Every now and then it makes sense to take a look at where the Ohio State football team stands in relation to the rest of the nation.
The rankings are one thing — and the Playoff Rankings will be out in a couple of days, but it’s always interesting to see just how much production the Buckeyes are responsible on both offense and defense.
With the Ohio State offense and defense both rolling at unprecedented paces, the need to take stock and appreciate what they’re doing right now is even more apropos.
Sitting at 8-0 for the first time since 2015 is an accomplishment for this program, so why not spend a few minutes taking a brief victory lap?
For instance, the Buckeyes are scoring 48.3 points per game, which is third in the nation behind Oklahoma (49.3) and Alabama (48.6). Alabama and Ohio State have each scored 52 touchdowns this season, which is more than anybody else in the nation.
The Buckeyes are scoring 48.3 points per game and they haven’t even played Maryland and Rutgers yet. The OSU school record for scoring is 45.5 points per game, accomplished during the 2013 season. After those first 10 games this year, the numbers may dip a bit as the Buckeyes take on Penn State, Michigan, possibly a Big Ten Championship Game opponent, and then one or two other talented defenses.
Ohio State is fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 284.3 yards per game on the ground. They are tops among Power 5 teams, however, with Boston College being the next closest at 282.3 yards per game. Against conference opponents, the Buckeyes are rushing for 308 yards per game, which is 55 more than anybody else in the Big Ten (Minnesota).
One year after finishing second in the nation in passing with 364.3 yards per game, the Buckeyes have dialed things back in that area. They are currently 67th in the nation in passing yards per game, averaging 230.5 yards per outing. Their 28 touchdown passes is seventh in the nation, however, and only Georgia Southern — of 74 total pass attempts in seven games — has thrown fewer than the Buckeyes’ one interception.
And we’ll see if it holds up, but Ohio State is currently averaging a school record 7.17 yards per play, which is .03 ypp ahead of the current best.
Defensively, the Buckeyes lead the nation in points allowed, as opponents are scoring just 7.9 points per game against this Ohio State defense. They have allowed just six touchdowns this season. No other team in the nation has allowed fewer than nine.
Among teams that have played eight games this season, Ohio State has allowed three fewer touchdowns than any other defense in the nation.
In their first eight games last season, the Buckeyes allowed 24 touchdowns.
Ohio State has allowed just six touchdown drives this season. Five of them have come after kickoffs and only one has followed a punt (Wisconsin went 30 yards for a touchdown after their blocked punt down 10-0).
Here are the six touchdown drives Ohio State has allowed this season. A third of which went to Florida Atlantic in the season opener. (Don’t worry, this won’t take long.)
Florida Atlantic — 4th Q — 15 plays, 75 yards — Score of game during drive: 35-6.
Florida Atlantic — 4th Q — 8 plays, 76 yards — Score of game during drive: 42-14.
Indiana — 2nd Q — 8 plays, 78 yards — Score of game during drive: 30-3.
Nebraska — 3rd Q — 5 plays, 75 yards — Score of game during drive: 48-0.
Michigan State — 2nd Q — 5 plays, 75 yards — Score of game during drive: 10-0.
Wisconsin – 3rd Q — 3 plays, 30 yards — Score of game during drive: 10-0.
In case you were wondering, Michigan has allowed 21 touchdowns this season.
The Buckeyes are currently ninth in the nation in rush defense, which is also good for fourth in the Big Ten. They are allowing 91.5 yards rushing. At this point a year ago, they were allowing 149.6, which was good for about 50th nationally.
Ohio State leads the nation in pass defense, allowing 132.8 yards passing per game. They’re eighth in pass completion percentage (52.4), second in yards per attempt (5.0), first in touchdown passes allowed (4), and second in pass efficiency defense (91.24).
The game against Wisconsin was OSU’s first without an interception, but you can probably blame all of Chase Young’s sacks for that.
The Buckeyes also have the No. 2 total defense in the nation (224.3), which is just 0.8 yards per game behind Wisconsin. It should be noted that Ohio State’s offense went more than 200 yards over that Wisconsin average a week ago.
There are all kinds of numbers that tell you what you already know — this Ohio State team is pretty dang good.
But wait, there’s more!
The Buckeyes are third in the nation in sacks per game (4.25), led by Chase Young’s national-best 13.5.
They are second in the nation in tackles for loss (9.25).
Ohio State is second in the nation in plays of 10+ yards allowed, third in 20+ plays, first in 30+, fourth in 40+, and fifth in 50+.
They have allowed three plays of 40 yards or more this season. A year ago after eight games, that number was 13.
We shouldn’t ignore the offense, however, so let’s close out with some impressive numbers from that side of the ball.
Such as, the Buckeyes are leading the nation in rushes of 40 yards or more with 10. A year ago after eight games, they had just two. They are also second in rushes of 50 yards with seven.
Much of that is due to JK Dobbins, who is third in the nation in rushing, averaging 138.8 yards rushing per game.
A year ago, it was the Ohio State passing game that was lighting defenses up, but this year the Buckeyes are much more balanced. This also means that the numbers through the air aren’t great — but they haven’t needed to be yet.
For instance, Ohio State has just three pass plays of 40 yards or more this season, which is tied for 108th in the nation.
When the Buckeyes have needed to throw the ball, however, they’ve done it pretty well. They are currently fourth in the nation with a pass efficiency of 187.58.
And if you look at the Heisman front runners right now, you’ll generally see mention about quarterback Justin Fields, so things must be going okay with the passing game as well.
So much has changed over the last year — new coaches, new quarterback, new defense, new mentality.
It’s okay to take a step back to appreciate it every now and again.
Even though every single Buckeye coach would disagree.