Ohio State controlled the game against Oklahoma by running the football efficiently for 291 yards in the Buckeyes’ 45-24 victory.
Although Oklahoma’s defense had limited rushing success for previous opponents – including in their loss to Houston – the Buckeyes exploited the Sooners with run game diversity. At its best, Urban Meyer’s offense can run against any opponent because it can counter whatever an opponent does. Saturday was no exception.
The Sooners responded to Ohio State’s formational variety by largely eschewing their odd front in favor of a 4-3 over with a safety often coming down at the snap.
The Buckeyes’ goal was to run without going directly at Oklahoma’s large interior down linemen. The Buckeyes began by using shifts and motion to out-leverage Oklahoma and run Curtis Samuel outside.
In short yardage, the Sooner aligned in a bear front. To counter, Ohio State introduced the wrinkle of lead outside zone to Samuel. Pre-snap, the Buckeyes shifted Samuel from the slot to the opposite halfback position for split backs. They then motioned Y-off Marcus Baugh across to change the formation strength, causing Oklahoma to lose its contain responsibilities.
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