Three Key Stats: Messy Play from Ohio State’s Offense, Game-Changing Defense and Red Zone Struggles

By Jared Naughton on October 31, 2021 at 10:15 am
J.T. Tuimoloau gets a timely sack.

It wasn't pretty, but the job got done.

The Buckeyes had another tough and scrappy matchup against Penn State on Saturday. Matchups with Penn State always seem to be too close for comfort, and this game followed suit. 

In Today's Three Key Stats, we look at the penalties from the offense, turnovers created by the Buckeye defense and the lack of touchdowns in the red zone. 

7 False Starts

This is absolutely unacceptable from the Ohio State offense. This is even worse when you consider the fact that this was a home game, a very loud game, but a home game. This stat is very out of character for the Buckeyes, who are normally well disciplined. 

These mistakes were a combination of nerves, lackluster communication, and mental errors, but still inexcusable. This very well could be an outlier for the Buckeyes, but still worth noting. 

3 Turnovers

The Buckeye defense forced three turnovers, two fumbles and one interception. One of these fumbles came right after Ohio State gave away their one turnover of the day, and the other was a 57 yard scoop and score from Jerron Cage. 

The last turnover was a timely interception at the hands of Cameron Brown. This game seemed to have been won by the defense, a sentiment that has not been felt all season. 

Ohio State's offense showed weakness for one of the few times this season, but this time around the defense was there to pick up the slack.

19 Red Zone Points

The offense struggled greatly inside the red zone on Saturday night, highlighted by only 19 red zone points in 6 trips. This averages to 3.16 points per red zone trip, a number that is rarely paired with a win.

The Buckeyes seemed to struggle in short yardage situations, getting stuffed many times on 3rd and short. This number shouldn't be a lingering concern as the offense has rarely struggled, however, there might be an emphasis placed on red zone possessions going forward. 

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