Ohio State 42, Virginia Tech 24
Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.
|Basics||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Nat'l Avg|
|Close Rate (non-garbage time)||80.8%|
|Avg Starting FP||26.9||32.1||29.6|
|Points Per Opportunity||5.25||4.80||4.96|
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
|EqPts (what's this?)||Ohio State||Virginia Tech|
|Success Rate (what's this?)||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Nat'l Avg|
|IsoPPP (what's this?)||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Nat'l Avg|
|Line Stats||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Nat'l Avg|
|Line Yards/Carry (what's this?)||3.70||2.86||2.82|
|Std. Downs Sack Rt.||0.0%||14.3%||5.8%|
|Pass. Downs Sack Rt.||0.0%||12.5%||6.5%|
|Turnovers||Ohio State||Virginia Tech|
|Turnover Points (what's this?)||10.8||4.3|
|Turnover Margin||Virginia Tech +1|
|Exp. TO Margin||Virginia Tech +0.73|
|TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin)||Virginia Tech +0.27|
|TO Points Margin||Virginia Tech +6.4 points|
|Situational||Ohio State||Virginia Tech|
|1st Down S&P||0.796||0.525|
|2nd Down S&P||0.881||0.637|
|3rd Down S&P||0.679||0.444|
|Projected Scoring Margin: Ohio State by 17.1|
|Actual Scoring Margin: Ohio State by 18|
Ohio State was without three explosive weapons for this game in Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, and Corey Smith. The Buckeyes nearly gave up on running Ezekiel Elliott against Virginia Tech's anti-run front before they even started; last year's Playoff hero finished with just 11 carries, two fewer than quarterback Cardale Jones.
They also committed a couple of potentially devastating holding penalties in the first half, turning a third-and-2 into third-and-12 and a second-and-8 into second-and-18. Both drives finished with no points. And efficiency was an ongoing issue: of the nine third downs Ohio State faced, six were passing downs requiring five or more yards.
So they were upset? Did they sneak out of Blacksburg by the skin of their teeth? Nah. They gained 572 yards and won, 42-24.
Against what might be the best defense they face until the postseason, they averaged a patently absurd 10.2 yards per play. They ripped off 10 gains of 20-plus yards, only one fewer than Baylor managed against SMU. (Virginia Tech's defense: slightly better than SMU's.) Cardale Jones averaged 20.7 yards per completion, Elliott averaged 11.1 yards per carry, and in the eight times that Braxton Miller ended up with the ball in his hands (six carries, two catches), he averaged 17.5 yards per touch and scored twice.
I don't want to overstate Ohio State's efficiency issues -- the Buckeyes' success rates were still well above the national average against what should still end up proving to be one hell of a VT defense -- but the big-play numbers are absurd. VT will sacrifice big plays in the name of low success rates, but they just didn't have enough to counter Ohio State's stable of athletes. The "bad" success rates were good, and the big-play numbers were absurd.
Ohio State was able to exploit the Hokies man coverage on the edge with multiple Braxton and Michael Thomas catches, and Elliott was untouched at the second level to sprint for his 80 yarder on his first carry.
Also interesting, and which almost certainly factored in to Urban's quarterback decision, according to ESPN's Stats and Information:
Both of Cardale Jones' touchdown passes were on throws of at least 20 yards downfield Monday. Jones has completed 59.2 percent of such passes in his career, 22 percentage points better than J.T. Barrett
Were there any red flags? The second-quarter lull was a little bit alarming; even with all the big-play potential in the world, if you rely on big plays, you're going to fight through some slumps, even if they're just two or three drives long. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech's run efficiency was higher than I thought it would be, and when the Hokies were able to dig out of passing downs situations (a general rarity), they tended to make huge plays in those instances.
It's a damn shame that Michael Brewer got hurt; I was intrigued by the game Scot Loeffler was calling to that point. We'll see what they can do with Brendan Motley for a few weeks.