When Army visits Ohio State on Saturday, it will bring along its ground-based, triple-option offense.

Defending the Black Knights’ unusual scheme will be tough enough for the Buckeyes, but before they can plug a gap or chase a ball to the outside, they will have to deal with the bane of a defender’s life: the cut block.

It can make for a long day no matter how long the game lasts. Linebacker Chris Worley remembers OSU’s last experience against a similar offense and its incessant cut blocks, a laborious win over Navy in the 2014 season opener.

“It’s a different kind of rugged,” Worley said. “It’s not like the team up north (Michigan) where they’re running it right down (the throat), power football, and with guards pulling downhill. It’s not necessarily that kind of feel.

“But it is a rugged game, with all the cut blocks and all the eye candy they do, with slots and wings motioning and running across your face, all the triple-option stuff. … But you’ve got to man up to it.”

It’s as much a mental exercise as physical, because defenders — from linemen to defensive backs — can’t forget that the first Army man they encounter on a play is likely going to dip a shoulder and take aim at the outside lower thigh in an attempt to knock the defender’s legs from beneath him. A defender caught looking at Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw is rolling the dice.

“That’s the No. 1 reason why people get cut, because you’re trying to look at the whole play,” Worley said. “When you’re trying to defeat a cut block, you have to home in on that cut block, play that first, and then go make that play.”

Defensive end Tyquan Lewis said the cut block is not foreign to the Buckeyes. They work on defeating it often in practice because they see it from time to time in games.

“But knowing that you’re getting cut on every play, it definitely can be frustrating,” Lewis said.

It’s a staple of the triple option used by Army, Navy, Air Force and Georgia Tech. And it’s no secret why the service academies use it — it helps them level the playing field against larger opponents.

"We don't match up physically with anybody they have. That's a simple fact," Army coach Jeff Monken said about the Buckeyes.

Cut blocks are part of the attempt to even the playing field. But in this age of increasing emphasis on safety, should the cut block still be part of the game?

“I think certain ways it should be, but there are a lot of ways I really don’t believe (it should),” said Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who as head coach at Rutgers faced service academy teams several times. “But you don’t have to play triple-option teams to have nasty cut blocks.

“There is a rules committee that addresses it every year, so you’ve got to trust that. And I always said if you want to effect change, then get on one of those committees and do it. Otherwise, you shouldn’t complain.”