Who knew the Beavers’ impressive first drive of the game that silenced most of the fans at the Big House would be their only highlight of the day? And well, we know the end result. Here’s a look at some of the numbers that stood out to me, good and bad.
What I liked
7-79, 1:59… That’s how many plays, yards, and time it took OSU to march down the field and take a 7-0 lead over Michigan. Seth Collins completed four of five passes, including a 21-yard strike to Hunter Jarmon for the score. For two minutes, it appeared OSU had a great chance for an upset.
No. 8… Middle linebacker Rommel Maego continued his strong start to the season by recording eight tackles (one for loss), forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble, and intercepting a pass. Slimmed down and starting for sure, he appears primed for a big season. He’s always been solid, but he looks explosive so far.
25… For all the hype around Michigan’s standout tight end Jake Butt, the Beavers held him to 25 yards receiving. He was pretty much a non-factor, which was nice to see because the Beavers have a history of getting burned by TEs. So far, the OSU secondary has performed very well and are clearly the strength of the defense.
2… Despite being overmatched at times, and eventually worn down by Michigan’s front 7, I thought the Beavers’ offensive of line did a solid job in pass protection, and that allowing only two sacks (Collins and Marcus McMaryion were both sacked once) was pretty impressive. This unit should and will be better as the season goes along.
5… tackles is what shows up in the stat book for Kyle Peko. But what stood out to me watching the game was how powerful he played. There was a sequence of plays in the first quarter during which he blew up his man, either driving him back or knocking him over. It’s starting to become obvious he was worth the wait.
What I didn’t like
138… That’s the lowest amount of yards on offense in a game for the Beavers since a 2002 loss to Southern California. Making matters even worse is that means OSU gained only 59 yards after their opening drive of the game. And for someone who grew up watching the Pettibone era, it was as painful of a sight as ever.
9… completed passes isn’t going to cut it. The Beavers must be able to pass the ball better, especially as teams focus on stopping Collins from running. While they’ve battled inconsistency, the Beaver receivers are too talented not to see the ball more. Jordan Villamin and Jarmon both made some great catches, too.
5.5… As the OSU offense sputtered and the defense stayed on the field way too long, Michigan running back De’Veon Smith began to pound his away at the Beavers’ front 7, to the tune of 5.5 yards per carry. He finished with 126 yards and three touchdowns. His physicality and brusing style wore the Beavers down and chewed up a lot of clock.
1… Hate to harp on the offense, but one first down conversion on third down? That’s pitiful and played a big reason in the defense eventually wearing down and Michigan taking control of the game. And it sucks, because I think the OSU defense is pretty darn good. But if the offense can’t stay on the field and give the defense some rest, it’s all moot.
8-62… For all the talk about being disciplined and eliminating mistakes, the Beavers are still committing more penalties than you’d like to see. And with the OSU offense clearly a work in progress at this point, penalties are a killer, not just when it comes to moving the chains, but allowing the offense to get into a rhythm.
So there you have it… What stats jumped out to you? Are they painting a gloomy picture of the season, or do you see potential? Go Beavs! (RW)