Offensive linemen (and their behinds) take center stage to start Ohio State-Michigan week

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 28:  Running back Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball against the Michigan Wolverines in the first half at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Running back Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball against the Michigan Wolverines in the first half at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Credit: Gregory Shamus

Credit: Gregory Shamus

Urban Meyer started out this special week in just about the most Woody Hayes way possible: Talking about the importance of interior offensive linemen.

More specifically his preference for guys at that position “with big wide asses.”

Welcome to Michigan Week 2017.

The 114th edition of The Game will, like many of them, include a big focus on the matchups in the trenches.

Whichever team wins those battles tends to come out ahead.

“Our base play is a zone scheme,” Meyer explained. “And we want the big wide asses -- probably shouldn't say that -- but to move defensive line you need to have the big guards in this offense. And zone schemes, that's a prerequisite -- be powerful coming off the board and those two are good at it.”

Ohio State is first in the Big Ten in rushing while Michigan is third. The defenses are fourth and fifth, respectively, in stopping the run.

The Buckeye running game has really been rolling the last two weeks, piling up 335 yards against a stout Michigan State defense and 325 on one from Illinois that ranks last in the conference.

Meanwhile, Michigan is coming off picking up only 58 yards on 37 attempts in a loss at Wisconsin.

The Wolverines had 160 yards against Maryland on Nov. 11 after back-to-back 300-yard rushing games against Rutgers and Minnesota.

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