Study Hall: Ohio State 27, Toledo 22

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Joe Bauserman #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is chased by Malcolm Riley #92 of the Toledo Rockets during the second quarter on September 10, 2011 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

From one near-miss to another...

Ohio State 27, Toledo 22

tOSU Toledo tOSU Toledo
Close % 100.0% STANDARD DOWNS
Field Position % 39.1% 36.1% Success Rate 26.2% 48.8%
Leverage % 65.6% 59.7% PPP 0.19 0.39
S&P 0.451 0.876
TOTAL
EqPts 18.8 19.8 PASSING DOWNS
Close Success Rate 28.1% 36.1% Success Rate 31.8% 17.2%
Close PPP 0.29 0.28 PPP 0.49 0.11
Close S&P 0.574 0.636 S&P 0.810 0.280
RUSHING TURNOVERS
EqPts 6.9 3.9 Number 1 1
Close Success Rate 26.5% 38.5% Turnover Pts 4.5 5.2
Close PPP 0.20 0.15 Turnover Pts Margin +0.7 -0.7
Close S&P 0.468 0.534
Line Yards/carry 2.05 2.05 Q1 S&P 0.573 1.302
Q2 S&P 0.548 0.233
PASSING Q3 S&P 0.807 0.732
EqPts 11.8 15.9 Q4 S&P 0.360 0.459
Close Success Rate 30.0% 34.8%
Close PPP 0.39 0.35 1st Down S&P 0.279 0.761
Close S&P 0.694 0.694 2nd Down S&P 0.873 0.622
SD/PD Sack Rate 0.0% / 0.0% 0.0% / 17.4% 3rd Down S&P 0.690 0.302
Projected Pt. Margin: Toledo +0.3 | Actual Pt. Margin: Ohio State +5

Five Thoughts

  1. So the projected and actual point margins are 5.3 points apart ... or just about what Ohio State's Chris Fields earned in returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown.

  2. The ending was obviously exciting, but this game did not really pack much of a punch, did it? Each team ran less than 40% of its plays in the opponent's territory, each team managed a success rate under 37% (in Ohio State's case, way under 37%), and neither team helped its cause with too many big plays. Toledo actually managed two big pass plays -- 66 yards to Eric Page, 46 yards to Adonis Thomas -- but that was virtually it (though obviously you could call the 4th-and-14 pass to Page on the final drive pretty big too). Meanwhile, Ohio State saw Carlos Hyde rip off a 36-yard run (he had 19 carries for 40 yards otherwise) and Joe Bauserman complete a 36-yard pass to Devin Smith, and that was it for them. All or nothing.

  3. That Toledo almost won despite accomplishing almost literally nothing on passing downs is staggering. That Ohio State won despite accomplishing almost literally nothing on standard downs is even more staggering.

  4. Each team had just one above-average offensive quarter. Toledo was good in the first (12 plays, 124 yards, 17 points in their first three drives), Ohio State above average in the third (16 plays, 84 yards overall).

  5. Seriously, I'm not sure how either of these teams scored in double digits. I mean, I know how, but ... it was unlikely.

Quick glossary after the jump.

A Quick Glossary

F/+ Rankings: The official rankings for the college portion of Football Outsiders. They combine my own S&P+ rankings (based on play-by-play data) with Brian Fremeau's drives-based FEI rankings.

Passing Downs: Second-and-7 or more, third-and-5 or more.

PPP: An explosiveness measure derived from determining the point value of every yard line (based on the expected number of points an offense could expect to score from that yard line) and, therefore, every play of a given game.

S&P+: Think of this as an OPS (the "On-Base Plus Slugging" baseball measure) for football. The 'S' stands for success rates, a common Football Outsiders efficiency measure that basically serves as on-base percentage. The 'P' stands for PPP+, an explosiveness measure that stands for EqPts Per Play. The "+" means it has been adjusted for the level of opponent, obviously a key to any good measure in college football. S&P+ is measured for all non-garbage time plays in a given college football game. Plays are counted within the following criteria: when the score is within 28 points in the first quarter, within 24 points in the second quarter, within 21 points in the third quarter, and within 16 points (i.e. two possession) in the fourth quarter. For more about this measure, visit the main S&P+ page at Football Outsiders.

Standard Downs: First downs, second-and-6 or less, third-and-4 or less.

Success Rate: A common Football Outsiders tool used to measure efficiency by determining whether every play of a given game was successful or not. The terms of success in college football: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down.

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