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Week 1 Key Matchup: Ohio State defensive line vs Indiana offensive line

NOV 05 Nebraska at Ohio State
Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Week 1 Key Matchup: Ohio State defensive line vs Indiana offensive line

Many analysts give Ohio State a good chance to win it all after ranking them No. 2 in the AP poll. Ohio State will showcase an abundance of talented athletes but they could have a case for having the best defensive line in the country. In fact, by the end of the season, I believe Ohio State will have a case to hold the best defensive line ever in college football!

Ohio State’s defensive line features Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes, Nick Bosa, Tyquan Lewis, and Dre’Mont Jones. To put into perspective, they are on the same level as Alabama’s defensive line from last year which held draftees Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, and Dalvin Tomlinson.

The oldest of Ohio State’s defensive line group, Tyquan Lewis, has immense strength which stops all blockers from crossing his face and collapses the pocket when he bull-rushes. On the opposite end is Sam Hubbard who has the patience and strength to hold up his end of the line of scrimmage as well but also shows an above average closing burst. Nick Bosa earned freshman All-American honors and has continued the Bosa legacy by displaying the same hand and hip fluency. As a true sophomore, Nick could easily increase upon his 5-sacks from last season and become the top ranked defensive lineman for next season. Jaylin Holmes plays with great arm length through blockers and is another speedy rusher in their rotation.

Dre’Mont Jones flashed in my Ohio State evaluations last season with his intense hustle and speed. The most notable of Jones’ plays came against Nebraska when he fell to the ground and immediately transitioned into a crawl before jumping from his knees to grab the running backs foot. Ohio State’s deep defensive line will look to have a feeding frenzy on Indiana’s run game.

Indiana has long been known for their prowess in the trenches. Last season, they had their own drafted offensive lineman in Dan Feeney.  Notable Indiana offensive linemen this season include left tackle Coy Cronk, left guard Wes Martin, and right tackle Brandon Knight.  Cronk’s powerful blows helped him start his career off fast by winning freshman All American honors. However, he will need to improve upon striking the rusher with his thumbs pointed upward and his functional strength in reaction to rusher’s powerful counter moves. Right tackle Brandon Knight was having a very good sophomore campaign before suffering a season ending injury. Knight has above average speed when pulling and getting to the second level but his ability to re-anchor his base against a bull rush is suspect.  Left guard Wes Martin has shown the upper body torque to shield of defenders in the run game. With this 3-man combination, Indiana will look to get a helmet on a helmet and open similar running lanes that kept them competitive in last year’s contest.

Last season, Indiana also found success with screen passes and trick plays. It will be interesting to see if they employ a similar tactic after adding five new offensive coaches who implemented a new system this offseason. This first game will be a true test for the Indiana offensive line to see if they have learned the system, can communicate, and execute at a high level.

Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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