The triple option Army and a few other major-college programs run today is an homage to the wishbone and veer offenses popular in the 1970s, but don’t look at it as simple or antiquated.

The Ohio State defense, still smarting from a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma a week ago, must try to decipher the intricacies and deal with the physical aspects of the Army option Saturday. It’s the first time the Buckeyes have faced such an offense since defeating Navy in the 2014 season opener.

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It’s an intense gap-assignment exercise for the defense, and this part of it — let’s call it the fullback dive choice — is at its core. Junior fullback Darnell Woolfolk scored both of Army’s fourth-quarter touchdowns in a come-from-behind win over Buffalo last week, and he did it with short plunges into the right side of the line.

Before the defense deals with quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, who might keep the ball or pitch to a back who has a blocker ready, it must plug any of three gaps that Woolfolk might attack. And that’s just to the right side; it’s the same if Army goes to the left.

Throughout the game defenders will fend off the cut blocks, which are within the rules as long they come from in front of the man being blocked. And they are incessant from teams running the triple option.

That’s why the dive play from the fullback is a tricky exercise for the defense. It demands that each of the gaps on either side of the center have a sentry not only on duty but standing his ground before chasing where the play actually might be going.

When there is a quarterback as adept as Ahmad Bradshaw, it’s hard to keep an eye on the ball.