Statisticology: Buckeyes' Tendencies By Quarter

O-H I-O's picture
November 15, 2013 at 12:55p

I am addicted to stats and there is no cure for it. Doctors believes I may have dyslexia and labeled me as a nucking fut and I was forced to report to Room 11W at the Nuthouse for my rehabilitation. Still seeing a blur of numbers and blurting out "I-O" randomly when there's nothing, but silence. May the odds of progress be ever at my favor...

Time for Statisticology!

Meanwhile, I was able to tabulate all of the running/passing plays for each quarter/down for all nine games this season. The best way to use this data is to take in consideration of the situations Ohio State was in. We've noticed how the Buckeyes tend to pass more in the first half when it's actually their weakness, yet they run the ball when they're in a precarious situation (vs Northwestern). There is actually a reason for that. Anyway, This table will be able to enlighten us on what their tendencies look like.

the Breakdown

This data is hell of a story to read.

Most of us assume that our beloved Buckeyes will run the ball quite frequently since it is their strength of the team, but they actually passed more in the first quarter. They have passed slightly heavily on 1st and 2nd downs in the first quarter. They have remained unpredictable on 4th downs and that holds true in the first half, but it has become quite predictable that they want to run on 4th down in the second half. In summary, there is an excellent balance of offense in the first half. It is a split of 165 rushes to 171 passes in the first half so far this season. Credit to Coach Meyer and Coach Herman for holding up the balance.

The first half have leaned heavily toward to the pass when it comes to 3rd downs, but it is the opposite in the second half. Granted, the Buckeyes were leading by a large margin in most of their games, which contributed to this shift.

The breakdown of 3rd and 4th quarters became more obvious that the Buckeyes absolutely love to run their opponents off the field at a rate of 75% of running plays. Passing was almost nonexistent in 4th quarter, which we all already noticed. It would be interesting if they kept up with the balance throughout the game, it is not too unconceivable that they could have been averaging at 60+ PPG, even with Kenny Guiton/Cardale Jones.

I would like to go back to the game against Northwestern (Refer to the second table).

Since the Buckeyes were losing to Northwestern in second half, I was expecting a higher percentage of passing plays, but they actually went with their strength, which was running with the rock. This philosophy actually worked and Ohio State was able to take over the game and control the game against the Wildcats to take the lead. Give credit to Ohio State's adjustments with the defense though. The late TD off a fumble as time went out made the game look quite different than what it really was.

Hopefully, the insights from the tables help all of us to understand more about Ohio State's philosophy on offense.

As always, I am always open to suggestions on how I can analyze the Buckeyes.

Here's to the next one...



Comments Show All Comments

Maestro's picture

I would suggest that the NW game is a bit of an outlier.  Miller was playing in his first road game of the season and he was clearly off his game.  I don't think the coaches were very confident in putting that game in Miller's hands.  If it were played this weekend I suggest that the numbers would look very different.  Pure speculation of course.
Thanks for the work.  I am a stat junkie myself.  Don't have the time to devote to them like I used to.  Good to find a kindred spirit out there.

vacuuming sucks

O-H I-O's picture

Excellent point. It looks like an outlier to me as well.
Coach Meyer did get Guiton warmed up and that may have put in more passing plays, due to the coach's confidence in Guiton's passing ability.
Miller broke out with some nice runs and one big chunk of yards on a last minute pass on a broken play.

"I don't motivate the players. I get them to motivate themselves. That's the only kind of motivation that's worth a damn." - Woody Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

Great stuff O-H.

Just reading this morning's Skully breaking down UFM's comments on opening up the playbook this year, and hitting a preferred 55%-45% pass-run ratio, where the first quarter stats are on target.

I had my misgivings about spread offenses in the past, just glad that Urban schemes the strategy around a power run attack. For all the improvement the passing game has had this year, smash mouth football never goes out of style....sure came in handy against NW.

The best thing about a look at the stats is that I think the offense is just getting in sync, and still gaining steam for the stretch run.

Thanks for putting this together.

Matt Gutridge's picture

Nice job, thanks for writing this.