Ohio State's Defense Ranks As College Football's Best Eight Games into the 2019 Season

By Dan Hope on October 27, 2019 at 9:05 am
Chase Young and the Ohio State defense

Going into Saturday's game against Wisconsin, Ohio State's defense wasn't even the top-ranked defense on the field.

After putting up 38 points and 431 yards of offense on Wisconsin's previously No. 1-ranked defense, however, Ohio State's defense – which was ranked No. 2 in major statistical categories entering Saturday's game – can claim the No. 1 spot for itself. 

Ohio State held Wisconsin to just seven points and 191 yards on 3.75 yards per play on Saturday, marking the seventh straight game in which the Buckeyes have held their opponent to 10 points or fewer and the eighth straight game to begin the season in which the Buckeyes have held their opponent under 300 yards.

According to Ohio State's Mike Basford, it's the first time Ohio State has held opponents under 300 yards in eight straight games since at least 1960.

The Buckeyes have now allowed just 7.9 points per game and 3.59 yards per play through eight games this season, both of which are now the best marks among all Football Bowl Subdivision defenses. The Buckeyes have allowed 224.3 yards per game, which still ranks just barely behind Wisconsin (223.5) for second-best in the nation.

Ohio State's defensive dominance this season under first-year co-defensive coordinators Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley comes in stark contrast to its performance last season, when the Buckeyes ranked 50th nationally with 25.5 points allowed per game, 71st nationally with 403.4 yards allowed per game and 72nd nationally with 5.77 yards allowed per play.

Last season, the Buckeyes held their opponents under 10 points and 300 yards in just three out of 14 games.

With its impressive performance against a Wisconsin defense that previously ranked No. 1 this season in all three of those categories, Ohio State's offense also still ranks statistically as one of college football's best through eight games. The Buckeyes are now ranked third nationally with 48.3 points per game, seventh with 514.8 yards per game and ninth with 7.17 yards per play.

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