COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A position-by-position look at a perfect season for Ohio State, continuing today by rewinding to look at the big guys up front who opened huge holes for the rushing attack and helped keep Braxton Miller upright for the passing game.
Most valuable player: The Buckeyes were blessed with good health across the line all season, which gave all five starters every possible chance to build a case as the standout performer for the unit. It might not even be fair to single out just one, but considering the uncertainty at right tackle dating to spring practice and the way Reid Fragel developed to not only lock down a job but excel at it, the senior gets the edge for providing the final puzzle piece in the trenches. Jack Mewhort was a monster on the other side of the line and Corey Linsley was reliable as the anchor at center, but Fragel's transition from tight end was absolutely critical for the high-powered spread offense.
By the numbers: If Ohio State could find the red zone, odds were good the offensive line was going to clear the way for a touchdown on the ground. The Buckeyes were relentless when getting close to the end zone on the ground, trusting the big guys to combine with either Carlos Hyde as the battering ram or Miller as the burner on the edge to beat defenses down with hard-nosed football. In all, the linemen helped deliver 30 red-zone touchdowns for an offense that scored 88 percent of the time it got inside an opponent's 20-yard line.