Three Key Stats: Explosive Plays, Quick Scoring, and the First Game Streak Continues

By Jared Naughton on September 3, 2021 at 10:15 am
Chris Olave and CJ Stroud are shaking hands.

A start with ups and downs, but promising potential.

Ohio State left Minneapolis with a 45-31 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This win was by no means pretty, but Ohio State showed the sheer explosiveness they have to offer. 

In today's Three Key Stats, we'll look at the barrage of long-yardage plays, the rapid pace of scoring, and the season opener dominance Ohio State has displayed over two decades. 

54.67 Yards

That's the length of the average Buckeye touchdown on the night. Starting on the first Ohio State drive with a 71-yard run from Miyan Williams. Plays like this were abundant against the Golden Gophers.

There were also plenty of long-yardage plays from the air attack. Stroud threw 38 and 61-yard touchdown strikes to Chris Olave, a 70-yard catch and run score to TreVeyon Henderson and a 56-yard bomb for six to Garrett Wilson.

The offense showed that their scoring ability is to be feared from anywhere on the field. The electricity shown tonight is what defenses all season will be trying to limit.

335 Seconds

5:35 of game clock was all that was needed for five Buckeye second-half touchdowns in Minneapolis.

Ryan Day's offense had touchdown drives of 7, 3, 2, and 1 plays, and of course, Haskell Garrett's 32-yard fumble return for six to put Ohio State up 10 points late in the third quarter.

That's efficient, even if it doesn't give your defense a ton of time to rest.

22 Games

Ohio State owns the third-longest streak in the AP Poll Era (1936) and the longest active streak for wins in season openers with 22.

The all-time record for the most consecutive wins in season openers is owned by Nebraska, who won 29 in a row from 1986 to 2014 before losing at home to BYU, 33-28, to open the 2015 season.

While a few starters were not playing, there are many areas where Ohio State can improve. Stroud looked a little rocky in the first half, the defense seemed tired and lost at times, and there were many sloppy penalties. 

This streak should remind all Buckeye fans that throughout these 22 years, the growth and adjustments from the opening game are what will define a season.

A major test comes to town in Oregon next week, will the Buckeyes adjust and grow to meet the challenge?

View 51 Comments