One of the most remarkable streaks of Urban Meyer’s seven-year tenure at Ohio State ended Saturday against Maryland.

For the first time in Meyer’s 73 games as Buckeyes coach, Ohio State lost a starting offensive lineman to injury. Right guard Branden Bowen broke the fibula and tibia in his left leg in the first quarter of a 62-14 victory over Maryland.

Considering the pounding and risk that linemen face on every snap, it defies the odds that Buckeyes linemen have been so durable. Now they face an issue that most teams often confront.

The only other time a Buckeyes starting offensive lineman didn’t play the following week came when Meyer benched Marcus Hall for the 2013 Big Ten title game because of his ejection from the Michigan game. Hall's replacement, Pat Elflein, would eventually become a Rimington Trophy winner as the nation's best center.

Matt Burrell replaced Bowen, and after Saturday’s game Meyer indicated that the redshirt sophomore played well enough to have the edge to retain it for the Nebraska game.

“Next man up, right now looks like Matt Burrell,” Meyer said, “and we'll see if there's any competition at that spot. That's alarming, but Matt played OK. So we'll see what happens there.”

Burrell was the favorite to win the right guard spot entering training camp before Bowen, a converted tackle, beat him out.

Meyer has been critical of the offensive line’s depth for the last couple of years. That concern has eased somewhat lately.

Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said last week that he believes the line has developed capable backups. He listed freshman tackle Thayer Munford and center Brady Taylor first, in part because Burrell had been slowed in recent weeks by a foot injury.

With Burrell in the game on Saturday, the Buckeyes offense kept rolling.

“Matt came in and performed very well,” center Billy Price said. “We always say you never know when your number is going to be called so you have to be prepared. Matt prepared very, very well this week coming off the foot injury he had.”

Burrell was a four-star recruit out of Virginia but was slow to develop at Ohio State. According to Price, the issue has been more mental than physical.

“I think the biggest thing is probably confidence right now,” Price said. “He’s always questioning, ‘Hey, did I do this right?’ Football is a game of highs and lows, and you just have to go out and play. On the offensive line, you’re not going to play perfect.”

If Burrell falters, other candidates include junior Malcolm Pridgeon and freshmen Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers.

“They’re still learning the stuff, but they’re really close,” Studrawa said of the freshmen. “Both of them are going to be really good.”