Archives for September 2010

Illinois, by the numbers

Time for the Numbers! I love it. Your father loves it. Your Aunt Neda watches it every night in the VCR.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 240.3 (14) 102.3 (25) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 266.5 (29) 230.7 (77) Passing Defense (ypg) Ohio State
Pass Efficiency 167.0 (13) 128.9 (74) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State+
Total Offense (ypg) 506.8 (8) 333.0 (27) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 49.3 (3) 16.0 (27) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 870.0 (5) 229.0 (18) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 169.3 (26) 130.0 (112) Passing Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Pass Efficiency Defense 100.1 (14) 130.0 (108) Pass Efficiency Offense Ohio State++
Total Defense (ypg) 239.3 (5) 359.0 (70) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State+
Scoring Defense (ppg) 14.5 (19) 25.3 (70) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State+
Turnover margin +2.5 (2) -1.0 (101) Turnover margin Ohio State++
Penalty Yards/game 29.3 (6) 61.3 (83) Penalty Yards/game Ohio State++
Sacks (/game) 1.25 (90) 1.67 (52) Sacks Allowed (/game) Illinois
Sacks Allowed (/game) 1.75 (58) 2.33 (43) Sacks (/game) Push
3rd Down Conv. (%) 40.0 (67) 39.1 (43) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Push
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 32.1 (31) 46.2 (30) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Push
Redzone Offense (%) 92.6 (18) 66.7 (18) Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 57.1 (4) 100.0 (1) Redzone Offense (%) Push
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Presented without comment. Just for clarification: Illinois’ 100% red zone is based on NINE trips to the red zone. Ohio State has 18 touchdowns scored in the red zone.

As always, stats are grabbed from

Poll Dancing: Week Four or, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

(This is a guest series by MotSaG reader Jason Nafziger. He’ll be taking a weekly look at the college football polls and pointing out the absurd, the laughable and the head scratchers. Please note that Jason is not talking about the BlogPoll. Or my ballot to the BlogPoll.)

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State

Bama had a bit of a close call against Arkansas, while Ohio State had a call more comparable to deep space communication. Still and all, the top two remain unbeaten and on the path to meet for the title in January. Florida will try to make things interesting this weekend. Want something interesting until then? A group of elephants is known as a “memory,” while a group of alligators is a “congregation.”

3. Boise State
4. Oregon

Ah, finally. UCLA’s castration of the Longhorns sends Texas plummeting, and the Ducks quickly flew in to replace them. A group of ducks is a “flush.”

5. TCU
6. Nebraska

Despite a poor showing against South Dakota State’s “husk” of jackrabbits, the Cornhuskers get a bump up and become the highest ranked Big 12 team during Red River Shootout (and I still say IAA too) week.

7. Florida
8. Oklahoma
9. Wisconsin
10. LSU

And again, every team that didn’t lose is shifted up a spot to accommodate for those that did. I used to suspect that the coaches’ employed graduate assistants to fill out their ballots for them, but now I’m convinced it’s Price Is Right game designers.

So, in the interest of someone who writes (and the imaginary folk who read) a weekly piece about poll fluctuation, let me just say:

Go Gators!
Go Cardinal!
Go Spartans!
Go Vols!

Also, a group of cats can be called a nuisance, a destruction, a litter, a kindle, or a dout. Some collective noun coiner really hated cats.

Is there a rushing issue at OSU?

For the first four weeks of the season I have heard, week after week, from my fellow Buckeye fans the same questions and concerns. What is wrong with the run game? Why doesn’t Berry get more carries? What is wrong with Saine and Herron?

My answer to my fellow Buckeyes is complex lol no it isn’t it is simple. Here goes nothing:

This is nuts. We are 14th in the nation in rushing offense — ahead of MSU, which is a rush first offense. We average 240 yards a game rushing. This is not a RB issue. We are a team and we use a stable of RBs to get the job done. We have a feature back in the Eddie George/Beanie Wells type players in Terrell Pryor. We have scat backs and power backs and receiving backs. Who cares if it isn’t the same person doing all that. As a TEAM the rushing game is just peachy keen, better than most in the Big 10 and Country. If and when we get in a tough game where we need a big running game to help us win there is no doubt we will see a heavy load of Saine and Herron. We just haven’t needed to do that and hopefully never will. We are a pass first offense this year but the rushing game isn’t being ignored. A well balanced team is the best you can hope for — 266 yards a game passing and 240 a game rushing seems pretty awesome to me.

This brings up the point of the day for me — OSU fans nitpicking and never being happy and expecting the worse to always happen. Most OSU fans are glass half empty people. Smile, OSU fans, enjoy the season be happy. The problems that people seem to have with the team are mostly unfounded blown up small situations. Yet some of you week after week act like this team is as bad as Minnesota or Purdue. Step back and look at the big picture of this team and maybe you will find your happy place.

A Brief Digression From Football Talk

On September 22, 1995, Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” was the number one song in the country. Bill Clinton was still in his first term in office. I was beginning my senior year in high school. And the Reds clinched the National League Central Division.

They hadn’t made the playoffs since. Until now.

Jay Bruce is a pimp. If my wife slept with him, I’d give her a high five and buy him a drink.

I realize this is a mainly Cleveland-centric site, but I had to say something. I mean, it’s been 15 freakin’ years. I was there in October of 1999 at Riverfront Stadium when Al Leiter and the Mets made Steve Parris and the Reds their bitches. I was pumped in 2000 when the Reds traded for my all-time favorite player (Ken Griffey Jr.) on my birthday and then proceeded to disappoint year after year. For God’s sake, the Bengals have made the playoffs a few times since the last time the Reds did. And I was there on April 5 of this year right after the Reds lost their opener against the Cardinals, writing a post where I predicted they would win 88 games and win the NL Central, with all three of my readers – and myself, if I’m being honest –  thinking I was sniffing paint fumes while doing so.

And here we are. 88-69 with five games to play and winning the NL Central, with my MVP prediction (Jay Bruce) hitting the walk-off home run that clinched it. It’s beautiful.

Cross-posted at Not Dead Ninja Storage.

The moral is, sometimes rooting for a team that sucks can pay off, big time.

2010 Blogpoll Ballot, Week #5 (Draft)

Thrown together hastily, please assist.

Eastern Michigan Recap

The last time Ron English was inside Ohio Stadium the results were very similar. In 2006 he was the defensive coordinator for the Michigan Wolverines. It was a matchup of 1 versus 2 and the winner would go to the National Championship. Back then English’s defense gave up over 500 hundred yards and 42 points and propelled Troy Smith to a Heisman trophy.

On September 26th, 2010 Ron English was spotted giving that famous old fashioned Michigan Try.

Ohio State in their game against Eastern Michigan amassed 645 yards of total offense and 73 points and quarterback Terrelle Pryor accounted for 6 touchdowns, 4 threw the air, 1 on the ground and 1 receiving touchdown thrown by his old high school team mate Jordan Hall.


Ohio State’s offense is not what it used to be. At the end of last year, they were a run first power football team that averaged over 200 yards per game and threw the ball under twenty times per game. Terrelle Pryor then had a huge pre bowl practice and the “light” went on. We all saw what he did in the Rose Bowl.

Since then, Ohio State has turned into a pass first offense. The offensive priority is as follows:

  1. Pryor pass/run option
  2. His #1 priority is to throw the football
  3. His #2 priority is to run the football if no one is open
  4. Running game with tailbacks

This may or may not be popular with Buckeye fans, but the results are stunning:

Year Total Offense Passing Rushing Points Scored
2009 60th 102nd 18th 51st
2010 7th 29th 14th 3rd

Ohio State has also implemented a hurry-up offense, which puts even more pressure on a defense. It also allows Terrelle Pryor’s instinct to take over. The results have been impressive. Personally this is what I’ve been waiting for ever since Pryor came to town. I thought he would be most effective given the pass/run option and because Ohio State has taken off the Pryor cuffs this offense has been nearly unstoppable.

Okay, that is the good from the Ohio State offense, let’s take a look at the bad, the running back situation.

Boom Herron isn’t “bad,” he’s just REALLY average. Brandon Saine is a weapon out of the backfield, but he is an inconsistent runner at best. Let’s take a look at the production of each back yesterday and see what sticks out:

Player Rushing Yards Rushing Average
Dan Herron 55 4.6
Brandon Saine 11 3.7
Jordan Hall 26 6.5
Jamaal Berry 74 18.5

We have established the change in Ohio State’s offensive philosophy, but with the Big Ten schedule a week away Ohio State needs to find someone other than Superman to run the ball.

Draw your own conclussions from the above data. I come away thinking that Hall and Berry need far more touches every game and Saine needs less. Discuss…

The defense was gashed by playaction… badly. On the first drive for Eastern Michigan they had a dropped bomb off playaction and as the game went on, all three of their touchdown drives came off devastating playaction passes. Something I’m sure offensive coordinators around the Big Ten will be looking at. And something Ohio State better get corrected before Wisconsin. They live off Playaction and they can actually run the ball, unlike Eastern Michigan.

It wasn’t all bad for the defense:


Big Johnathan Hankins recorded his first sack of his career, hopefully the first of many.

EMU vs. OSU Live Chat (and Open Thread)

Another full slate of games today, and I’ll actually be in my football-watching throne. Join us in the live chat during the OSU game and feel free to drop any comments during the rest of game day.

Also: I wonder how full the heart clinics are in Ann Arbor. LOLverines.

I want to be able to enjoy ABC’s College Football Countdown, I really do. I just can’t stand the sight of Jesse Palmer. He just called Ohio State’s defensive coordinator Jim “Heecock”. Why does he have a job?

Week 4 Preview: Eastern Michigan

I don’t know about you, but I’m having trouble believing the season is already almost a third of the way over. I guess my dad was right – the older you get, the faster time goes by.

Of course, my dad probably can’t believe it’s already 2010 – for him he just saw Back to the Future in theaters.

A brief digression – can you believe that Back to the Future is already 25 years old? Put it another way – when I was born, The Godfather was only 15 years old. I’m depressed. Moving on…

This weekend marks the return of former TTUN defensive coordinator Ron English to the Horseshoe. He was last seen getting canned by the Wolverines after the 2007 campaign. Or “the year they lost to App State. AHHHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!” in the parlance I prefer.

EMU's coach gives you his evaluation of his 1-4 record against the Buckeyes as a defensive coach at TTUN

As el Kaiser made very clear the other day, this is a game that the Buckeyes should dominate. Personally, I’m thinking they actually might. Normally, this kind of game is one where the Buckeyes come out flat, looking hung over and disinterested, and the game usually ends up being more exciting than it should be for a while.

Of course, normally last week would have been a week like that, not to mention the opener against Marshall. We know how that turned out. Cam Heyward,  Tyler Moeller, et al proceeded to pour pudding on the opposing offenses’ heads much like O’Doyle in Billy Madison. Also they beat the ever-loving crap out of them. I don’t enjoy dipping into hyperbole – mainly for jinx avoidance reasons, but this defense is as mean and dominating as any I can remember. I’ve gone out of my way over the last few weeks trying to come up with a group of Silver Bullets past that I can remember being so nasty.

The offense? We’re not doing so badly there either. It would be nice if Brandon Saine would go ahead and finish testifying against the mob boss, though. That’s the only logical explanation I can think of for his absence the last few weeks – he must be in witness protection. Somewhere in Idaho there’s a 6′ 1″, 220 lb man cleaning floors in an elementary school, talking about how he used to run by opposing defenses so fast one might think he was flying. In Columbus – I mean, Kansas.

The special teams.


rewg;noedrjeoij;go;erjier;oje;rgeartg43TY6AQ6Q356TYAQ ZEH DWB6WUH JWA dtf yh5g4r

Sorry, I blacked out for a minute there. The point is, until they get their crap together I’m referring to them as “special” teams, if you know what I mean. I would continue along these lines but it’s a family site and I don’t want to push the boundaries too far. Just picture me writing 2000 words about Corky Thatcher from Life Goes On and my opinion of the job he’s done on kick coverage so far and you’ll get the gist of it.

Here’s what I want to see tomorrow:

  1. No turnovers.
  2. Fewer than five penalties. At least in the first three quarters, or while the score is within 35 points.
  3. No EMU kick returns over 25 yards.
  4. No EMU punt returns over 10 yards.
  5. Heyward should literally eat someone on EMU’s offense. Or their coach.
  6. Ron English walking off the field, head held low in shame and seeing his coaching record against the Buckeyes fall to 1-5.

Final score prediction: Buckeyes 52, EMU 6

*all predictions subject to change after the fact. The opinions of Bacon Ninja regarding the outcome of Ohio State games are purely hypothetical and do not necessarily represent his true feelings on the matter. In fact, for the purposes of supersition and jinx avoidance Bacon Ninja offers a generic prediction of Opponents 72, Ohio State 0 for every game this season, unless they are playing an SEC school in which case the prediction will change to Opponents 347, Ohio State negative 30.

Eastern Michigan, by the numbers

Now that we’ve got three games under our belt, we can start looking at some numbers

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Eastern Michigan
Rushing Offense (ypg) 206.3 (25) 253.0 (117) Rushing Defense (ypg) Ohio State++
Passing Offense (ypg) 254.3 (33) 161.0 (31) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 149.3 (31) 161.0 (97) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State+
Total Offense (ypg) 460.7 (20) 414.0 (94) Total Defense (ypg) Ohio State+
Scoring Offense (ppg) 41.3 (16) 37.0 (108) Scoring Defense (ppg) Ohio State++
Rushing Defense (ypg) 80.0 (15) 142.3 (72) Rushing Offense (ypg) Ohio State+
Passing Defense (ypg) 156.3 (28) 189.7 (87) Passing Offense (ypg) Ohio State+
Pass Efficiency Defense 89.0 (10) 121.0 (78) Pass Efficiency Offense Ohio State+
Total Defense (ypg) 236.3 (7) 332.0 (87) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Scoring Defense (ppg) 12.7 (9) 20.7 (91) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State++
Turnover margin +3.33 (1) -1.67 (112) Turnover margin Ohio State+++
Penalty Yards/game 24.0 (3) 21.7 (2) Penalty Yards/game Push
Sacks (/game) 2.50 (24) 1.00 (26) Sacks Allowed (/game) Push
Sacks Allowed (/game) 2.33 (78) 1.67 (70) Sacks (/game) Push
3rd Down Conv. (%) 34.1 (88) 54.3 (111) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Push
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 33.3 (37) 41.9 (56) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Push
Redzone Offense (%) 90.0 (32) 79.5 (46) Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 40.0 (2) 75.0 (90) Redzone Offense (%) Ohio State++
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Presented, always, without comment. But this bears stating: Ohio State has allowed opponents into the red zone five times in three games.

As always, stats are grabbed from

Nick Mangold, Jock

Speaking of former Buckeyes that are now New York Jets, Nick Mangold will be joining John Hodgman on his variety show “GOOD EVENING, MY NAME IS JOHN HODGMAN”

IN THIS CASE, the “NERD” shall be played by me, John Hodgman, and the “JOCK” shall be played by the New York Jet, NICK MANGOLD, as I confront all of my deepest fears (humiliation/being punched/Nick Mangold) and attempted to learn from him the virtues of jock culture and the rules of football.

This is an intersection of my geekdom and my fandom in one giant ball of awesomeness. (via kottke)