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Day Sees Improvement In The Offensive Line With Henderson In Backfield, But Still Wants To Get Better

By November 8, 2023 (1:03 pm)Football

Early on in the season, one of the biggest topics of conversation was the offensive line and how it needed to improve if this Ohio State team wanted to be at a level which it can compete for a championship. Carson Hinzman, Josh Fryar and Josh Simmons were all new starts on the line, replacing three players from last season that moved on to the NFL.

A big problem for the Buckeyes was converting on third and fourth downs, especially in short yardage situations, and it was a consistent struggle they dealt with. Ryan Day thinks the offensive line is better now than it was at the beginning of the season when it had much less experience, but it also helps now that TreVeyon Henderson is back from his injury he suffered in the win against Notre Dame.

“It makes a big difference when Tre’s back there and we get into the second level,” Day said. I thought we got into the second level quite a bit (against Rutgers). He was able to really get to the safeties, and he was physical on a couple runs, and he was able to make a couple guys miss.”

Kyle McCord took a sack in the second quarter from an unblocked Scarlet Knights linebacker which took the Buckeyes back nine yards and stalled a drive that could have gone for a score.

Right tackle Josh Fryar missed Mohamed Toure blitzing and was left blocking nobody on the right side of the line, but Day thinks that play was unique and was just happy McCord didn’t lose the ball since he wasn’t expecting to be hit. He believes everyone that is supposed to be blocking needs to take responsibility if its not at the level it should be.

“It’s everybody involved,” Day said. “It’s the receivers getting in there and digging people out. It’s the tight ends and their blocks. It’s a quarterback making sure we get to the right play or possibly reading somebody, if it’s a read or an RPO, making sure that we’re not running into an overloaded box. It’s making sure that as coaches we put them into the right play.”

But on those reads that McCord and the offensive line are supposed to make, he believes they could still get better, but it can be tough sometimes with looks being changed up by defenses.

“There’s been good times but there’s also things that we got to do better,” Day said. “Defenses do a great job of changing up the looks. The minute you think you got them, here comes another twist or another guy coming from another way.”

But even with the challenges, the run blocking has been good enough for Henderson who has rushed for 290 yards and two touchdowns in the two games since returning on 46 carries.

There might still be room to improve, but the Buckeyes should have room to do so against Michigan State and Minnesota in the next two weeks before the biggest games at the end of the season come.

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