One week after another loss where OSU arguably abandoned an otherwise successful run game, Urban Meyer’s staff made sure that did not happen against Michigan State – even while facing S & P+’s sixth-rated run defense.
Michigan State employed their standard scheme that has caused previous Buckeye offenses problems, mixing their cover 4 quarters framework with cover 3-zone run blitzes.
Yet Ohio State ran on the Spartans by manipulating formation and scheme. Borrowing from how Baylor and others have successfully faced the Michigan State defense, Ohio State spread out its receivers with wide splits, extending out the Spartans cover 4 safeties to keep them out of the run box.
The Buckeyes used this four wide receiver look for a newly unveiled draw play, with left guard Michael Jordan’s fold block springing Mike Weber for a touchdown.
And after Iowa forced J.T. Barrett to frequently keep on tight zone, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson sought to ensure that Michigan State could not do the same. In particular, Wilson used two unbalanced formations to force the Spartans safety and overhang defenders out of the tackle box – and ensure that running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber could get the ball on downhill zone runs.
Ohio State used a covered tight end trey over (trips with the tight end on the line of scrimmage rather than in the backfield) to widen the backside defensive end and prevent him from crashing on tight zone.
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