A lot has been said about TTUN and their sudden resurgence. The hilarity and arrogance of Mgoblog and the TTUN football twitter forced me to pull together a few stats for comparison to the good guys:
TTUN has played 3 teams in top 10 rushing defense category: Wisconsin, Iowa, and Penn State...where they had a yards per carry of 2.1, 3.6, and 3.4 respectively. Those are the only teams in the top 50 rushing defenses they have played. Ohio State ranks 4th in rushing offense btw. Next, ranked #55 in rushing defense is Army, where they earned 2.4 yards per carry. After that, rushing defenses are Notre Dame (#81), Illinois (#92), Rutgers (#104), and MTSU (#112), which is where they have had their most success running the ball. They're getting a ton of praise for how they ran on ND, but ND has been bad against the run all year. They're just perceived to be good because they're ND.
The Buckeyes have played one team in the top 10 rushing defense category: Wisconsin. They earned 5.3 yards per carry. The Buckeyes have played 3 other teams in the top 50 rushing category, #26 MSU where the Bucks earned 6.6 YPC, #43 Cincinatti where the Bucks earned 5.9 YPC, #44 Indiana where the Bucks earned 7.3 YPC. FAU is ranked #58 where the Bucks earned 4.9 YPC, Northwestern #64 where they earned 7.5 YPC, Nebraska at #83 with 6.9 YPC, and Miami (OH) at #91 with 5.4 YPC. TTUN is currently ranked 20th in rushing defense.
TTUN has played more top ranked defenses, however the Buckeyes have played consistently better defenses week in and week out. The Buckeyes are ranked #2 and TTUN is ranked #8.
Defensively, both teams have fared well, but neither team has played a relatively difficult offense yet. The best total offense so far is Indiana, who is ranked 31st in the nation. The Buckeyes allowed 10 points in that contest. After that, Penn State is the only top 50 offense at #49. TTUN allowed 28 points in their loss to PSU. The Buckeyes are ranked #8 in total offense, while TTUN is ranked #78.
The one common opponent is Wisconsin, who gashed TTUN for 359 rushing yards, while only managing 83 rushing yards against the Buckeyes. Our friends from the north have been writing this one off because they claim the team is different today and would give a stiffer test. While I agree they're different, their defense has not played anyone that can even sniff the Wisconsin rushing attack. Since their loss to Wisconsin, they haven't played a rushing offense better than #60, and even then they still gave up 3.5 yards per carry. The next time they will face a top rushing offense will be November 30.
One thing to note with these rankings is that sometimes one or two yards separates two spots from each other. However, I think the point is the showcase the level of competition. There are a lot of other factors such as opponent strength of schedule and games where the starters didn't play the whole game or where rain changed the game-plan, but this wasn't meant to be overly complicated. Just a snapshot for you to use the next time a TTUN fan tells you they are going to run over Chase Young (as I had told to me today).
Go Bucks! Beat TTUN!