To the Booth: Cal and Florida A&M By the Numbers

By Chad Peltier on September 19, 2013 at 11:15a
If all of Spence's almost-sacks were actual sacks, he'd have over ten so far

Fresh off an attempted bear raid, the Buckeyes turn their attention to the FAMU Rattlers – well, at least we hope they aren't looking ahead to Wisconsin yet. 

Before Michigan's debacle with Akron, I would have thought that Akron and FAMU were pretty similar opponents for the Wolverines and Buckeyes, but after looking over the numbers, FAMU is far worse. 

The Zips and Rattlers are the kind of teams that you should be able to beat even if every player is looking ahead, but that is exactly the mindset Urban doesn't want the team to have. Even though the Buckeyes definitely have a cupcake on their hands this week, it's what they do with that cupcake that matters – what could separate them from Michigan.

This week we'll look at how the Buckeye offense performed against Cal thanks to the charting project, then turn our attention to the Rattlers. 

Bear Hunting in California

Before we get in to the numbers, I'd just like to thank all of those who have volunteered for the charting project so far, and encourage those of you who are on the fence about contributing. FAMU would be a great game to start charting and we'd love to have more volunteers.

It was hard not to be impressed with Guiton during the game. He looked under control leading the offense, and the charting data just reinforces that observation:

Throw Away Bad Dead On Catchable
2 6 10 13

Kenny G came out on fire, throwing only "dead on" passes before a throwaway and two bad passes to end the first quarter. Though he was most likely to throw a "catchable" ball (with the caveat that grading throws is a tricky, subjective process even when the broadcast actually shows the whole play), Guiton had approximately a 4:1 ratio of good to bad passes. 

Kenny took five shots down field in just the first three quarters, connecting on two of them in the first quarter (to Devin Smith). Four different players managed to gain significant yards after catch last week, including Devin Smith (turning a 35 yard pass in to a 90 yard touchdown), Wilson (twice, including two screens in to 32 and eleven yard gains), Jordan Hall (turning two screens in to nine and eleven yard gains), and Brown, (taking a screen seven yards). 

I also took a look at third down play calls. In the first three quarters, four were runs (with an average of three yards to go) and six were passes. Almost all were out of shotgun trips. All run plays were one of the three base runs, including inside zone, Dave, and inverted veer. 

In my eyes, this is the first real taste of how Dontre will be used during his career at Ohio State, so I thought it was worth going through all of the plays in which he was the primary ball carrier: 

Down/Distance Formation Play Notes Yards
1st+10 Shotgun doublewide double slot Sweep R   25
1st+10 Shotgun flanker L, slot R Shovel Pass L   32
2nd+8 Shotgun doublewide double slot Sweep R   -5
3rd+25 Shotgun L HB Screen Dumpoff 11
2nd+9 Pistol PA WR Screen R Wilson in slot 5
2nd+11 Shotgun double twins Inverted Veer L   22
1st+10 Shotgun double twins Inverted Veer R   17
1st+10 Shotgun double twins Inverted Veer R   9

There are a couple of big takeaways here. Dontre's package of plays really is pretty small: a sweep to get him on the edge, the shovel pass, a screen to isolate Dontre against a few defenders, and the inverted veer. Designed plays for Dontre were called only on first and second down, as the third down screen was a checkdown by Guiton. Only one of those eight plays went for negative yardage.

There was only one play in which Dontre got the ball playing the position he's listed on the depth chart (at the H-back hybrid slot). Finally, Herman must have seen something during halftime, as Dontre came out running a lot of inverted veer after not running it once in the first half. On just three times running inverted veer, he picked up 48 yards.  

Hall got his yards and then some against CalHall will remain an integral part of the offense

Finally, some quick hitters: 

  • The Buckeyes ran out of the pistol for 23 plays during the first three quarters, which was about a third of the game. 
  • Guiton handled blitzes well even though Cal didn't send more than five rushers very often. On three blitzes, Guiton managed to go 2/3 for 13 yards. 
  • Play calling didn't seem to change in the red zone, apart from one series in the third quarter where Herman called three Dave plays to Hall. Otherwise, he seemed to feel comfortable throwing in the red zone with Kenny. 
  • Based on the charted plays, the Buckeyes ran 19 different plays against Cal, though there might have been minor adjustments and constraints that we missed. 

The Rattlers Are Coming

I struggled to even collect data on FAMU, as ESPN doesn't offer play-by-play data. Thanks to the official NCAA website, however, I was able to glean some basic statistics. 

FAMU's defense is far better than their offense. While the offense is 109th out of 114 in the FCS, the defense is tied for 23rd. The defense averages just 321 yards given up per game, and ranks fourth overall in pass defense at 120 yards per game. They also average two sacks per game and allow .33 points per play (the Buckeyes gave up .37 against Cal). 

Even though the Rattlers are at the top of the FCS in defense, they were still outscored by opposing offenses and give up about a half yard more than the offense gains per play. Opponents average approximately two yards per rush more than FAMU, so expect Hall, Hyde, and Wilson to get their fair share of carries. 

As for the offense, the leading rusher averages 28 yards per game and they don't have a quarterback on the roster who has completed half of their passes.

However, I'm sure there wasn't a single Wolverine fan who thought that Akron would pose even the slightest challenge against Michigan. I don't think FAMU will really test the Buckeyes either, but I have no doubt that the Rattlers will be psyched to visit Columbus and will play their best against their best opponent of the year.  


Comments Show All Comments

boojtastic's picture

If I'm reading this right, Dontre Wilson is a stud. 

InHartWeTrust's picture

Can't even explain how excited I am to watch him the rest of this year, and the following two or three.

NitroBuck's picture kidding!  14.5 Yards per offensive touch!

Ferio.  Tego.

Boxley's picture

This should be a good test game for Guiton in handling the blitz. FAMU blitzes on nearly every play, if we play the blitz and torch them over the left or right side.  We could see some record numbers receiving in the first half. The second half we will likely go to the ground and eat clock.
This game should provide us with a great deal of opportunities to see what we have in regards to the 2nd teamers on both side of the ball.
Unless Brax is 100% healthy, with the way FAMU blitzes, and Brax reads blitzes, he probably should not play and risk his knee on a team that we should beat easily. KG does a far better job at reading the D, and he did a superb job in play selection last week. Let KG soften them up and play Brax only a little to shake off the rust.
Right now KG is performing much better than Brax on 3 and long decision making..

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

NitroBuck's picture

By my estimation, Braxton will play about half of the game.  I bet the coaches want to see how he responds to the blitzing, and this should be good for helping him get tuned up for Wisconsin.  I bet Kenny G will get a series or two in the first half, and all but a series or two in the second.

Ferio.  Tego.

buckz4evr's picture

ESPN does have the Play by Play
Go to the team's Schedule
Click on the Score of the game you want
Under the Box Score is the Play by Play tab

Crimson's picture

They have play-by-play for Florida A&M's 1st game versus MVS, but not for either of their next two games.  ESPN does not always have this data for FCS teams.

BassDropper's picture

Those FAMU uni's are hideous 



Yup, got to agree, not easy on the eyes.

"Woody is a God-fearing man. It's good to know that he's afraid of somebody." --Archie Griffin


Thanks for the break down Chad. Looks like FAMU’s defense will give us a game but from what you wrote the offence is missing a few play makers. But I have no doubt they will figure out a way to make it a game.

"Woody is a God-fearing man. It's good to know that he's afraid of somebody." --Archie Griffin

InHartWeTrust's picture

That D might give some FCS teams a game, but if they give tOSU's offense a game, we have a lot to worry about.

BucksfanXC's picture

Anyone reading this should also be interesting in helping chart!

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

NitroBuck's picture

Valid point, but I won't be charting from section 4A.

Ferio.  Tego.

yrro's picture

DVR the game or go searching for a torrent afterward. Absolutely no one is doing this live.

BucksfanXC's picture

And I know not everyone has time, but it really only took about 30-45mins to do one side of the ball for one quarter.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

holtzy's picture

so expect Hall, Hyde, and Wilson to get their fair share of carries

This pretty much sums up the running back situation.  These three will get 95% of the carries once conference play starts.

D-Day0043's picture

This is the Rattlers Super Bowl. They will bring everything they have to try and do well in this game. The Buckeyes better not come out sleep walking. 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

bucks_4_life's picture

Wanna thank all of the Buckeye fans out there that helped with the charting!  I love reading things like this.  I'm definitely a "stat" guy.  Thanks guys!!

The juice is worth the squeeze

d5k's picture

I think what Herman saw at halftime is they were playing a ton of man coverage, making the blocking easier on the outside.

ejoceans's picture

I don't like Miller only getting a few reps in this game because he hasn't played at all this year and we def don't want his first full game to be against wisky do we? idk   O  H

Lets do this Brutus

BombAnnArborNow's picture

Completely unrelated, and I definitely hope we wipe the field with the southerners, but even though I may be the only one who cares, but FAMU's uniforms are cool to look at. I think Brax should have limited reps. Perhaps even consideration as a D. Stanley - type slot receiver? With the Vegas odds, I don't think we have any choice but to run up the score. If we don't win by 50, ESPN will cover it like we were almost upset. -ichigan still sucks.

Ohio vs the world

collisionbend's picture

One interesting point to note: the Vegas oddsmakers aren't even posting a line for the OSU-FAMU game...
...and, of course, Michigan *still* sucks.

"There's a fine line between perception and reality." -- Luke Fickell

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

The Bucks just need to make sure that they are not looking ahead.  Come out with intensity and blow FAMU off the ball.  If they hit them hard and take the fight out of them that will be the quickest way to ensure a victory.  We just can't come out sluggish and let them hang around our we could end up in a situation like TTUN had last week.  I like how this team has come out so far each week.  Now time to do it again tomorrow morning!  I can't wait!  I'll be at the game and lovin it!!!
Go Bucks!!