Buckeyes Looking To Get Run Game Going In Biggest Test For Offensive Line

By November 23, 2023 (12:00 pm)Football

In the past two seasons when the Buckeyes lost to Michigan, the Ohio State run game was largely held to very average games. TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown in 2021 and Chip Trayanum picked up 83 yards the next year but couldn’t find his way into the end zone.

Henderson makes his return to The Game this year, and has been completely dominant since he has come back from his injury, but Michigan boasts the eighth best run defense in the country, only allowing 90 yards per game from its opponents.

Ohio State’s offensive line is going to be a huge factor in whether the Buckeyes will be able to get their run game going, and after a season’s worth of criticism, the line that began the year with three new starters will be tested as much as it has all year.

Ohio State and Michigan are both 11-0 and even if you put aside the rivalry and how much this game means to both teams, the loser of this game seems to have a very tough path to making the College Football Playoff this year as well, so this is what the inexperienced line has been building towards all season.

“You’re seeing improvement every week. You’re seeing a group that works together. You’re seeing progressions individually and as a unit,” Ryan Day said. “Week in and week out, we come in and we talk about the progress in different areas. You’ve seen it that area. I think their confidence is high as it’s been all season.”

Kyle McCord feels good about the protection in front of him, saying they have been able to get much better over the season since they have been able to play in 11 games together.

Early on, especially in fall camp, we were switching guys in and out, guys were competing for jobs,” McCord said. “Once everything kind of settled into place, they did a good job of meshing together. Early on in the season, I don’t think everybody was always on the same page, and that’s to be expected. But especially this last stretch, they’ve done a good job of communicating well, playing together, preparing during the week, and as a result their play has risen.”

It’s going to be a very big test for the Buckeyes offensive line, but they will need to have all parts of their offense clicking to win this game. Day said the run game is going to be extremely important, and those five will be the deciding factor of whether Henderson can reach his fullest potential in this game.

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