So 4 passes or 34 passes which is better?

Maestro's picture
October 17, 2011 at 9:55a

I was listening to some Mizzou fans this morning on the radio discussing their beat down of Iowa State on Saturday.  They were thrilled that the Tigers ran the ball 58 times on Saturday and that Henry Josey (averaging 10 yards per carry this season) finally carried the ball a season high 19 times.  They suggested that the coaching staff might have finally listened to the public cries to do what the team does the ball.  While I doubt the motivation behind the coaching decision was public outcries, it seems that something changed in their offensive strategy.

Far from suggesting that Ohio State only throws the ball an average of 4 times per game for the remainder of the season I also have absolutely no problem with how the game was called against Illinois.  It resulted in a victory and it focused on what the Buckeyes do best.  It resulted in 4.1 yards per play for the game.  That number is pretty pedestrian by any measure of offenses in modern football, but once again it worked for THAT game.  The Bucks never trailed and there was absolutely no reason to risk an interception on a windy day.

By contrast Illinois threw the ball 34 times on Saturday.  For the game they averaged 4.1 yards per play.  They trailed for 55 minutes, and they turned the ball over 3 times.  They lost.

Illinois completed 20 passes on Saturday for an average of 5 yards per pass attempt.  Of those 20 completions 6 of them went for 4 yards or fewer.  So of the 34 passing attempts only 14 of them resulted in gains of 5 yards or more.  By contrast Ohio State had 21 running plays that gained 5 yards or more and 1 pass play that gained more than 5 yards.  Illinois had 11 running plays that resulted in 5 yards or more gained.  Total offensive plays gaining 5 yards or more were 22 for Ohio State and 25 for Illinois.

It was windy, OSU never trailed, and Miller and the receiving corp are a work in progress.  Why throw?  Just cuz isn't good enough for me.  You play to win the game not to appease public outcries or to pad stats.  Move on Buckeyes, Bucky is next.  Revenge is a dish best served cold and by running the ball.

Comments Show All Comments

CliffordTheBRD's picture

Another example: Brian at MgoBlog not happy with the number of passes called by Michigan against Sparty:

GoBucks713's picture

I can't stop watching the Yakety Sax video on there. Classic.


-The Aristocrats!

Maestro's picture


The grass is always greener I suppose.

I am about the results and the results equaled victory on Saturday. Sure it's cool to see your QB at the top of the QB Rating rankings, but it's a lot cooler to win.

Point is throwing short passes in most offenses is the equivalent of running a lead draw in this Buckeye offense. If you are better at running the lead draw than why throw the short pass? Especially if the defense isn't stopping the lead draw and you are winning.

vacuuming sucks

Buckeye Black's picture

The only problem is, 4 passes isn't developing Miller and won't work against better teams.  If Ohio State has 4 pass attempts on Oct. 29, Miller better rush for 200+ if we want to be in that game.

Maestro's picture

So, you are in the camp of losing games to "develop" the future QB?

We are in different camps.

The bye week and the offseason are for developing Miller.  Winning is developing IMHO.

vacuuming sucks

AGL's picture

they won, on the road, no complaints


Bucks's picture

Ill completed 20 passes. 1 game.

As it stands right now, those receptions are 30% of our total for the full season thus far. Remove the 20 receptions vs Akron in the season opener & we're now at 43%.


ONE game for Ill compares to 7 games on our side in that fashion.

I'd rather have too many passes. There is just purely no excuse.