It’s no coincidence that two weeks straight this item has featured an Ohio State play employing three tight ends.

In the effort to resuscitate the running game, the Buckeyes have rolled a couple of three tight-end sets out of the garage and taken them for successful test drives in wins over Nebraska and Michigan State. They might use either of them or perhaps a new one Saturday at Maryland.

 

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The Terrapins also must keep in mind that just because Ohio State deploys three tight ends in a tight formation, it doesn’t mean necessarily a plunge within the hash marks is coming. Take this play from last week’s game at Michigan State, for example.

Let’s call it “Two tights, wing right, jet lead.” At the MSU 1-yard line, the Buckeyes put tight ends Jeremy Ruckert on the left end and Luke Farrell on the right end, with tight end Rashod Berry in a wing tight off the right hip of Farrell. Hybrid back Parris Campbell was a wide wing to the left, with Dwayne Haskins Jr. in the shotgun flanked on the right by running back J.K. Dobbins.

Campbell went in motion toward the middle, and quickly after the snap Haskins shoveled a 2-foot pass to Campbell passing in front of him. Yes, technically the running play was a pass, and the jet sweep wound up the 33rd touchdown pass of the season for Haskins.

That’s because Farrell, Berry and Dobbins, the lead, attacked the right flat with an overloaded blocking echelon to create a seam through which Campbell danced through to the end zone. But the formation made the Spartans respect the possibility of a power play, which delayed pursuit, and opened the possibility Haskins could have kept and thrown to one of those eligible receivers, something Maryland must ponder.

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports