Typically Wild OSU Stats - Revelation Of Underrated MSU Stats

Typically Wild OSU Stats - Revelation Of Underrated MSU Stats

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Typically Wild OSU Stats - Revelation Of Underrated MSU Stats

Everyone knows that #10 Ohio State is a juggernaut, as usual. The Buckeyes’ team stats tell the story. But how many people really know just how well #18 Michigan State’s defense is playing? If you’re a stats person, this has the makings of a compelling and classic clash.

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On Saturday, when #18 Michigan State hosts #10 Ohio State at Spartan Stadium, there are team statistics between the two teams that suggest something’s going to have to give as a typically prolific Buckeye offense goes up against a better-than-realized (as usual) Spartan defense.

Ohio State has always had and always will have NFLers up and down its roster – Columbus’s professional football franchise is a machine and has its pick of the litter year in and year out.

This season is no different and the offensive statistics demonstrate production that is typically impressive.

Consider:

  • The Buckeyes have the nation’s #5 overall offense thanks to averaging 547 yards per game.
  • Ohio State is the nation’s #10 scoring offense thanks to averaging 42 points per game.
  • The Buckeyes’ running back duo of Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins – the two fellas who destroyed Michigan State last season when they combined for 983 yards of rushing in the Buckeyes’ 48-3 dismantling of Michigan State – are averaging 143 yards per game and they’ve combined for 10 touchdowns.

Dwayne Haskins is merely the latest Buckeye field general to lead the offense like it’s a fine-tuned machine.

Haskins is the 6’3″, 220 pound sophomore quarterback who has managed to put up these numbers through 9 games:

  • 242 for 347 yards – 69.7%.
  • 3,053 yards of offense through the air.
  • 32 touchdowns against 6 interceptions.
  • Quarterback rating of 170.6.

Here’s a real question –

Why isn’t Dwayne Haskins a front runner (or, at least the guy who might challenge Tua Tagagavoagutualovia) for the Heisman Trophy?

Haskins is a monster and Michigan State, of course, has a massive challenge in front of it in trying to deal with this guy.

He has about 16 or 17 different options when he drops back to chuck the ball.

Can the Spartans deal with these guys?

On the other hand, do people even know just how good Michigan State’s defense really is?

Of course they do not.

Here are some Spartan statistics that can’t be spun or fiddled with or changed when they appear on a piece of paper (or a person’s phone):

  • Michigan State has the nation’s 22nd best overall defense while surrendering an average of 325 total yards per game.  Not bad at all.
  • The Spartans allow 19 points per game – good for 16th in the nation.  Quite good, actually.
  • Michigan State has the nation’s 13th best defense on 3rd down conversions, allowing a 31.8% conversion rate. Not only very good, far more important than people acknowledge.
  • And, of course, Michigan State has the #1 rushing defense in the nation, allowing 71.7 yards per game.  Perhaps the most impressive and most important aspect of the 2018 Michigan State Spartans.

The one area where Michigan State has struggled over the full season, of course, has been in pass defense where the Spartans are 98th in the nation, allowing 253 yards per game.

However, it’s worth looking at how Michigan State has performed over the course of the last four games (when the Spartans have gone 3-1).

Trace McSorley went 19 for 32, had 192 yards and a touchdown in Michigan State’s 21-17 win at Happy Valley and he spent most of the afternoon like this:

 

Shea Patterson had a nifty performance in Michigan’s 21-7 win over the Spartans by going 14 for 25, 212 yards and 2 touchdowns and he earned every completion, every yard, and is lying if he says he didn’t spend the entire 48 afters after the game in Kramer’s hot tub.

David Blough was supposed to light up the Spartans the week after he destroyed Ohio State during the Boilermakers’ 49-20 over the Buckeyes. Blough had pretty swell numbers in going 29 for 49 with 277 yards – but he threw 3 interceptions and was running for his life for three and a half hours in Michigan State’s 23-13 win.

Maryland’s Kasim Hill was 8 of 21 for 74 yards in Michigan State’s 24-3 victory over the Terps.

Over the second half of this season, Michigan State’s defense has had a knack for creating turnovers – 2 fumble recoveries against Maryland, 3 interceptions against Purdue, 2 fumbles against Michigan, and a fumble recovery against Penn State.

And the Spartans have pressured, harassed, and hurried these quarterbacks in ways that have taken them out of their rhythm, out of their comfort zones, and caused them to miss receivers and fail on 3rd down.

Can the Spartans limit Dwayne Haskins?

It’s a tall order, for sure.

Based on the statistics, this game might boil down to this.

And, one more statistic worth sinking our teeth into –

Ohio State’s defense has given up 46 passing or running plays that have gone for 20-or-more yards.

Can Michigan State’s offense – one that is anything but prolific – find ways to break three or four long ones?

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