So when El kaiser gave me the info on my first game preview assignment I swear to crap I thought he said the Univeristy of Alabama game. It caused me to go into a brief high pitched girls voice with excitement to know OSU had scheduled such a high profile and difficult opponent. What I hadn’t heard was his whole statement and the key word BIRMINGHAM. Then it hit me it was just going to be another cupcake game where I will have to try to find a reason to why the game may be closer then the stats project it will be. Then again this is the 2012 Buckeyes and there is no telling how this game will go so I will break it down and do my best to figure out if UAB is as bad as they seem or if OSU will make them look better then they really are.
Ohio State Defense vs. UAB Offense
So all of Buckeye Nation seems to be in an uproar over the defense this year so lets look at the actual numbers. OSU is 68th in the country in total defense. Giving up an ungodly 392 yards a game. OSU is also 86th in the country in TFL with 14 in 3 games. The Buckeyes are 104th in pass defense and 32nd in rush defense. All of these numbers add up to this years defense being pretty middle of the road to horrible. Who cares if OSU is giving up 17.7 points per game and are ranked 32nd in the country in that category. You would think based on these numbers that OSU would be 1-2 or 0-3 but they aren’t they are 3-0 and winning games by trying to keep the ball in front of them and between the 20s. is this the same dominating defense of years past? Heck to the no!!! We just don’t have the quality of LBers and Safeties we have had in the past and it is slowing down the progress this year.
UAB on offense is just plain awful. The Blazers are 86th in the country in yards per game at 383. They are 117th in rushing offense with 80 YPG. They are an almost impressive 30th in passing offense with 282.5 YPG. Scoring defense is where they really fail coming in at 110th with scoring 17.5 points per game. Here is a breakdown of the UAB offense they are extremely bad and most of their passing yards are gained in garbage time when their team is already well behind and they are trying to catch up.
Advantage: Ohio State
Ohio State Offense vs UAB Defense
I decided I wasn’t going to use any players names in this preview so I will just say this a certain OSU player who is their QB is basically their entire offense so far on this season. Ohio State is 22nd in rushing offense with 237 YPG and their QB accounts for 125 of those YPG. OSU is 76th in passing YPG with 216 YPG and the OSU QB accounts for 203 YPG of that. OSU is 42nd in Total offense with 453 YPG and the QB accounts for 329 of those YPG. Ohio State is scoring 40.7 PPG and is ranked 20th of that the OSU QB is responsible for 25 PPG. To say the QB is important is an understatement right now he is EVERYTHING.
UAB Defense is just horrible on defense I mean horrible is probably an understatement. They are 111th in rushing defense giving up 220 YPG. They are 85th in the nation in passing defense giving up 256 YPG. They are 108th in total offense giving up 477 YPG. Lastly, and probably the worst they are 123rd in scoring defense out of 124 teams giving up 44 PPG.
Advantage: Ohio State
I could keep going and going on every category but why not just cut to the chase and list them and tell the advantage.
Special Teams: Ohio State
Coaching: Ohio State
Home Field advantage: Ohio State
Personnel: Ohio State
Angry Players: Ohio State
Hungry Players: Ohio State
Pissed Off fans: Ohio State
Coin Toss: Ohio State (we use a double headed or tails coin depending on what they call)
Intangibles: Ohio State
Everything else in the whole Galaxy: Ohio State
Bottom line here is this is a game OSu must win and win big and fix some issues they have been having. Some players need to step up more and others need to just slow down and think more. The coaches need to use the game to prepare the team for the difficult B1G schedule coming up sooner then later. This is the 4th game of a 12 game pre-season slate getting the team prepared and used to a completely new system for next years run at glory. Fans need to remember that and give these guys some time to gel and fix the problems and stop with the constant comparing and complaining and whining. If you really want to enjoy a game turn off twitter and walk away from the chat rooms and just watch the game and see how much different this system is and how we all need to let them take this entire year to get better in it. The players haven’t changed from last years 6-7 team only the coaches and systems have and they are trying to find their footing in it so have patience I beg of you.
How I see this game it could very well be a 63-13 type game or it could be a 35-21 game but no matter how it plays out it will be an OSU win and thats the most important thing after all isnt?
(H/T to CFBStats.com for helping me provide all these numbers and not need to use any ones name)