Ohio State and Army have never met on the football field, which is a bit surprising considering that both programs began in the 19th century.

But when the Black Knights come to Ohio Stadium, the Buckeyes will be playing against kindred spirits in at least one way. Much of Urban Meyer’s coaching philosophy — like Woody Hayes’ long ago — is derived from military concepts and philosophy.

“A high percentage of it,” Meyer said. “I always tell people that the highest possible regard for leadership and highest possible regard for selflessness and teamwork is our United States military.

“It’s really unchallenged as far as how successful they successful they are and the kind of people they develop. A high majority of what we do is centered on that.”

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Ohio State’s philosophy of working to ensure that players feel beholden and responsible to their position unit — the nine-strong theory — is rooted in the military’s concept of small-unit cohesion. It may be impossible for a soldier to feel an intense brotherhood with an entire army, but it can and must within its own squad.

Meyer has brought in military speakers, including Marcus Luttrell, the Navy SEAL of “Lone Survivor” fame. Pictures of OSU players who have served in the military line the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The Buckeyes’ strength and conditioning training is laden with exercises designed to test the mind’s limit as well as the body’s, as is customary with the military.

“There is a very militaristic model,” center Billy Price said. “By no means is what we do similar to them (in importance), but the type of training and the mentality which you approach things is similar.”

The Buckeyes have had to draw on that mental toughness this week as they try to rebound from last week’s dispiriting loss to Oklahoma. A team that entered the season as a favorite to reach the College Football Playoff probably has no margin for error now. The mood inside the Woody early in the week was befitting a team that took a body blow.

“It’s like a funeral,” Price said Monday. “You didn’t have that same ‘livey’ feeling. It’s quiet. You don’t have that kick in your step.”

Now they have to play Army (2-0), an unconventional opponent in scheme. The Buckeyes would love to correct the deficiencies they had against Oklahoma. But Army is an aberration. The Black Knights run a triple-option offense unlike anything the Buckeyes will see all season.

They will try to use misdirection and capitalize on any missed read or overaggressiveness by Ohio State’s defense. Even during training camp, the Buckeyes set aside time to drill specifically for Army’s triple-option.

The Ohio State pass defense that Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield dissected probably won’t get tested. Army has completed only 2 of 10 passes in victories over Fordham and Buffalo. The Black Knights will try to milk the clock and play ball control to shorten the game.

On defense, Army uses a 3-4 and will play zone pass defense, which has given Ohio State’s offense fits this season.

“We have to get on a roll here,” Meyer said. “We have to get big yardage and big plays. That’s what’s missing from our offense right now.”

Army has climbed out of the doldrums under coach Jeff Monken, who took over in 2014. The Black Knights had only one winning season since 1996 until last year’s 8-5 record, which included their first victory over Navy after 14 straight losses to the Midshipmen. Army defeated North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

But Ohio State is a step up in class for the Black Knights.

“I told our team they might be the most talented football team that an Army team has ever faced in school history,” Monken said. “They’re big, athletic, fast, (have) weapons on offense, great defensive line. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for our players.”

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As it is for the Buckeyes, especially in terms of their respect for their opponent’s commitment to the country.

“Absolutely,” Price said. “I have the most respect for those men and women who are in the Army.”

Added linebacker Chris Worley, “I’ve had family and friends who’ve served in the military so it always hits home whenever I run across someone who serves or has served us. I have nothing but utmost respect for them. But when the foot hits the ball, it’s going to be about beating them.”