Beyond the Hashes: Northwestern

By Chad Peltier on October 6, 2013 at 12:30p
Hydeious Maximus victorious

I'd looked at the numbers beforehand and understood that it should be a close game, but I failed to really believe that Northwestern would put up a fight like it did. 

I told myself that Northwestern's offensive numbers were buoyed by a weak schedule (somewhat ignoring Ohio State's easy schedule in the process) and that the Buckeye offense would shred the weak Wildcat secondary. I even told a friend visiting Vegas this weekend that the Buckeyes were easy money (thanks Joey Bosa). 

Well, turns out that the numbers were right. The secondary struggled without Christian Bryant, Braxton was a little off, and Northwestern was fired up.  

Well That Was Close

The Buckeyes and Wildcats had extremely similar games according to the three main efficiency metrics:

  Yards/Play Yards/Point Points/Play
OSU Offense 6.09 17.3 .36
NU Offense 5.90 14.6 .41

Two Buckeye turnovers in the redzone lead to a relatively high yards per play number and low points metrics. Northwestern's offense won the head-to-head matchup according to the other two metrics as all 30 of their points were from the offense as opposed to fumble recoveries and punt blocks. 

The Buckeyes' .36 points per play was by far their lowest on the season, making the .46 PPP against Wisconsin look spectacular. However, it is worth noting that the offense would have had .55 PPP if not for the two redzone turnovers. I have a feeling I know what Urban will be preaching to Braxton this week in practice. 

  • Five of the Buckeyes twelve drives (and just two in the first half) ended in scores. However, there technically weren't any three and outs, so that's something.
  • It's very rare for a team to lose the turnover ratio and win, but that's what the Buckeyes did yesterday, 3:2. 
  • Hyde finished with a 77% RBSR - his best on the season and a truly amazing performance.
  • Of the Buckeyes six explosive plays, Hyde was responsible for two of them. Philly Brown accounted for two of them as well. The Buckeyes won the explosive play battle 6:4. If coaches are correct and the explosive play ratio and the turnover ratio are the two most important metrics, then it was the explosive plays that made the difference for the Buckeyes. 
  • The Buckeyes are second in the country in rushing plays of longer than ten yards and tied for seventh in plays of more than 20 yards. They are tied for 15th in all plays from from scrimmage longer than ten yards. 
  • Braxton was off for a lot of the night, only ending with a 7.8 YPA passing and 4 YPA on the ground. 
  • Before yesterday, the Buckeyes outscored opponents 216-21 in the first quarter. The Buckeyes were only ahead 10-7 against Northwestern – and only because of Roby's punt block and recovery. 
Thanks for carrying the load, 'LosKeep us rolling, El Guapo.

It could Have Been Worse: 6-0

While the defense gave up 30 points, we have to remember that this Northwestern offense is 13th in the country in success rate and will win a great number of games for the Fitzgerald this year. 

Here are some quick hitters on the defense:

  • Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett in particular played lights-out games, with 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown between them. 
  • The Buckeyes didn't have any trouble getting to the quarterback, with five sacks on the day. And by "the quarterback," I mean Siemian, since he received all of the Buckeyes sacks. I don't think Colter was jealous. 
  • We heard a lot about how dynamic Venric Mark would be, and he delivered a 53% RBSR for the day. This was slightly better than Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and James White, indicating that the Buckeyes run defense deserves its praise. The rush defense sits at seventh in the country, with 86.17 yards/game 2.69 YPP. They gave up 3.55 YPP on the ground last season – put that on the defensive line.
  • On the other hand, the pass defense is just "meh." They are 59th in the country, giving up an average of seven yards per pass attempt. This is worse than last year, when the secondary averaged 6.4 yards per pass attempt (26th in the country). They receive the 15th most pass attempts in the country as well.
  • The longest rushing play the Buckeyes gave up was just an eight yard run by Mark. 

So what does this all mean? The Buckeyes are beatable through the air – which we knew already. If Braxton is off, then the offense sputters – which we knew already. However, we learned that the rush defense is pretty darn elite, while Hyde can carry the team on his back if need be. That's good enough for me. 


Comments Show All Comments

BeijingBucks's picture

Can we get a Hyde slogan competition going?
tanned their Hyde 
you can run but you can't Hyde (my fav)
you got jeckyll but we have a Hyde!
dont make Hyde pimp slap your D line (tasteless but still amusing)

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

RadioTrash1189's picture

Go Hyde or Go Home!

A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

KLF Buckeye's picture

Hyde yo kids. Hyde yo line!

TennesseeBuckeye's picture

Funny how bout you've heard of Hide N Seek, how bout playing Seeking 'n Hyde, by the way good luck

I may not be able to outsmart too many people, but I can outwork 'em.
Woody Hayes

Earle's picture

Hyde and Shriek.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

bucknut3011's picture

Haha!!  I love it!  I always mock the Bama folks.  I'll remember this one.

Geraffi's picture

Roll Damn Hyde. 

45has2's picture

Your back can run, but he can't HYDE.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

buckeyedude's picture

Back to Ye 'ol Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust, it seems.



pjtobin's picture

More like 10 yds and a pile of bodies!

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

Hyde and seek and destroy.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

jamesrbrown322's picture

Is anyone else shocked at how bad Roby has been? He is the only one on the defense that I would say has been a disappointment. I thought Shazier would make a few more plays, but he has been fine. Roby, on the other hand, has not just been average, he has been TERRIBLE.
I just am amazed by how significant of a drop-off we've seen. Maybe reading his own press clippings and losing the chip on his shoulder?

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

WolverineKiller's picture

I didn't buy into the down comments last week on Roby.  I gave him the benefit if the doubt.  I'm starting to lose some confidence. Some rare open field missed tackles and coverage lapses on his side of the field (it feels like a majority of the time).  I still havent determined if it's scheme (lack if more press coverage), lost responsibility of players around him, wishing he went to the NFL, or just plain is stinking it up.  Thoughts anyone?

Just Win.

bucksfan92's picture

I am shocked at his poor performance the last couple weeks, but I wonder how much of that is him vs the scheme we seem to be using - giving 5 to 10 yards of cushion.  #4 from Wisky and all of these NW WRs - none of them have the kind of speed that calls for such a cushion.  I wonder if we had played tighter coverage between the 20s the last 2 weeks if he would have had much better games.
Regardless, I expected him to have a "statement" game following that atrocious game vs Wisky.  Cleary that didn't happen.  

ScarletNGrey01's picture

If he does not get the interception against Wisconsin, the bucks might not win that game.  If he does not get the punt block and recovery for a TD against Northwestern we might not win that game either.  He has to be in the game.  Think he should focus on getting some knockdowns and not always try to get the big play / interception.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

jamesrbrown322's picture

If not for his off the field trouble, "Hyde the women and Children, it's about to get physical," would be perfect

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

GoBucks10's picture

Poll is out.
OSU stays in the same spot with the same number of points in the AP Poll

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

JLP36's picture

Pass D must improve if this team wants to play for a championship.  Why concede so many short passes?  It allowed NW to limit our possessions.  Things sure changed later in the game when those DBs started crowding the receivers later in the game.  Hope this is examined during the off week.


Hovenaut's picture

I want to see the AIRBHG, Bizarro version (where Hyde destroys Hawkeyes), next week. 

Jugdish's picture

Bye next week.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

buckguyfan1's picture

Sure I'd like to see it look pretty and easy, but as long as all the   RBSR + YPP + YPA and other stuff still   =   then I'm good.
WIAR = 18   Now that's a good STAT!!!!

pcon258's picture

hard to not like where this team is headed after arguably the toughest stretch of the season behind us. What my question for the 11w community is, how does OSU stack up with the rest of the country (namely, Bama)? Obviously our offense is top-class. But when I look to the defense, I see a lot of players who are developing, and who will need to continue to improve for us to beat the likes of Alabama. This question is aimed at the more well-rounded CFB fan; is the whole development argument true for the likes of Bama? What I mean is, when you read 11W, our fans are always looking to nitpick, which is only natural. But I've stayed mostly out of the national press, because frankly, most of it's not great, and we've been spoiled by 11W's outstanding coverage. 
tl;dr The buckeyes are, in my mind, a team that is still a work in progress. Is that the case for the likes of Alabama? 

dmurder's picture

We are about to go through our easiest part of the schedule, a lot of teams that are ranked are about to go through there toughest part of the season.

We will see how others do in the next few weeks and see who is stil undefeated.

We will also see our offense put up big numbers against the rest of the big ten!!!

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Toilrt Paper's picture

For Ohio State to make the BCS Title game they must blowout everyone left on their schedule. IMO they are playing and coaching like they are satisfied with the Rose Bowl. OR, not as talented as many thought before the season started.

Wesleyburgess1's picture

I think all of us Buckeyes in Columbus are talking so much shit about championships(Alabama) that the team (Braxton, Roby, the whole secondary) are believing all the hype. They need to earn there respect not have it handed to them. Remember these kids aren't Urbans recruits. They need fundamental coaching to get better.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Although I don't normally watch other B1G teams play (my XBOX 360 gets my attention until tOSU plays on Saturdays), but I will have to sit down and watch the Wisconsin/Northwestern tilt.  And I hope we don't have to play them in the Conference championship game.  The Fighting Fitz's are pretty damn explosive and were fun to watch... 

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

BeijingBucks's picture

i actually would like to play NW again.  They had everything they could ask for to go right for that game.  Even Christian Bryant's replacement should be more in synch after another 4 games and I don't expect our offense could be more off than that.  
bring it yo!

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton