest issue for them is replacing three starters on the offensive line. Ohio State will have a new center, left tackle, and right tackle. That is a much bigger issue because these are the players protecting the new quarterback. They’re also what makes the running game go.

Ohio State struggled to run the ball at the end of the year. Part of that was because the offensive line stopped getting push up the middle. That’s also something you worry about when you have three new starters up front too. Justin Frye has his work cut out for him in that regard.

How well the offensive line plays in 2023 will determine the Ohio State football team’s ceiling. How well they are able to adjust and play early on will show us a lot. We already talked about how hard the Buckeyes’ schedule is next year. The offensive line needs to show up early.

I don’t expect many issues in pass protection. That’s not a problem that has plagued the offensive line in a while. What I want to see is how they move linemen in the run game. Ohio State has three good running backs returning next year that they need to utilize.

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If Ohio State dominates up front, they will make the College Football Playoff yet again. If they don’t, they might end up losing a couple of games again next year. Even though the defense needs to improve, the offensive line is still something that will drive this team.