For years now, offensive linemen have picked up running backs or wide receivers after touchdowns and hoisted them in the air for a moment. It’s become a tradition across college football.
“We always say, ‘Do it for the Gram,” Ohio State right guard Billy Price said. “Do it for Instagram. You get the good pictures.”
The Buckeyes turned the celebration around last weekend. After one of the 11 touchdowns in a 77-10 victory over Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium, hybrid back Curtis Samuel lifted center Pat Elflein in the air. Elflein outweighs Samuel 300-197.
“That’s our new thing,” Price said. “The small guys raise the fat guys. I told Dontre (Wilson), ‘Dontre, you’re going to have to start bench pressing more because I’m 315 and there’s no way. It’s a good time.”
The offensive line deserved the pick-me-up. With three new starters — Jamarco Jones at left tackle, Michael Jordan at left guard and Isaiah Prince at right tackle plus a new starter at tight end, Marcus Baugh — Ohio State set a school record with 776 yards of offense.
That doesn’t mean it was a perfect performance. The coaches hand out champion grades after each game. One offensive lineman, Elflein, earned that honor.
“When you only have one guy grade champion, they didn’t play very good,” coach Urban Meyer said. “So they have to get much better.”
Penalties marred the performance. Price had a holding penalty and two false starts. Jordan had a false start. The Buckeyes committed nine penalties in all for a loss of 66 yards.
“I was twitched up and antsy and ready to go,” Price said. “We were running tempo. I lost Dontre’s voice in the crowd. I thought I heard something. The second one, I was just ready to get after somebody. It’s just things on my end to clean up. It’s just unacceptable. I knew it as soon as it happened. Really, did I just do that as a three-year player? C’mon, dude.”
The Buckeyes play Tulsa in their second game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Tulsa beat San Jose State 45-10 in its opener. Price expects everyone on the line to be calmer with one game in the books.
“I know Mike Jordan was like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s really like to play in front of 107,000 people,’ ” Price said. “It’s an incredible opportunity. To have those guys come back and play in the Shoe again in week two, I know they’re going to be more comfortable.”