I apologize for this being so late this week; I couldn’t watch the game fully until Wednesday due to having company in town, so it took an extra little while. Because I was short on time this week, I am just going to provide bare-bones commentary. I am basically just going to share the charts.
Without further ado, here is the play-by-play for the offense:
|Time||Yard Line||Down||Distance||O Formation||D Package||Front||High||Type||Box||Play||Player||Yards||Notes|
|14:54||O12||1||10||Pistol 3W Y Flex Mtn In||2-4-5||Under||2||Run||6||Split Zone||Henderson||2||Matt Jones (-1) passes up a playside linebacker for a backside linebacker. Wypler has to compensate to block the playside linebacker, which, if Jackson was still double-teaming the tackle, would have led to a big gain.|
|14:27||O15||2||7||Gun Y Flex Mtn In||2-4-5||Over||1||RPO||7||RPO Hitch||Harrison||17||Stroud (+2, -1) makes the wrong read here; the corner is sitting on the hitch. Still, I give him points because he has the insane arm talent to make the throw. Defensive aggressiveness makes this play bigger than it otherwise would have been. Harrison (+0.5) makes a routine catch before getting some YAC.|
|14:02||O32||1||10||Gun 11 Empty||2-4-5||Under||2||Pass||6||TE Seam||Stover||23||Stroud (+2) throws a perfect pass over the linebacker to drop it into Stover (+1), who makes the routine catch at the 50. Play-calling +1 as this was wide open, and the offensive line handled the stunt fairly well.|
|13:40||W45||1||10||Pistol 3W 3x1||2-4-5||Base||1||Run||7||Mid Zone||Henderson||10||Stover (+0.5) and Johnson (+0.5) combine for a good block on the edge. Egbuka (+1) with a nice block on the edge, and Henderson (+0.5) cuts it upfield at the right time.|
|13:18||W35||1||10||Gun Y Flex Wide 3x1||2-4-5||Under||1||Pass||7||Four Verticals||Egbuka||33||Stroud (+2) throws another perfect pass to Egbuka (+1), who makes a routine catch before nearly scoring. Play-calling +1. This is not the easiest throw over a linebacker. This is kind of like levels but with a more post-like inside route. Might be one of those concepts where the receivers are coached to attack grass instead of running rigid strict routes. Beautiful.|
|12:20||W2||1||2||Gun 13 Heavy||Goal Line||Goal Line||0||Run||10||Inside Zone||Williams||2||Johnson (-1) falls down, but Williams (+1) is strong enough to carry the defender for a touchdown.|
|9:35||W16||1||10||Gun Unbalanced||2-4-5||Base||2||Read Option||7||Arc Read||Henderson||1||Stroud makes the right read, but I am not entirely sure if this is supposed to be a read or not. Otherwise, this is split zone. Henderson (+0.5) wisely cuts this up earlier. Dawand Jones (+0.5) has a nice block here.|
|9:02||W13||2||7||Gun||2-4-5||Over||2||Pass||5.5||PA TE Throwback||Stover||13||Stroud (+1) makes a good throw to Stover (+1), who makes a routine catch before flipping over a defender into the endzone. Sneaky good throw off the back foot. Play-calling +1 to scheme Stover so open. Touchdown. Game over, basically.|
|7:19||O30||1||10||Gun Y Flex 3x1||2-4-5||Under||2||RPO||6||RPO Bubble Screen||Egbuka||13||Stover (+1) and Fleming (+1) with strong blocks. Egbuka (+1.5) gets an extra ten with his speed. Stroud makes a good read, and Egbuka makes a routine catch.|
|7:03||O43||1||10||ABC||ABC||ABC||ABC||ABC||ABC||Hitch||Harrison||11||Stroud (+1) throws a good pass to Harrison (+1), who makes a routine catch before making a man miss. Play-calling +1 for hurry-up.|
|6:45||W46||1||10||Gun Trips||2-4-5||Over||2||Run||7||Mid Zone||Henderson||4||Wypler (+1) and Jackson (+1) have a great combo block. If Henderson (-0.5) waits a bit more, he could probably get through that hole with three receivers blocking downfield. Still, not a bad gain after a cutback.|
|5:54||W42||2||6||Gun||2-4-5||Over||2||Pass||6||TE Flat||Stover||14||Stroud makes a good throw, and Stover (+2) catches a routine catch before breaking a tackle and falling forward.|
|5:24||W28||1||10||Pistol 3W Wing TE||2-4-5||Base||2||Run||7||Split Zone||Henderson||11||Dawand Jones (-1) lets a defender in the backfield immediately. Henderson (+2) dodges the defender in the backfield and cuts upfield for a good gain.|
|4:45||W17||1||10||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||3-3-5 Under||2||Run||6.5||Quick Pitch||Henderson||15||Stover (-0.5) loses his block a bit early. Henderson (+2) shows both the vision to cut upfield of Stover, while still outrunning a trailing defensive lineman, before following Dawand Jones (+1) to get near the goal line. Very impressive run.|
|4:03||W2||1||2||Goal Line||Goal Line||Goal Line||0||Pass||11||PA TE Delay Flat||Stover||2||Play-callling +2. Love the fake run. Ohio State used a similar play with Fields in 2019, though with a Flood concept connected. Stroud throws a good pass to Stover, who makes a routine catch.|
|1:54||O33||1||10||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Boundary||2||Pass||6||Spacing||Fleming||0||Stroud throws a good pass (I think it is the only place this ball can be), and Fleming can't make the difficult catch. I could also call this a bad read, as I think Egbuka was open here as well. Don't hate it though.|
|1:50||O33||2||10||Pistol 3W 3x1||2-4-5||Under||2||Run||6||Mid Zone||Williams||6||Stover (+1), Jackson (+1) get a good hole for Williams.|
|1:25||O39||3||5||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Under||1||Pass||6.5||Slant||Harrison||16||Stroud (+1) makes a good throw, and Harrison (+1) makes a routine catch folllowed by some YAC.|
|0:41||W45||1||10||Pistol 3W||2-4-5||Base||2||Run||7||Outside Zone||Williams||14||Johnson (+2) has a spectacular combo block, opening a huge hole for Williams (+1). Wypler (+1) and Stover (+1) get great blocks too. Williams gets extra points for fighting through contact.|
|15:00||W31||1||10||Gun Trips||2-4-5||Over||1||Pass||7||Y Cross||Stroud||0||Not sure about the route. Stroud (-1) throws an inaccurate pass, and the ball is uncatchable for Egbuka.|
|14:55||W31||2||10||Pistol 3W Y Flex Trips Bunch Jet||3-2-6||Base||3||Run||5.5||Split Mid Zone||Williams||7||Wypler (+1) and Matt Jones (+1) with a great combo block to lead the way. Williams (+0.5) falls forward for a couple extra.|
|14:31||W24||3||3||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Under||2||Run||6||Stretch||Williams||20||I know very little about gap schemes but based on what the left side of the line is doing, this looks like some type of gap run. Wypler (+1) and Matt Jones (+1) with another good combo block, Dawand Jones (+0.5) with a solid block on the edge. Stover (-1) probably needs to block the linebacker to the inside. The blocking on this play is kind of weird; someone likely messed up but it is hard to tell who. Miyan Williams (+3) is hit in the backfield but escapes with a Braxton Miller-esque spin move.|
|13:44||W4||1||4||Gun Twin TE 3x1||3-4||Tite||0||Run||9||GT Counter||Williams||4||Play-calling +1, as Williams just walks in. Kind of hard to see what happened with the camera angle. Still, everyone does their job here with Johnson (+1) with a nice block outside. Touchdown.|
|8:31||O25||1||10||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Tite||1||Run||6.5||Duo||Williams||5||Jackson (+1) blocks the tackle so thoroughly that Wypler can get up to the second level quickly. Williams (+0.5) falls forward again. He racks up a lot of points for pushing for a couple yards every time.|
|8:17||O30||2||5||Gun||ABC||ABC||1||Run||7||Split Zone||Williams||25||Williams got a ton of space from Wypler (+2), Matt Jones (+2), and Dawand Jones (+1). Wypler in particular looks like he's beat, but is able to throw his defender inside. He has to have some insane strength to pull off that. He throws that 1-tech like a rag-doll.|
|7:53||W45||1||10||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Tite||2||Pass||6||TE Seam||Stover||0||Stroud (-2) throws an okay ball, and Stover (+2) nearly makes a spectacular grab. While it was catchable, the high throw hung Stover out to dry.|
|7:24||W45||2||10||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Under||1||Run||6||Tight Zone||Williams||1||Johnson (+1) had a solid block, and Williams (+1) gets about 5-yards after contact. Seemed like Jackson should have gone up to the linebacker while Wypler stayed to block the tackle. Williams would have had a better look. Regardless, nice run.|
|7:03||W38||3||3||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Base||4||Run||6||Quick Pitch||Williams||2||Wisconsin does a nice job defending this one.|
|6:38||W36||4||1||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Under||2||Run||7||Inside Zone||Williams||9||I don't think this is supposed to be a read, but the defender in the backfield freezes regardless. Matt Jones (-2) gets beat immediately, but is held by the though thtat he might be getting read. Williams (+1) bounces off of the pile to get some extra yardage. Rossi (+0.5) and Dawand Jones (+0.5) combine for a good block.|
|6:02||W27||1||10||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Under||1||Run||6||Outside Zone||Henderson||6||Jackson (+0.5) and Wypler (+0.5) have a nice combo block to give Henderson (+0.5) a good cutback lane.|
|5:17||W21||2||4||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Base||3||Run||6.5||Inside Zone||Henderson||3||Dawand Jones (-1) needs to hold his block a little longer.|
|4:35||W18||3||1||I-Formation 21 Strong||3-4||Tite||1||Run||8||FB Trap||Rossi||3||Wypler (-1) falls down, but Matt Jones (+2) has a great block which gives Rossi a first down.|
|4:05||W15||1||10||Gun Twin TE Pair||3-4||Tite||1||Pass||8||TE Seam||Stover||0||Stroud (-2) throws an inaccurate pass to Stover, who can't make the spectacular catch. Would have been an easy touchdown. Play-calling +1 as they are eating up these zones.|
|3:56||W15||2||10||Gun Y Flex Trips||3-2-6||Base||1||Run||5||Duo||Henderson||5||Exactly how you draw it up.|
|3:42||W10||3||5||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Over||1||Run||6||Mid Zone||Henderson||3||Johnson (-1) can't quite hold his block long enough. There was a lane for Henderson if he could have; could have been a touchdown. At this point, Ohio State is not calling their best plays. Just working on stuff at this point. Field Goal.|
|1:19||O10||1||10||Gun Y Flex Jet Mtn||4-2-5||Over||2||Run||Split Zone||Henderson||9||Wypler (-1) doesn't block the most dangerous player, but Jackson (+1) and Scott (+1) open up a cutback lane for Hendeson (+1), who is able to hit it.|
|1:09||O19||2||1||Gun||4-2-5||Base||2||Run||Split Zone||Henderson||6||Dawand Jones (+2) has a great block on the outside.|
|0:50||O25||1||10||ABC||ABC||ABC||5||Pass||ABC||Smash||Fleming||5||Stroud throws a good pass to Fleming, who makes the routine catch.|
|0:43||O30||2||5||Gun||3-2-6||Show Blitz||4||Pass||6||Corner||Stroud||0||Stroud (-2) throws an inaccurate ball, and the ball is uncatchable for Harrison. Interception. Particularly bad since he was open for a big gain. Overthrows biting him this quarter.|
|13:13||O28||1||10||Gun Y Flex||2-4-5||Over||1||Pass||6||Slant||Stroud||0||Stroud (-2) throws a pass that should have been intercepted; bad read. Uncatchable for Harrison.|
|13:10||O28||2||10||Gun 11 Empty||2-4-5||Base||2||Pass||5||Smash||Egbuka||18||Stroud (+1) throws a good pass to Egbuka (+1), who makes a routine catch.|
|12:53||O46||1||10||Gun Unbalanced||2-4-5||Base||2||Run||7||Outside Zone||Henderson||7||Good looking block from Matt Jones (+1). Blocking was looking good, but Johnson (-1) can't hold the back side, and he was the one who ended up making the tackle. Could have been a huge run.|
|11:59||W48||2||4||Gun||2-4-5||Base||1||Pass||7||Curl||Harrison||0||Jackson (-0.5) and Johnson (-1) give up some pressure. Stroud throws an okay ball and Harrison can't make the difficult catch. Protection -1.5.|
|11:51||W48||3||4||Gun 11 Empty||2-4-5||Base||1||Pass||5.5||Levels||Fleming||31||Stroud (+2) gets through a bunch of progressions - I think this might be his fifth option, which is insane. Stroud throws a good ball to Fleming (+2), who jukes the defender out of his shoes before getting some big YAC.|
|11:07||W17||1||10||Pistol 3W||2-4-5||Over||1||Run||8||Mid Zone||Henderson||3||Nice play by Herbig here. Fine blocking for the most part.|
|10:47||W14||2||7||Pistol 3W||2-4-5||3-3-5 Base||1||Run||6||Mid Zone||Henderson||2||Once again, a nice play by the end. Johnson (-0.5) could have held it for a bit longer. Henderson potentially could have cut it all the way back, but I think he made the right decision.|
|10:20||W12||3||5||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Show Blitz||2||Pass||6||Double Posts||Fleming||12||Stroud (+1) throws a good pass to Fleming (+2) who makes a routine catch before lowering his shoulder for the touchdown. Protection +0.5. Wypler (+0.5) with a particularly good set here.|
|7:40||W49||1||10||Pistol 3W Y Flex Trips Bunch||2-4-5||Under||1||Pass||7||PA Rollout Flood||Fleming||0||Stroud (-1) throws an inaccurate pass to Fleming, and the ball is uncatchable. He was under pressure, but I do think he could have hit Fleming if he looked there earlier.|
|7:34||W49||2||10||Pistol 3W 3x1||2-4-5||Under||1||Run||7||Outside Zone||Henderson||-5||Dawand Jones (-1) has a good block on the edge, though the holding helped. Henderson (+1) rides the block as long as he can. Looked patient. Holding call on this|
|7:18||O46||2||15||Gun Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Under||2||Run||6||Inside Zone||Henderson||2||Jackson (-0.5) can't turn his man inside, so Henderson can't get much.|
|6:32||O48||3||13||Gun 5W||3-3-5||Base||2||Pass||6||Levels||Egbuka||0||Johnson (-1) mostly blocks the end, but Stroud is forced to step up. Stroud is pressured and Egbuka can't make the spectacular catch. Protection -1.|
|4:24||W38||1||10||Pistol 3W||2-4-5||Over||2||Run||7||Split Zone||Henderson||4||Henderson (-1) likely should have kept following the original hole. Johnson (+1) has a good block to make this happen. Dawand Jones (+1) makes the cutback viable though.|
|3:48||W34||2||6||Pistol 3W Trips||2-4-5||Over||0||Run||8||Counter||Henderso||7||Matt Jones (+2) has a nice pancake block. Henderson (+1) has a hurdle to get out in space to get the first down.|
|3:04||W27||1||10||Gun Y Flex||2-4-5||Base||1||Pass||6||PA Curl Post||Fleming||19||Stroud (+1) makes a good throw to Fleming (+1.5), who gets another chunk after the routine catch.|
|2:37||W8||1||8||Gun||2-4-5||Base||2||Pass||6.5||Slant||Egbuka||8||This is a borderline bad read, but Stroud's (+2) arm is so good I am fine with him throwing this against Wisconsin. Perfect pass to Egbuka (+2) , who makes the difficult catch.|
|9:46||O25||1||10||Pistol 3W Y Flex Trips Jet||2-4-5||Under||1||Run||6||Split Zone||Henderson||12||Henderson (+2) forces a missed tackle in the backfield. Jackson (+0.5) and Johnson (+0.5) with some nice blocks.|
|9:22||O36||1||10||Pistol 3W Y Flex Trips||2-4-5||Under||1||Pass||6.5||PA Rollout Flood||Egbuka||14||Stroud (+1) throws a good pass to Egbuka (+1), who makes a routine catch before taking a hit. Play-calling +1.|
|8:37||O50||1||10||Gun Trips||2-4-5||Over||1||Pass||7.5||Switch||Fleming||0||Stroud (-2) underthrows Fleming, who can't make the spectacular catch. This is an inaccurate pass. Would have been a touchdown otherwise.|
|8:21||O50||2||10||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Under||1||Run||7||Split Zone||Henderson||3||Dawand Jones (-1) can't sustain his block, but Henderson (+1) drags the defender for a few extra yards.|
|7:36||W47||3||7||Gun 11 Empty||2-4-5||Under||1||Pass||5.5||Improvisation||Harrison||15||The stunt gets home, but Stroud (+2.5) gets out of the pocket before throwing a good pass to Harrison, who can't make the spectacular catch. Pass Interference is called. Stroud breaks like three tackles.|
|7:27||W32||1||10||Gun 3x1||2-4-5||Under||2||RPO||6||RPO Slant||Egbuka||32||Stroud (+3) makes a good read and throws a perfect pass to Egbuka (+2), who makes a routine catch before sprinting toward the endzone for a touchdown. Play-calling +1 for not a lot of RPOs until now.|
|End of charting|
This was a bludgeoning, both on the ground and through the air. This was done without an outstanding performance from Stroud and without JSN at all.
|Donovan Jackson||5||1||4||83.3||Steadily playing better.|
|luke wypler||7.5||2||5.5||78.9||Great game from him. Always seems like he is the key to a good run game.|
|paris johnson jr.||6||5.5||0.5||52.2||Up and down game. He had some incredible moments offset by small mistakes.|
|dawand jones||6.5||4||2.5||61.9||Pretty solid game. Herbig was genuinely impressive against these tackles.|
|matthew jones||9||3||6||75||Looked like the same guy as last year. Couple pancakes.|
|total||34||15.5||18.5||68.7||All linemen charted out well. Only ones that had any issue were the tackles against Herbig. He was the real deal.|
|cj stroud||22.5||13||9.5||63.4||Hit a cold streak in the middle of the game. One of the worst games I have seen from him, which is great news for Ohio State. If the offense can perform this well without Stroud's best…|
|miyan williams||8||0||8||100||Feel like he's not much of a secret anymore. Still the best runner on the team.|
|treveyon henderson||11.5||1.5||10||88.5||Playing much better than most think. Still, similar score to Williams in 3x the number of snaps.|
|dallan hayden||0||0||0||0||Did not chart|
|total||42||14.5||27.5||74.3||Stroud didn't play his best, but the running backs are both excellent.|
|julian fleming||6.5||0||6.5||100||Looks great in his first full day with Ohio State.|
|emeka egbuka||9.5||0||9.5||100||Outstanding. It feels like he's the #2, but he's leading the team in receiving.|
|marvin harrison jr.||2.5||0||2.5||100||Pretty quiet game, all things considered.|
|cade stover||9.5||1||8.5||90.5||He should be First Team All-B1G.|
|mitch rossi||0.5||0||0.5||100||Love seeing him get short yardage runs.|
|jayden ballard||0||0||0||0||Did not chart|
|Xavier johnson||0||0||0||0||Did not chart|
|gee scott jr.||1||0||1||100||He is a legitimate tight end. He always plays hard too. Sneakily one of the most improved from last year.|
|Total||29.5||1||28.5||96.7||Their best game yet.|
|protection||0.5||2.5||-2||Not too bad. Stroud had almost no throws where he took extra time. If he did, he was going to get pressured, which the offensive line was not punished for. Solid effort.|
|play calling||8||0||8||Once again, I felt like Wisconsin never called anything that caught Day off guard.|
The interior of the offensive line was quite good. The tackles were pretty good too, but Nick Herbig got the better of them multiple times, so their scores are lower.
|CJ Stroud||Perfect||Good||Scramble||Pressure||Okay||Batted||Throw Away||Inaccurate||Bad Read||RPOs||Read Option||Passing Percentage||General Percentage|
I think this is one of the worst games I have charted from Stroud, which is probably a good sign for Ohio State. This was an outlier, and he isn’t likely to have another game like this later in the season. However, the good news for Ohio State is that if they can have this type of game without Stroud’s best performances, they will be difficult to stop. Last year, Stroud struggling against a top ten defense was guaranteed to yield ~26-28 points. At least in this game, it led to 45 points in the first three quarters. Lots of optimism after this.
Cade Stover is probably the best tight-end in the Big Ten. Julian Fleming looked completely viable as a 3rd/4th receiver. The emergence of these guys has allowed the offense to maintain its status as the best offense in the country without JSN.
What should we worry about for the rest of the season?
This was the best edge rusher that Ohio State has played so far, and the tackles merely held up. They didn’t dominate. That is about the weakest thing to worry about, but that is the only thing I could come up with.
I guess Stroud took a lot of chances with his arm today which is a continuance of the past couple of games. It has really paid off so far, but I am not sure if it will work against PSU and Michigan.
What should we not worry about for the rest of the season?
The offense? It will likely experience some reversion to the mean, but this was nearly as good of a performance as they had against Toledo against a perennial top ten defense. Still, when your quarterback isn’t himself and your best player isn’t playing, a performance like this against a quality defense is downright shocking. The components of the offense weren’t clicking on all cylinders, and they still dominated.
I could also say Julian Fleming, as when he is out there with Harrison and Egbuka this offense still looks unstoppable.
What should we be excited about for the rest of the season?
The potential return of JSN and Stroud’s usual performances. Both additions will provide a boost to an already ridiculously explosive and efficient offense. This is a better offense than the 2021 Buckeyes, which was still the best offense in college football.