January 1, 2014

Tale of the Tape - Bucks on offense

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Head Coach:

Dabo Swinney

2012 Record: 11-2, 7-1 ACC


Clemson (S.C.)

Kickoff: 8:30 pm EST Television: ESPN Location: Sun Life Stadium (80,120)

Clemson defense vs. Ohio State offense

  • Rushing Defense: 251.1 Ypg. (120th)

  • Passing Eff. Defense: 141.75 (96th)

  • Scoring Defense: 38.8 Ppg. (T-114th)

  • Total Defense: 350.8 Ypg. (23rd)

  • 3rd Down Defense: 31.8% (8th)

  • 4th Down Defense: 57.1% (84th)

  • Sacks per game: 2.75 (22nd)

  • Team Leaders

  • Tackles: Spencer Shuey - 89

  • Sacks: Vic Beasley - 12

  • Interceptions: Bashaud Breeland - 4
  • Rushing Offense: 315.1 Ypg. (4th)

  • Passing Offense: 221.8 Ypg. (72nd)

  • Scoring Offense: 49.4 Ppg. (4th)

  • Total Offense: 518.5 Ypg. (7th)

  • 3rd Down Offense: 49.9% (14th)

  • 4th Down Offense: 60.0% (T-27th)

  • Sacks Allowed: 1.31 (26th)

  • Team Leaders

  • Rushing: Carlos Hyde - 1408 yds., 14 TD

  • Passing: Braxton Miller - 146/231 1860 yds., 22 TD

  • Receiving: Corey Brown - 55 rec., 655 yds., 10 TD

  • Clemson pass defense

    Ohio State pass offense
    Indiana moved Tim Bennett from safety to corner over the summer and it has paid off and Bennett now leads the B1G in passes defended but that can always be deceptive when you are tested that much as a defender. The IU pass defense ranks last, or near last, in the league in most of the statistical categories including YPG (12th -283.7), Passing TDs allowed (11th - 18) and Average per attempt (11th - 8.1) and the numbers look dramatically worse when you take the non-league games out of the equation. The greatest thing that is saving the Indiana pass defense from having worse numbers is the Indiana run defense and the makeup of the B1G and teams looking to exploit the Hoosiers with the run versus the pass. Safety Greg Heban is the only senior starter of the defensive backs and the rest of the unit has been showing a good amount of growing pains. Just to give an example of how bad the Indiana DBs have struggled, Michigan QB Devin Gardner passed for 503 yards (21-29, 2 TD) against the Hoosiers... that would account for 20.9-percent of his season passing yards, yikes. Which Ohio State passing game is going to show up on Saturday? Will it be the highly efficient one we have seen for most of the second half of the Buckeyes' season or the one at blustery Illinois where Braxton Miller was not sharp and the wind was his biggest enemy? We know this will be the final home game for Corey Brown and Chris Fields but could it be a final time in the Horseshoe for Braxton Miller or even Devin Smith? Time will tell on that one but you would have to believe that all four of these players may have a little something extra in the way of motivation if this is a final hurrah in front of 105-thousand Ohio State fans. It is supposed to be cold and windy on Saturday (not as windy as it was at Illinois) but don't look for Ohio State to shy away from throwing the ball as the team tries to remained balanced in how it will call the offense. Against Illinois the tight ends were not targeted much as pass catchers but that should change against Indiana this week.

    Clemson run defense

    Ohio State run offense
    Rightly or wrongly this is the section where Indiana is going to get blasted for its lack of run defense. Don't blame that solely on linebacker David Cooper or any of the linebackers as individuals, the lack of success against the run is a team effort and something that is not going to get fixed this year so the Buckeyes should be able to run all day if that is what they desire to do. In Big Ten play the Hoosiers are allowing better than 253 yards per game on the ground and have surrendered 22 touchdowns. Last weekend the Badgers decided they were going to keep it on the ground and ran for 554 yards and six touchdowns. It just really has not been a good year for the run defense and the Indiana linebackers and there is no other way to put it, no numbers to support things "could be different" this weekend or other way to sugar coat it. One final indictment of the Indiana run defense (and another shot across the TSUN bow), Michigan ran for 248 yards against Indiana and Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 151 yards (32 carries) and 4 TDs against them. Since then? 17 carries for 26 yards and zero TDs (only played in two of the last three games). Just like it was difficult to find something positive about the Indiana run defense it is about just as difficult to find something negative about the Ohio State run game at this point. Carlos Hyde exploded for 246 yards and four touchdowns (rushing) last weekend against the Illini and only needs 53 more yards to break the 1,000-yard mark and give Urban Meyer his first 1,000-yard running back of his career. The Buckeyes could easily button this one up with a steady diet of running the ball but won't need to and should still be able to be diverse in the offense with a good mix of run/pass. This game will be Jordan Hall's last home game as well and he could (health provided) see a couple of carries if the Buckeyes get to the place that they want to be. Ultimately the Ohio State running game has been clicking on all cylinders and not much has been able to slow it down. Don't expect to see Ohio State run it 50 times like Wisconsin did and breaking 500-yards may be a little too high of a goal in this game but the Bucks should be able to do whatever they want on the ground.

    Clemson line play


    Ohio State line play
    The defensive line is very young as well and is showing its youth. Nick Mangieri is only a sophomore while Ralphael Green is a redshirt freshman. A lot of the issues in a defense start up front, be it no pass rush (Indiana has 17 sacks this season, only seven in B1G play), porous run defense (see above) or even 3rd-down conversions by opponents (Indiana is allowing 46.4 to be converted, good for 11th in the league). Really the biggest issue with the defense is that they allow opponents to score too much, 38.8 points per game. Indiana does manage to score 39.1 points per game, so in a perfect world that would barely work out but Indiana is anything but perfect and that is why they are 4-6 and likely won't be bowling this year. Take non-league games out and Indiana is allowing closer to 43 points per game and only scoring 35, a much more representative snapshot of what is going on with this team. Jack Mewhort played part of the game against Illinois with a lower body injury and it was noticeable when he was not on the field. The play of the line has been incredible this year and it may not sink in until next year when the four senior starters are gone as to just how good the 2013 line actually was/is. The ironic part of it all is that everyone expected the Ohio State offense to suddenly turn into a predominantly pass heavy offense under Meyer but Ohio State is now sitting No. 4 in the nation in running the ball. If you go back to the past several BCS title game berth years the Ohio State run offense is much more potent this year (as is the whole offense). In 2007 Ohio State averaged 196.9 ypg on the ground, in 2006 it was 169.8 and in 2002 it was 191.3. Funny how it took a "spread offense" to see Ohio State rack up more than 300 yards per game on the ground. Sure, the season is not over and Ohio State's schedule was far from a crucible this year, just an observation as to how strong the run game is this season.


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