Well, that was a somewhat interesting game on Saturday, wasn’t it? I’ve noticed there’s been the usual beefing, complaining and angst about Ohio State scheduling an FCS team like Florida A&M University. These feelings have come in the guise of articles and their comments. I can understand that; demolishing a clearly inferior opponent 76-0 doesn’t prompt me to don my Buckeye garb and proudly puff up my chest.
The articles that I’ve read are well thought out and generally have the theme of “Oh, Gene, why did you do this?” or something similar. Good sentiment, but quite a few major programs schedule this way, for various reasons.
The general tone of some commenters was it was a classless example of running up the score on a clearly overmatched opponent. I want to address the comments that I’ve seen that take Urban Meyer, personally, to task for his team’s rout of FAMU.
Nothing here indicates anything unseemly; time to move on
It seemed that Urban had a plan to initially throw the ball to get it into a lot of playmakers’ hands. Ohio State had 34 passing attempts, all in the first half. Again, Urban probably saw what he wanted to see. The 2nd half was all running plays engineered, but for a brief time, by Ohio State’s 3rd string quarterback, Cardale Jones.
Take a look at this chart, it is somewhat revealing:
Half Plays Yards Points ToP
1st half 43 341 55 16:12
2nd half 37 262 21 20:50
The Buckeyes, after smoothing out their passing game in the first half, went exclusively to the running game in the 2nd half. The number of plays, yardage and points were down (as expected), but the time of possession was up (as expected). This is indicative of a team that knows it’s in control and is playing hard football while burning clock. This is not indicative of a team trying to put up a basketball score.
Now, we come to the culprit of this FAMU debacle; the Silver Bullets. How, you ask? Well, let’s look at the results, aside from OSU pitching a shutout:
One miscellaneous note: FAMU was whistled for 8 penalties for 50 yards. Which is a big chunk of their total offense for the day.
So, for those folks railing against “Urban’s Poor Sportsmanship, etc., etc”, the data strongly suggests otherwise. Meyer had his team played hard and fast. Any effort less than that would have been an insult to tOSU, to FAMU and to college football.
Would I like to see additional games like this scheduled? Not really. In a game where an intrasquad scrimmage may have been more beneficial, freshman WR James Clark was taken off the field with a leg injury.
Now, the Buckeyes need to get healed and well prepared for Saturday; the game and the opponent will be vastly different.