–2002 totals: 968 yards, 74.5 yards per game, 2.1 yards per carry. –2003 to date: 7 yards, 7 yards per game, 0.29 yards per carry
Is it a good sign when your first rushing play goes for minus four yards or when you have zero yards at the half? Or how about the fact that you had 3 more punts than rushing yards? There is really nothing more to be said, other than you hope that Washington doesn't face a defense that good again for a while.
2002 total: +1 2003 to date: +2
The Huskies finished this game turnover free. Most would have agreed that the Dawgs needed to force a few turnovers in order to win this game. But tonight, the two turnovers came after they were already down by over 20 points in the fourth quarter. They forced two fumbles, but couldn't manage any points after the turnovers.
Third-down defense: 2002 total: Opponents converted 40% of their third-down attempts. On "third-and-long" (6 yards or more), the number of big plays given up were: 10-19 yds. (19 times); 20-29 (13 times); 30-39 (1 time); 40-49 (2 times)
2003 to date: OSU converted 40% of their third-down attempts. On "third-and-long" (6 yards or more), the number of big plays given up were: 10-19 yds. (2 times); 20-29 (1 times); 30-39 (0 time); 40-49 (0 times)
How about that punting game? The player of the game has to be walk-on senior punter, Garth Erickson. He managed 40.7 yards on 6 punts in the first half, and two were from the unfriendly confines of his own endzone. He also pinned the Nuts down on their own one-yard line. He finished the game with 10 punts and a 38.9 yard average. This was the first time had has played in a football game since 1998 when he played for Gonzaga Prep. Kudos also to long snapper Tim Galloway, each punt went off without a hitch.
OSU Game Plan: Did anybody expect the Buckeyes to come out in a five-wide set? They came out firing, and QB Craig Krenzel hurt the Dawgs when he was able to scramble out of the pocket to find wide-open receivers. OSU had a very balanced attacked last year, gaining just over half of their yards via the run. But after the first half and 21 points later, the Nuts gained about 60% of their yards through the air.
|UW vs OSU GAME GALLERY|
Third-down offense: The Husky offense went 2-17 on third-down conversions – a pretty good percentage for the Buckeye defensive stat book (12%). On third-and nine, ET made a clutch first-down catch at the 20-yard line to get out of the loud end of the stadium, but the Dawgs couldn't pick up the next third down and half-yard via the run. The other third-down conversion came on a nine-yard grab by Joe Toledo. But again, on the next third-and-one, the running effort went for minus-two yards.
Balance Factor: Most fans were hoping for a more balanced offensive attack than last year (82.3% pass compared to 17.7% run). This game doesn't do much to help that cause. The Huskies had to earn every single yard of their 262 yards of offense against a tough OSU defense – 97% of their offense came via the pass, as did all 12 of their first downs.
Red Zone Scoring: It doesn't bode well to track red-zone scoring when the Dawgs didn't reach the red zone until 8:25 left in the game. They made it to the 18-yard line, but then had their field goal blocked. They finished the game scoring one time out of four red-zone opportunities, all of which came in the dwindling minutes of the fourth quarter.
Opponents' TD Drives: Overall, the Husky defense played well in this game. But I think it is safe to say that, once again, they were hurt by the big play, helping OSU to score their touchdowns pretty quickly:
– First: 8 plays for 72, TOP 3:20; big plays of 15, 37 yards.
– Second: 7 plays for 78 yards, TOP 3:23; big plays of 12, 12, 23, 23 yards
– Third: 6 plays for 25 yards, TOP 1:56: big play of 11 yards
– Fourth: 7 plays for 61 yards, TOP 2:51; big plays of 12, 12, 15 yards