Before we go off and hand this game over to Ohio State let's take a casual look at some numbers.
A Terrell Pryor led Ohio State offense has been pretty anemic this year. They are currently ranked 62 nationally. Okay, ours has an even worse rank of 82, and that was with Stanzi. But, if you contextualize both team's ranking in terms of the competition they've played against...well, it's a little eye opening and certainly gives one hope going into this Saturday.
So, let's take a look at some numbers....
First, let's break down the competition into three defensive groups. We'll call it the good, the bad and the awful. The Buckeyes have only played three teams that have what can reasonably be called "good" defensive teams. Yes, yes, this is very subjective and that is why I am laying it out. Perhaps you will see it differently.
The good defenses and their rankings are Penn State (8), Wisconsin (22), and USC (38).
The bad defenses and their rankings are Navy (42), Purdue (67), and New Mexico State, (84).
The awful are Illinois (91), Minnesota (93), Indiana (98), and Toledo (101).
The average ranking of all these defensive units is 64.4
Let's focus on how Pryor and the Ohio State offense have fared against the good guys. Pryor's line in his three games against the teams I deem good defensively, and total offensive points scored:
USC: 11-25, 177 yards, 1 interception, no TDs, and 36 yards rushing on 10 carries. Total points for offense, 13.
Wisconsin: 5-13, 87yards, 1 interception, 1 TD, and 35 yards rushing on 10 carries. Total points for offense, 10.
Penn State: 8-17, 125 yards, O interceptions, 2 TDs, 50 yards rushing on 5 carries. Total points for offense, 24.
So Pryor's average in these games is 8-20, 127 yards passing, 1 int., 1 TD and total points for offense is 16 points.
Sure, without Stanzi this may be more than enough offense for Ohio State to win the game. But let's be honest, they are not so scary offensively.
Meanwhile Iowa's offense has been seemingly as anemic, but once you compare the competition Iowa has faced it looks a bit different.
Good: Penn State (8), Arizona (17), Wisc. (22), Mich. St. (39)
Bad: Northwestrn (46), Ark. St. (48), Michigan (89)
Awful: Iowa State (94), Indiana (98), Northern Iowa (NR)
For an average ranking of 51.2. Our offensive points average against the good guys was 19 points (with Stanzi at the helm of course).
Ohio State's total defense rank is currently 6th nationally. One could easily argue they will be a whole different level for Iowa. Sure, it's a big hill without Stanzi but, seriously, I can imagine us climbing this? Can you?
- Vegas has listed Iowa at about a 16 point underdog.
- Ohio State's starting place kicker is out. Their back-up is 6/6 on XP's and 2/4 on FGs. His long is 37 yards.
- Wisconsin (Wisconsin!) savaged the Ohio State defense, at Ohio State no less. Just examine the box score if you are looking for a blueprint for how to win this game. The key, of course, is no INTs for TDs and hold down their special teams, particularly their punt and kick off return.
- Here is an awesome article that breaks down Vandeberg's play on Saturday.