Three Key Stats: Big Plays, Suffocating Pass Defense, Second Quarter Dominance

By Jake Anderson on October 19, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Sevyn Banks reacts to his pick-six that was later called back

Ohio State was prepared for the big city lights.

The Buckeyes traveled to Chicago Evanston to take on Northwestern, taking care of business on the ground while playing stout defense. In the end, the Bucks ended up on the right side of the scoreboard, winning 52-3

As Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald alluded to, Ohio State won the game in a familiar manner, taking offensive shots when they can and relying on a huge second-quarter run to break the game open. 

Ohio State recorded seven big plays against Northwestern, pushing them to 120 plays of more than ten yards on the year, the fourth-best mark in the nation.

Against Northwestern, the Buckeyes were held to "just" 480 yards of offense. It was just the second time this season the offense had been held to under 500 yards. 

Despite this below-average total, Ohio State had no trouble moving the ball, ripping off chunk plays on half of their possessions and scoring points on eight on them. 

After its bout with the Wildcats, the Bucks have now recorded 120 plays of tens yards and more and 47 plays of 20+ yards, moving to fourth and second in the nation, respectively. 

J.K. Dobbins exploded for two of Ohio State's big plays and now has the seventh most plays of 10+ yards in the nation. 

Northwestern quarterback Aidan Smith completed just 30% of his passes for 42 yards, the best performance by Ohio State's pass defense this year.

Before the Friday night duel in Evanston, Adrian Martinez held the crown as the worst performance as an opposing quarterback against the Bucks. Northwestern's Aidan Smith took the throne after his struggles against DBU, putting together just 42 yards in 20 attempts. 

Smith's passer rating of just 37.6 was the lowest by an opposing quarterback this season. It was also less than half of Ohio State's average opposing passer rating (87.7). 

Though the Buckeyes failed to get the quarterback often (one sack, five hurries), the back end took care of business, picking off the Wildcats twice. 

Ohio State leads the nation in second-quarter scoring, averaging 22.6 points in the period. The Buckeyes' average is more than six points greater than Alabama's second-place mark.

Which is scarier: Ryan Day's Buckeyes in the second quarter or the Golden State Warriors in the third

Ohio State led just 7-3 at the end of the first. The Bucks managed to possess the ball five times in the second quarter, scoring a touchdown thrice, nailed a long field goal, and went to the locker room with a comfortable 28-point lead. 

The best part? This sequence is becoming very familiar. 

Ohio State is outscoring its opponents by 138 points and outgaining them by over 1,000 yards in the second fifteen-minute period. 

Even more ridiculous, Ohio State has scored its 158 second-quarter points in just 152 plays. For some context, the FBS median points per play is 0.384 and the Buckeyes' season average is 0.677, good for fourth in the nation. The local team is more than tripling the FBS median in the second quarter. 

Ohio State's unstoppable offense will meet an immovable object next week in Wisconsin's defense, who has allowed just one touchdown in the second quarter this season. 

View 16 Comments