Ohio State football’s second off week should benefit offensive line

Cleveland 1 month ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Over his three years in the Ohio State football program, left tackle Thayer Munford learned a few things about maintaining his body through the punishment of a Big Ten Conference season.

So the two-year starter spent some time last week in OSU’s cryogenic chamber. Munford said he cranked the temperature down to 230 degrees below zero for three or four minutes, which helps relax his muscles.

“It works tremendously,” said Munford, who said he also undergoes the treatment after games sometimes. “Give it like 30 minutes (later), and you’ll feel good after that.”

Munford admitted the second idle week of the season came at a good time for the offensive line. Several members of the unit have dealt with injuries at some point in the past month.

Munford did not start at Northwestern on Oct. 18. The first backup tackle, Joshua Alabi, did not even make the trip to Evanston due to an unspecified injury. Munford said he did not feel good enough to go during warm-ups, but the plan all along was for him to relieve Nicholas Petit-Frere — which he did for part of the second quarter.

Munford started against Wisconsin, but said he felt “hesitant” early before playing better in the second half. Alabi also was unavailable for that game.

Right tackle Branden Bowen sat out the Sept. 28 victory at Nebraska. While the Buckeyes built depth at the tackle spots over the first eight games, they would like to have their first stringers closer to full health for the closing stretch of the season.

Munford believes the unit overall is capable of more, even in run blocking for an offense that ranks fourth nationally at 6.2 yards per carry.

“We miss assignments, of course, but at the same time the reason we keep blowing teams out is because of how hard we come off the ball and how fresh we are during the week,” Munford said.

The entire line will be a bit fresher for Saturday’s game against Maryland, which ranks 85th nationally in total defense while allowing 30 points per game.

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