Football The Rivalry

Absolute Domination — By the Numbers: Michigan at Ohio State

Ohio State Brutus Buckeye

[Editor’s note: NEWBrutus is a long-time poster on our forum who has contributed statistical breakdowns for us in the past. Up today is a look back at what went right, wrong, and indifferent against Maryland.]

In 1993, the Buckeyes were 9-0-1, having tied Wisconsin. They headed to Ann Arbor to face a 6-4 Wolverine squad in that year’s episode of The Game.

I was there. It was my first (and only) trip to the “Big House.” Like many other Ohio State fans that year, I was feeling good about our chances that afternoon. It was probably a lot like most fans of our rival were feeling this year.

Ohio State was whitewashed that day, losing 28-0. It was the last time in this historic series the Buckeyes were not competitive in The Game. I sat 71 rows up on the Ohio State sideline (and what seemed like 14 miles away from the field) and watched an inferior Wolverine Squad manhandle John Cooper’s first really good Ohio State team. That result made Ol’ Coop 0-5-1 in his first six games against our heated rival.

I imagine the dejection and sadness I felt that day was similar to what most maize-and-blue-clad fans felt as they left Ohio Stadium.

Saturday, I sat with my dad in C-Deck and we both watched in utter amazement at the complete dismantling of the top defensive team in the country. It was a total shock. It was amazing.  And it wasn’t even really that close.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The Most Important Numbers

Ohio State 62, The other guys 39.

Drive Stats

 DrivesAvg StartTDs FGA FGMOff. Pts Pts/ Dr Dr Eff.Sc. Chance SC Eff. Pts/ SC
Ohio St.1361.0700554.23.6049.7625.33

Ohio State enjoyed their best average starting field position of the season. The Buckeyes also finished drives, something which had been a problem. The drive efficiency metric, which is the percentage of points scored for the possible points available (Drives x 7) was the highest mark since facing Rutgers. (And to think we left 15 points on the field). The points-per-drive mark is the third best for the Buckeyes this season. And that was against one of, if not the, best statistical defense in the country.

Despite allowing 39 points to the Maize and Blue (gift wrapping seven of those), this was a respectable performance by the Ohio State Defense.

Offensive Numbers

 Plays Yards YPP Succ RateXPLXPL Yds XPL Yds Pct
Ohio State675678.46.38814403.711

Note:  Sacks are included in the passing totals.

To appreciate these numbers, it is helpful to understand what the Buckeyes were facing this past Saturday. (Numbers courtesy of CFB stats and Football Study Hall).

 TTUN DefenseTTUN Offense
Yards Per Play3.976.29
Success Rate30.10%46.90%
Yards per Rush3.285.03

The vaunted Wolverine defense had been allowing less than 4 yards per play. Ohio State more than doubled that. Ohio State rushed for nearly 5 yards per carry (even after changing Parris Campbell’s long TD from a running play to pass play). This wasn’t just winning. This was an emphatic statement against a top-level defense.

Ohio State was able to run the ball with a 47.2% opportunity rate as well, far better than what our opponent had allowed in their prior contests (36.20%).

In addition, there were no sacks allowed by the Ohio State offensive line, and Haskins maybe had two scrambles. He had a clean pocket all day. Coming into the game, Michigan was third in the nation in sack rate (sacks per number of drop backs) and had averaged just about three sacks per game. Impressive to say the least.

As mentioned earlier, the defense played pretty well, but it wasn’t dominating. There was one really good thing to see. The team up north only had seven total plays gain 15 or more yards. Given the prior tendencies of this defense, this was not an insignificant stat. The Buckeyes made the maize and blue earn everything they got.

The other thing which stands out is Michigan’s difficulty in running the ball effectively.

CarriesYards YPP Succ Rate Stuff RateOpp. Rt

As a refresher, success rate is a first down play which gains 50% or more of the needed yards, a second down play which gains 70% of the needed yards, and a 3rd or 4th down play which gains enough yards to move the chains.

Stuff rate is the percentage of carries which go for zero yards or less.

Opportunity rate is the percentage of carries which gain at least 4 yards.

Although our opponent’s opportunity rate was fairly high, their success rate and stuff rate in running the ball were squarely in our favor. The numbers were also on par with what they had experienced in their previous eleven contests.

The Amazing Mr. Haskins

A year ago, Dwayne Haskins entered the Michigan game and led a come from behind victory. At the time, it was a glimpse of what was possible. Now a year later, Haskins is making a name for himself as one of the best passing quarterbacks to every wear the Scarlet and Gray.

 Comp. Att. Yards Pct TD Int Pass Eff
  Oregon St.223031373.3%51209.31
  Penn State223927056.4%31134.82
  M. State243922761.5%10118.89

At the completion of the regular season, he has destroyed most single-season school records and now holds the records for total passing yards and passing TD’s in Big Ten history. He is a special talent.

(NOTE: There are some inconsistencies in the passing stats on the Ohio State website. The season totals do not match the individual totals on a few games).

Who Got the Ball?

In the finale we saw the emergence of Chris Olave and we also saw how good Parris Campbell is. (Chances are defined as carries, and number of times targeted on passing plays).

ChancesPct of Chances Yards Pct of Yds YPP
14 – Hill68.96%518.99%8.50
21 – Campbell913.43%19233.86%21.33
30 – McCall22.99%447.76%22.00
7 – Haskins710.45%346.00%4.86
18 – Martell22.99%10.18%0.50
2 – Dobbins1319.40%478.29%3.62
25 – Weber1725.37%9717.11%5.71
89 – Farrell22.99%162.82%8.00
1 – Dixon22.99%315.47%15.50
9 – Victor22.99%00.00%0.00
83 – McLaurin11.49%122.12%12.00
17 – Olave22.99%488.47%24.00
Grand Total67100.00%567100.00%8.46

The Most Important Stat….

In case you forgot (and because it is fun to type):

Ohio State 62, The team up North, 39.

4 Responses

  1. I don’t understand the “Drive Stats”. Ohio State had 2 FGA and FGM, while stumbling inside the 5 (TWICE).

  2. There’s not much to pick on you about in this article, except that Dwayne Haskins is “one of the best passing quarterbacks to ever wear the Scarlet and Gray??” ONE of the best?? No, the best EVER!!! You may be thinking of certain criteria to make you say that, but I’m thinking of decision making, timing, accuracy and ball placement. He’s the best EVER, hands down.

    1. Because I haven’t seen any all year, a Shout Out and Big Love to Bobby Hoying. Msr. Haskins may be better, but you gotta look at the overall improvements across all athletics in the period to compare. The man from St. Henry is still as talented a QB as I’ve seen in the Horseshoe. Go Bucks!

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