Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ohio State-Miami: Week 2 Preview, History Lesson, and Prediction



The much-anticipated Ohio State-Miami (FL) rematch is nearly upon us.

The last meeting came in January, 2003 when the underdog Buckeyes outlasted the heavily favored Hurricanes 31-24 in double-overtime to capture the 2002 BCS title.

Both teams expect to challenge for their respective conference championships this season, but each also have their eye on another trip to Arizona and a BCS championship game berth.

As of right now, the No. 2 Buckeyes are in better position for the latter than are the No. 13 Hurricanes, but an upset win in Columbus this Saturday would legitimately catapult Miami into the top 10 or even the top five.

Of course, coming away with a win is going to be a huge challenge for Miami. Non-conference opponents don't usually fare too well against the Buckeyes in The Shoe.

Miami is a fast team with their fair share of talented players at most every position on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately for the Canes, so too are the Buckeyes—even more so actually..

There are two ways to look at recruiting rankings—quantity vs. quality.

For example, in 2008, Miami signed 33 players compared to Ohio State only signing 20. Both Scout and Rivals ranked the Miami class ahead of the Ohio State class even though the average star rating for Miami players was 3.33, while the average star rating for Ohio State per recruit was 3.9.

In this case, bigger recruiting classes clearly do not equal better recruiting classes.

Here are how the two schools stack up against each other in recruiting when the quality of class is measured as opposed to just the number of recruits that committed to each school.

Each team currently has players on their squads that were members of one of their classes between 2006 and 2010, so those are the years that will be used in the chart below.

Year OSU Class Rank Ave. * / Recruit MIA Class Rank Ave. * / Recruit
==== ============== ================ ============== ================

2006 7th 3.60 10th 3.41

2007 5th 3.73 7th 3.72

2008 2nd 3.90 17th 3.33

2009 4th 3.80 15th 3.37

2010 8th 3.47 30th 3.03

As you can see, Ohio State has out-recruited Miami in all five seasons. 2006 and especially 2007 were comparable, but the last three classes weren't very close, as all were significantly in favor of Ohio State.

Miami fans will want to point out that while recruiting numbers and rankings do matter, they are not everything since not all highly touted recruits live up to expectations, while less-heralded prospects sometimes prove to be diamonds in the rough.

Point taken.

So let's get down to it and look at what does, and will, matter most when these two titans clash this coming Saturday.

Here's a good place to start

Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and Miami's Jacory Harris


Both Ohio State and Miami opened the 2010 season with decisive victories last Thursday night. The Buckeyes cruised to a 45-7 win over Marshall, while the Hurricanes shutout Florida A&M University, 45-0.

The stats each school has compiled so far are from one game vs. inferior opponents, so while they may or may not indicate what we could expect to see on 9/11, they're still worth mentioning.


Miami—By the Numbers

QB Jacory Harris showed no signs of any lingering issues from off-season thumb surgery. In just two quarters, he completed 12/15 passes (80%) for 210 yards and three touchdowns, for a QB rating of 263.6. Harris took care of business and could be poised to lead his team to the ACC title, and maybe more. If he can produce similar results against one of the nation's better defensive units, his name could start moving up closer to the top of the 2010 Heisman watch list.

Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson led Miami with six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Only two other Miami receiver had more than 30 yards, but both had less than 45.

Running back Lamar Miller led the Canes in rushing with 65 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Damien Berry caught a 32-yard touchdown pass and had another 45 yards rushing. Mike James had six caries for 36 yards.

As a team, Miami totaled 405 yards, while holding A&M to 110 yards and just eight first downs the entire game. The shutout was the first by a Miami defense since 2006.

For the record, FAMU is a FCS school, so while Miami looked impressive, those individual and overall team statistics might not be very similar to their offensive and defensive totals when they meet the Buckeyes this weekend.


Ohio State—By the Numbers

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor continued to play as he did in the 2010 Rose bowl. In just a tad over three quarters of work, he completed 17/25 pass attempts (68%) for 247 yards and three touchdowns, for a QB rating of 190.59. The majority of his passes were perfectly on target and he seemed very comfortable not scrambling, but rather remaining in the pocket and finding his receivers.

Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher led the Buckeyes with three catches for 113 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown that was perfectly placed in stride by Pryor. Two of DeVier Posey's four receptions for 41 yards went for touchdowns. Tight end Jake Stoneburner caught three balls, also for 41 yards.

In only one half of play, running back Brandon Saine carried the ball nine times for 103 yards and found the endzone twice. Four backs in all averaged more than six yards per carry. Jaamal Berry had seven carries for 80 yards. Dan Herron rushed for 44 yards on seven carries and Jordan Hall added 32 yards on just five carries.

As a team, Ohio State totaled 529 yards, while holding Marshall to 199 yards and 11 first downs the entire game. The OSU defense pitched a shutout as well, but was charged with a special teams touchdown that Marshall scored after returning a blocked 53-yard field goal try.


Ohio State—Miami: History Lesson and Other Tidbits

• This will be only the fourth ever meeting between Ohio State and Miami.

• Ohio State is 2-1 all time vs. Miami with the lone defeat, a 23-12 loss coming in 1999, and the two wins coming in 1977, a 10-0 shutout, and in 2003, the classic 31-24 double-overtime thriller for the BCS title.

• Since 2001 under Jim Tressel, Ohio State is 36-8 vs. non-conference opponents.

• Overall since 2001, Ohio State is 57-7 at home.

• Ohio State has not allowed a 100-yard rusher over its past 22 games.

• Miami is 26-16 all-time vs. Big Ten opponents, but only 1-4 in road openers.

• Miami has improved every season under Randy Shannon, winning five games in 2007, seven games in 2008, and nine games in 2009.

• Since 2007 under Shannon, Miami is 4-6 against top 25 opponents, but only 1-5 against top 25 opponents on the road, having only defeated then-No. 18 FSU in Tallahassee in 2009.


Summary and Prediction

Miami is fast, but so is Ohio State.

Miami has recruited well, but Ohio State has recruited better.

Miami has a very good quarterback, but so does Ohio State and theirs can also hurt you running the ball.

Miami may just have the best group of receivers in the nation, but Ohio State's group isn't far behind, just younger and less experienced.

Miami has one of the best defensive fronts you will find, but Ohio State's might just be the best in the country.

Miami has a pretty good offensive line, but the Ohio State o-line is one of the top five lines in the nation.

Miami has one of the better secondaries in the country. Ohio State's secondary has a couple of new faces, but could still be one of the best when it's all said and done.

Miami finally has a good coach in Randy Shannon who has their program heading in the right direction. Ohio State has Jim Tressel, the best coach in the Big 10, who also happens to be one of the best six or seven coaches in all of college football.

It could be close, and a back-and-forth shootout, but this Buckeye squad will be fired up, and so will 105,000+ Buckeye fans. They will be too much for the Hurricanes in the second half and should win by at least two scores.

Final Score
==========

Ohio State 30
Miami 14

After the ludicrous 9-3 W/L record for Ohio State prediction of yours, suck on that Brian Griese...



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25 comments:

  1. I always chuckle when Desmond Howard picks the Bucks to lose only to have them win.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good Analysis, enjoyed reading that. It's going to be fun.

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  3. @Anonymous #1:

    Desmond usually isn't too biased but he can be, and then Griese is ridiculously biased.

    We have 3 tough games, and he picks us to lose all 3....What a u of M-oron!

    O-H.........

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Anonymous #2:

    Thanks for the read and compliment / comment!

    Glad you enjoyed it. Are you attending the game in person?

    Either way, it should be awesome to watch, especially if my prediction is close to the actual final!

    My last 2 were almost dead-on.

    I predicted 24-17 OSU over Oregon and the final was 26-17.

    Then last week, I predicted 45-3 over Marshall, and the final was 45-7.

    Let's hope I keep my near perfect prediction streak alive!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Handshoe where have you been? Ohio Stadium's seating capacity has been over 102,000 for almost a decade. We will have 105,000 plus in the Shoe on Saturday. Seems like as much as you study the Bucks you would know that. AMAZING!! The rest of your analysis is SPOT ON!!! Go Bucks!!

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  6. How funny, if you look at things from a right angle, with the sun shining at 36 degrees, OSU has beaten all other schools in all categories...(wow). Canes defense is NOTHING like Oregon or especially Marshall. Impossible to truly prepare for the speed until you play. That doesn't mean they can't be beat but TP (I can hear Beavis now,too funny) will have to throw against that secondary you already stated was one of the best in nation. Good Luck

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  7. Excellent analysis, HD. I'm not sure that the recruiting analysis is all that relevant, as I'm unaware of a Div. I champion ever having the top-ranked recruiting classes in the years prior to their championships --- they almost always have that recruiting success after they've won a title, and then they rarely if ever repeat. Also, does your 2010 comparison include Miami's late 2010 additions of 5-stars Seantrel Henderson and Latawn Anderson? Finally, the size of a class actually works to lower the average rating, so perhaps a better comparison would be to compute averages for the top twenty recruits in each class. Regardless of all of this, the Buckeyes certainly deserve to be the heavy favorite at home, especially after the way its conference brethren Wisconsin manhandled Miami last December. Thus, I think the game comes down to this --- OSU's ability to pressure Miami QB Jacory Harris. If the Buckeye line can dominate the inexperienced Miami line, this game could be a laugher for Buckeye fans. If not, however, it could be a high-scoring shootout, as the Canes receivers are really good. The Miami D-line was extremely banged up last year but healthy now, so the battle with the Buckeye's super O-line should be fantastic. Again, whomever controls or even has a slight edge on the line has a huge advantage. Finally, Miami's very inexperienced LB corps is also a weakness, and that could also be a game changer. But beware, OSU fans, Miami needs to be respected. The team is super fast and, as the old adage goes, speed kills. I think OSU will win, but I also think it will be much closer than you predict, HD. Gamblers who take Miami and the 9.5 point spread can make some money on this one.

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  8. Handshoe where have you been? Ohio Stadium's seating capacity has been over 102,000 for almost a decade. We will have 105,000 plus in the Shoe on Saturday. Seems like as much as you study the Bucks you would know that. AMAZING!! The rest of your analysis is SPOT ON!!! Go Bucks!
    ===============

    The 95,000+ refers to Ohio State fans, not to stadium capacity.

    You know that not all 105,000 are going to be Buckeyes fans, right?

    I know Miami fans are fairweather bandwagoneers and all, but I'm sure they will have 8,000-10,000 in the stands on Saturday.

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  9. I think the "speed kills" expression is silly myself, but since you brought it up:

    Ohio State has speed and lots of it, so perhaps Miami should be the one's that are worried...

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  10. What a ridiculous analysis of recruiting classes. You're absolutely right that quantity is not always better than quality, but for you to come to the determination that OSU has better recruiting success based on a higher mythical "star average" is ludicrous! First of all, Miami always over signs because they are one of the more difficult scholastic institutions to be accepted to academically! Secondly, Who died and made websites like scouts and rivals recruiting gurus...There is one time that Miami brought in a highly touted recruiting class other than '08 and it was laden with guys from outside the sunshine state, guys who made no name for themselves and ran the program into the ground! That happened to be 2003, 2 years after their title. 4 years later, the program was in the crapper, and the same coach that brought in a bunch of entitled, pompous, soft, "5 Star" recruits riding a program they had no hand in building, was canned for the same reason your article should be completely dismissed as amateur at best, he put way too much stock into websites such as rivals and scout! Take the '99 'Canes for example, not a whole lot of attention and recruited into a program fresh off probation with little scholarships to offer. A class that included Ken Dorsey, Andre Johnson, Bryant McKinnie, Phillip Buchannon, Vernon Carey, Clinton Portis. Some of these guys could very well go on to be considered some of the best to play their positions EVER! Miami has always (with the exception of the Coker era) recruited "Miami" guys. Guys with attitude, athleticism, conditioning, and a chip on their shoulder. Sure some outlets considered Miami's '08 recruiting class to be tops in the country, but Shannon, and the true fans, could care less. The only reason they care is because it was full of "Miami" guys, including EIGHT from the USA concensus high school champion Miami Northwestern squad!

    Im not usually the type to go on an opponents site and rail the writer, and OSU may very well win this weekend, but this nonsense of recruiting classes being considered great because of websites looking to make a buck and who OBVIOUSLY dont have to put a team together HAS to stop, its bad for football!

    Cant wait for the game Saturday.....go 'Canes!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, what a long rant...

    Here's the bottom line for you as far as recruiting and overall team comparison between Ohio State and Miami.

    We don't need websites like Scout, Rivals, or ESPN to know that Ohio State is the bettrer team and has better players.

    Their on-field results are the proof in the pudding.

    Ohio State has won 5 straight conference titles and played for 3 BCS titles and are always in the hunt for the title or at least a BCS bowl invite.

    Miami, not so much..........

    ReplyDelete
  12. Last time I counted both the U and OSU have exactly 1 NC in past 10 years

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  13. HD and BlockO-CEO, my mother's family is originally from Columbus and I grew up an OSU fan. My uncle lived next door to Archie Griffin for many years and was one of those fans who never missed a game for decades. Net, I respect the Buckeyes. That being said, I grew up in S. Florida and my son is a UM grad, so I'm also a die-hard Canes fan. With admiration for both programs, two things are clear: Over the past 20 years, Miami was the better program by far, and OSU can make the same claim for the past 7 years. A for the speed kills analogy, Miami pioneered the emphasis on speed vs. size in college football starting with Howard Schnellenberger in the early 1980's, and the Big Ten's slow response was very arguably the reason the conference took a downturn for nearly two decades while Miami, LSU, UF, Texas, and other speed teams thrived. You're right, OSU now has team speed to match Miami. It is also true that speed alone isn't enough to make a player great, as shown by two big-name college receivers, OSU bust Ted Ginn Jr. and Miami bust Randall Hill, both with the Miami Dolphins. Net, weather permitting, and the forecast looks good now, Saturday's game should be great. If Miami wins, we're back. If OSU wins, you will have a clear shot at the BCS title game, and I just hope you don't get thrashed again by an SEC school or Boise State when you get there, as your showings against UF and LSU were pretty lopsided. I'll be pulling for you if you make it, but I'm changing my prediction for this Saturday: Miami 34, OSU 31. Come January 2011, I think you are going to be watching your team in Pasadena, not Glendale. I don't think Miami will be there, either, but I do think we can win the ACC this year and take a giant step toward the BCS championship in 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thats fine, and you could be right, but its very misleading to throw half a page of statistics pulled from scout and rivals, then dismiss them as "not needed". If they werent needed then why'd you spend half a page quoting them to prove you misguided point? Didn't mean to go on a rant, and thanks for posting it!...... And if you go to the espnU 150 you'll see that 91 (over half from the state of FL) recruits are from the southeast, 20 or so are from Texas. The rest are divided between the west coast and Northeast. Miami got away from recruiting their back yard earlier this decade and when Shannon took over, he got back to that. It's only a matter of time before that tried and true method, (you know, the method that brought Miami 5 titles in 20 years and had them playing for 3 more?) starts to show results on the field. We will see this weekend when his first recruiting class takes the field in their first big test as upper classmen. My guess is your gonna see a Miami team of old come saturday, and OSU SHOULD be scared!

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  15. Yet Ohio State has been the relevant one for that entire time.

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  16. Relevant for what entire time? The past 30 years? Yes, Miami has been a down program the past 5 years, but every major program goes through ebbs and flows, USC was terrible in the 80's and 90's! I think every OSU fan would LOVE to forget the Cooper years! If you want to compare the last ten yeras, MIami and OSU each have exactly 1 NC, if you want to go back 20 Miami has 2, OSU has 1, go back 30 Miami has 5, and played in 8, and had another lost on bad break at Notre Dame in '88, do you see a trend here? Im not really sure what "entire" time your referring to but any sane sports fan can see, Miami has not only been the most dominating team in college football the past 27 years, but maybe up there in all of sports. So, i would say that having their nose in a third of the national titles in 27 years ins pretty damn relevant!

    ReplyDelete
  17. OSU fans only want to forget the cooper years when talking to michigan fans.

    it's called selective memory...something miami fans are pretty familiar with.

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  18. Ohio State was still a power house during the cooper years.

    Ohio State has been a consistently dominant team since the 50's.
    Miami is still waiting to start another streak... if they ever do.

    "but maybe up there in all of sports"

    Lol'd at this quote.

    Btw, you don't have to win national titles to be considered dominant. Ohio State didn't win a title for 40 years but you will not find one unbiased person that will tell you Ohio State wasn't feared.

    ReplyDelete
  19. HD - Any suggestions on how tailgaters can watch the game? I am coming from out of town and since the game is on ESPN, a digital antena will not work. Tried a portable satellite with Direct TV and that does not seem to work either. Not watching this game is not an option. We may just have to stay home. :(

    ReplyDelete
  20. I encourage you to read this.....sooner or later, its gonna catch up...

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Randy-Shannon-Miami-Hurricanes-ignore-recruiting-websites-082710

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  21. As a college football fan, it is comical to see how ridiculous and how clueless OHIO fans are. they will forever go down as the worst team in the history of college football to win a championship. the luckiest call of all time. as long as the same refs on arent on the game, todays result wont be so favorable. and stop spelling your state name, its stupid. i thought there was another university name ohio. or maybe you do it to help the absolute dumbest college football player of all time, terrelle pryor. i agree, starting with 4-letter words is right about his remedial level. what an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  22. ps, HOW ABOUT GO FUCK OHIO. I BET THIS DOESNT GET APPROVED.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Anonymous from 10:27AM

    Too bad Miami is playing Ohio State, not Ohio.

    You're a fucking pole-smoker and CRYami sucks.

    Ohio State 38
    Thug U 10

    ReplyDelete
  24. ohio is known for starting insest that is a fact.they also have to be paying there players to go to that school its cold and its a crappy state you have the browns and the bengles and ohio state if i lived in ohio i would commit suicide

    ReplyDelete
  25. coach tressle and kirk h were caught smelling jock staps in ohio state locker room. players better watch their buckeyes

    ReplyDelete

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