We have reached the midway point in Ohio State’s 2009 season, a campaign already filled with highs and lows.
There has been plenty of angst throughout the Buckeye Nation this fall even though OSU is in its customary spot atop the Big Ten standings and inside the top 10 in all the major polls. The team is working on a fifth consecutive conference championship, has won 33 of its last 36 league games overall and eyes its 18th straight conference road victory at Purdue tomorrow night.
The offense remains a work in progress but the defense is quickly becoming one of the country’s best units. The “No Name No Blame” defense ranks seventh nationally in scoring (12.0 points per game), 11th in total defense (271.8 yards), 12th in rushing (89.2) and is tied for fifth in total sacks (18.0) and tied for 12th in sacks per game (3.0).
Once the conference season began, the Buckeyes got even better. Against its three league opponents so far, OSU’s averages have shrunk to 9.0 points, 72.7 yards rushing and 255.3 total yards per game. The defensive unit ranks first in the Big Ten in all of those categories as well as total sacks, sacks per game and lowest opponent third-down conversion rate.
Given how the defense has played, the aforementioned figures are not that much of surprise. But want a kick in the head? In league games, Ohio State currently ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring offense as well as second in pass efficiency offense. Not bad for a unit whose quarterback some believe is better suited to play receiver.
Rather than concentrate on the criticisms, however, we thought we would look back at the best of the first half of the season. See how our picks compare to yours.
Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Day Blog: Oct. 16.