Buckeye Breakdown: At Ohio State, ‘RPO’ stands for ‘Run Power Often’

J.K. Dobbins Power Indiana Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State Football

The Ohio State Buckeyes spent nearly the entire off-season working on improving the passing game in order to enhance the offense.

Drag routes, shallow crossing routes, and RPO’s (Run Pass Options) were installed to create passing lanes and get the ball into the playmakers’ hands. Thursday night, the Buckeyes took their new offense for a test drive and produced mostly mixed results. After hitting a snag in the first half versus Indiana, the Buckeyes reverted back to their bread and butter to jump start the offense — power football.

Branden Bowen, the newly-anointed right guard, got off to a shaky start before settling down and making the recommended adjustments, which opened up the running lanes for J.K. Dobbins.

The Hoosiers did a nice job of changing the “fills” by the linebackers, which caused problems in the zone blocking scheme, primarily lining up the blocks in the second level.

Bowen paired with right tackle Isaiah Prince on a “Deuce” block late in the second quarter, which is a synchronized block between the right guard and right tackle to make a push on the right side of the line of scrimmage. At this point in the contest, the Buckeyes were looking to establish a rhythm offensively to put points on the board and quell the momentum of the Hoosiers.

On this particular play, Bowen and Prince worked together, essentially double teaming a defensive tackle in unison before Bowen peeled off to attack the backside linebacker at the second level.

The block requires good leverage, timing and technique to pull off effectively, and the Slobs on the right side came through.

Dobbins was able to read the blocks and break through the hole for a long gain, which later led to a J.T. Barrett touchdown and a 14-13 halftime deficit.