The Weirdest Stats from 2018 Give Life to Anxieties and Expectations for 2019

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johnblairgobucks's picture

Dobbins did seem to have some off games, but in his defense, I'll say many of his called run plays, showed little play call imagination. You almost knew the run play was coming....and that it was going between the tackles. There was little misdirection, motion or draw plays to take the pressure off him.

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BucksHave7's picture

Exactly and defenses knew Haskins was no threat to gain significant yardage is Haskins tucked it and ran. Nor would Day want to risk injury w Haskins running it. 

BucksHave7

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Madbuckeye's picture

It's a good thing we're less than 2 weeks from the 1st game. The topics on here are getting weird. Love this place, I read pretty much every article. But, lol, I can tell off season content is getting really hard to find.

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Urbane Meijer's picture

I'm still waiting for the month long tournament comparing all time Buckeye teams by letter.   "Will Dwayne Haskins and and Carlos Hyde lead the H's to victory???"

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85ThruTheHeart's picture

I hate to tell you  but they’ve had this exact article for the past few years.

"He has that look in his eye when it's time to start feeding the beast" UFM on EZE

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NorthBerg's picture

The topics on here are getting weird.

As you point out,  11W is not immune from the need to generate sales (clicks) during the dog days of the college football summer offseason  Yet are there other possibilities behind the recent literary trends?

1.)   Is the staff finally allowed to vent their frustrations with St. Urban that had been building for seven years?

2.) Is the staff subtly trying to tell us they do not expect the 2019 season to be necessarily one of rainbows and unicorns?

3.) Has the 11W staff been taking correspondence courses in composition from Mr. Ramzy Nasrallah?

Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

They were worse at converting points inside their opponent's twenty yard line than when Joe Bauserman had the reigns of the passing offense for part of the season.

I must apologize up front here. I mean no disrespect, but we must fix this issue. There has been a previous post on treacherous sound-alikes, aka homophones, including specifically the unholy trinity of rain, rein and reign. I realize I am not the king of spelling and thus I do not reign supreme over all others. So, rather than rain down derision upon our author, I will seize the reins here to note simply that "reigns" is not the optimum word choice for the sentence quoted above. You may downvote me at will. I certainly deserve it.

Bobbing for french fries.

HS
NavyBuckeye91's picture

Urban's dumb "coffin corner" strategy is officially dead. It is truly the passing of a golden age.

I don't understand the contempt for Meyer's 'mortar kick' strategy.  In the aggregate, for every kick out of bounds that comes out the 35, you only need one return stopped at the 15 yd-line (which OSU did fairly consistently) to make up for the penalty, as compared to back-to-back touchbacks brought out to the 25. [(15 + 35 = 50 versus 2 x 25 = 50] So unless you are trading OOB kicks for stops at the 15, you're staying ahead of the game.

Even if you are stopping teams at the 20 yard line, which is more common and about what OSU averaged, it only takes two stops to make up the net yards lost on a kick out of bounds versus a touchback brought out to the 25.

If you put any stock into advanced analytics, starting field position is one of the five critical factors in football. Where you start on the field plays a significant role in where the drive will end, and whether or not you'll score.

In 2015, Jack Willoughby led the nation in kicks out of bounds (7) and was 25th for total number of kicks at 85. His mere 27 touchbacks placed Willoughby in about the 40th percentile in FBS, so pretty low. (Of note: Among the CFP teams that year, only Bama and OU ranked in the top 10 for touchbacks. However, TBs only accounted for 50% of all their kickoffs.)

Opposing teams attempted 50 returns of Willoughby's kicks, but only accumulated 813 yards, an average of 16.26 per return. (For comparison, OU gave up 1073 yards on 50 returns (21.46 YPR) and Bama gave up 779 yards on 41 returns (19 YPR).) None were returned for TDs. So if the majority of those kicks were caught between the 3-7 yard lines, teams were starting between the 19 and 23 yard line twice as often as they did at the 25 (TB) and seven times more often than they did at the 35.

In fact, when combined with OSU's exceptional punting, the Buckeyes special teams ranked #2 in the nation for opponents' starting field position, #8 for opponents' drives starting inside the 20 yard line, #19 for opponents' drives starting at midfield or closer, and #5 in net starting field position.

Of course the new rule allowing opponents to take the ball at the 25 for a fair catch outside the endzone has changed all this. But I won't be surprised if Coach Day is still having the ball intentionally kicked to the 5-yard line, just to bait teams into attempting a return. You never know what'll happen when helmets start popping, and 20 year old kids are trying to hang onto the inflated, prolate spheroid.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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analyticalguy's picture

I couldn't have said it better myself (or shorter)

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I couldn't have said it better myself (or shorter)

Condensed version: Criticism of the coffin corner strategy is wrong because . . . MATH!

Bobbing for french fries.

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Johnny Ginter's picture

it got crap because the cost/benefit is extremely goofy. compared to bama or oklahoma, you're talking about a difference of like 3-5 yards, when the penalty for screwing up is like an additional 20. in the long run it really doesn't make a huge difference either way, but the level of unnecessary stress it put on urban meyer was hilarious.

NavyBuckeye91's picture

compared to bama or oklahoma, you're talking about a difference of like 3-5 yards

Yes, but only when you don't account for the Touchbacks that came out to the 25.  OSU 'allowed' returns on over 60% of their kickoffs.  Bama only allowed returns on 40% of theirs and OU was around 50%. On a per kick basis, accounting for TBs, Bama and OU were actually giving up closer to 7-8 yards per kick.

As for Meyer's stress level, he only has himself to blame. To lose you mind over something that happens less than once every two games is asinine. Especially when arguably the most talented offense in the nation can't figure out how to move the ball in the red zone, and you can't settle on a starting QB. If only he'd put more emphasis on the OCs...

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Urbane Meijer's picture

His inability to manage that stress is why he left Florida, and I think strongly contributed to his acceptance of leaving the sidelines here.

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CincyBuck87's picture

Excellent analysis. That said, after Saquon Barkley ran that opening kick back in ‘17, I would have been happy if every drive started on the 35 yard line. 

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huffdaddy's picture

The Saquon was the direct effect of the Urban strategy. They tried to coffin corner it and botched it, hence the return for TD. (That return got me banned from the upstairs tv because I dropped too many F-bombs in front of the kids).

BTW the real reason I hated the Urban strategy was because he lied about it repeatedly and said our kickers couldn't kick the ball in to the end zone for touchbacks. He literally said that again and again, while we had excellent kickers. And it was just a flat out lie because he didn't want to defend his own stubborn insistence on running the same damn kickoff play. 

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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IGotAWoody's picture

I gotta call bullshit on this one (sorry, not trying to be a jerk). I don't recall Meyer ever saying they didn't kick it for touchbacks because the kickers couldn't do it.

But I heard him talk about his strategy for kickoffs countless times, and as Navy so diligently detailed above, the strategy was successful. Year after year, OSU ended up in the top 25 or better for opponent's starting field position and kick coverage, including being #2 in the country last year for opponent kick returns.

http://www.cfbstats.com/2018/leader/national/team/defense/split01/category05/sort01.html

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Meyer did say that in a presser a couple years ago. Something along the lines of, “If we had a kicker that could put out of the end zone, wed do that.” Then one of the players dropped a Tweet of a kicker knocking it out of the end zone in practice. 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
huffdaddy's picture

Straight up. That's what annoyed me - he threw the kickers under the bus instead of owning the strategy. 

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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JTFor President2016's picture

I recall him saying that on multiple occasions. I remember thinking, "we are OSU, and we can't find a kid to kick it out of the endzone?"

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Those ugly defensive stats remind me of the 2013 team that had a starting DL of Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett, and Noah Spence with Ryan Shazier at LB and Bradley Roby at DB and we still had issues stopping people. We changed the scheme the following year and win a national title. Just shows what a difference good coaching can make. The kids are out there making the plays but they got to be in the right position to do so.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

We changed the scheme the following year and win a national title

Don't discount what a year of experience did for Bosa, Washington, Bennett, et al.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I should have stipulated that our DL wasnt the real problem in 2013 either. Everett Withers effing up the secondary canceled out what our DL accomplished that year. I think they led the nation in sacks and TFLs IIRC.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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Spivan's picture

The team was also in the top 15 in the nation in TFL this year as well. Teams were either going to bust a big play or go backwards.

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huffdaddy's picture

39 plays of more than 30 yards is incredible. Incredible. What a maddening thing to watch. 

"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

39 plays that felt like 139...

Shandy is not beer

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Chicago Connection's picture

As many Buckeye fans have complained, the 2018 defense played out of position far too often last year, but IMHO, poor tackling was at least as much of a culprit.

Granted, poor positioning, not to mention too much reliance on one-on-one matchups, put added and unwelcome stress on defenders to make tackles in the open field, a situation that was amplified by having some inexperienced starters, especially on the back end, but still...

Better tackling will go a long way towards a better performance in 2019. 

chicagobuckeye

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Hovenaut's picture

Good read, along with the supporting comments, but have to offer up props to the cool header pic, replete with Brutus Buck"eyes".

Vintage horror fan, already stoked for Halloween.

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KetteringMike03's picture

I dont thinking was as much on him or the play calling. The o-line didnt play as well as we are used to and, like previously mentioned, haskins wasn't a "flight" risk. On top of that he lost quite a few Carrie's to Weber. Dobbins did say after Maryland last year he likes to get in a rhythm, and runs best that way.

BuckeyefanMike

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pace.185's picture

"In 2011, the Buckeyes converted in the red zone around 77% of the time, whereas in 2011 they converted almost 9 times out of 10." 

Huh?

Undefeated 2018

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