UM vs OSU - Deep numbers analysis vs like opponents

Submitted by GoWings2008 on November 20th, 2018 at 12:16 PM

A very good friend of mine and I have spent the last three months discussing at length every week's performance and lately, being the type of mind he is, our talks have gone into some DEEEEEP statistical analysis of offensive and defensive output. Below is the result of some serious statistical analysis of UM and osu's common opponents.  I'm copying and pasting from an email he sent me since he is a consumer of MGoBlog, but not an active poster with an account.  On a side note, you should have SEEN the spreadsheet he had going to do all this math...Wow!


An analysis of like opponents UM vs. OSU, which includes MSU, PSU, Maryland, Indiana, Nebraska and Rutger.

Against the 6 like opponents, OSU has averaged the following on offense

  • 329 passing (92% of their avg.)
  • 180 Rushing (99% of avg.)
  • 510 total yards (94% of avg.)
  • 40 points per game. (100%)

All of these are below their average for the year, except points scored.

Opponents have averaged against OSU:

  • 387 total yards (102% of season avg)
  • 223 passing (111% of avg)
  • 164 rushing (91% of avg)
  • 24 points (91% avg)

OSU has outscored these 6 opponents on average 40-24.

The combined record of all of OSU’s opponents, 51-70, only 2 teams have winning records.


Against the 6 like opponents, UM has averaged the following offense

  • 228 passing (108% of season avg.)
  • 225 Rushing (103% of avg.)
  • 452 total yards (105% of avg.)
  • 39 points per game. (107%)

All of these are above their average for the year.

Opponents have averaged against UM

  • 212 total yards (56% of season avg)
  • 103 passing (51% of avg)
  • 109 rushing (61% of avg)
  • 12 points (46% avg)

UM has outscored these 6 opponents on average 39-12.

The combined record of UM’s opponents, 65-56, with 6 teams have winning records.


Assuming UM’s offense gets the same percentage against OSU as OSU has allowed, UM would accumulate the following:

  • 255 Passing
  • 205 Rushing
  • 460 Total Yards
  • 36 Points

Assuming OSU’s offense gets the same percentage against UM as UM has allowed, OSU would accumulate the following:

  • 169 Passing
  • 110 Rushing
  • 279 Total Yards
  • 19 Points

If Michigan and Ohio State have their average game as they did against these opponents, Michigan wins big. 

Michigan’s worst defense performance (VS. what opponents avg.):

  • Passing: 195 yards to Indiana (78% of IU’s avg.) OSU would accumulate 257 yards
  • Rushing: 193 yards vs. Rutgers (141% of RUT’s avg.) OSU would accumulate 254 yards
  • Total yards:  385 yards vs. Indiana (94% of IU’s avg.) OSU would accumulate 479 yards
  • Points: 20 points vs. Indiana (74% of IU’s avg.) OSU scores 29.6

Michigan’s worst offensive performance (vs. their avg.)

  • Passing:  144 yards vs. PSU (69% of avg.) UM gets 160 yards
  • Rushing:  171 yards vs. MD (78% of avg.) UM gets 128 yards.
  • Total Yards: 395 yards @ MSU (92% of avg.) UM gets 356 yards.
  • Points: 21 @ MSU (57% of avg.) UM gets 14 Points


Michigan would have to have half of its offense output and have its WORST defensive game to lose.  Oh, and Michigan still held Indiana and MSU (their worst offensive and defensive games) to less total yards and only allowed 1 more point to MSU than the buckeyes.

Food for thought.

Go Blue.


Communist Football

November 20th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

One thing to keep in mind is that M has had an advantage over OSU with these opponents in terms of QB play. We got Lewerke not Lombardi; McSorely injured his knee against Iowa and had less mobility against us; same with Martinez of Nebraska.

Also, M played PSU at home, not on the road.

But still, the stats and the eye test say that we're the better team. But we haven't played an offense nearly as good as OSU's before. I think this could be a high-scoring game.


November 20th, 2018 at 6:18 PM ^

Book has carried the ball 71 times at 3.3 ypc.  Aside from Wimbush throwing more DO's in one game vs UM than he did in all of 2017, rushing was the threat that he posed against Michigan.

Book is a very good passer, but I like our pass defense against Book, and I especially like our run defense against ND with Book at QB.


November 20th, 2018 at 7:10 PM ^

We haven’t seen an offense like OSUs but they haven’t seen a D like ours. Talent can only take you so far and this buckeye team hasn’t put it all together yet. Hokes teams are a great example. If we play disciplined football and Shea executes the annual new wrinkles that we pull out for this game, I think we roll them.


November 22nd, 2018 at 6:42 AM ^

Home field advantage is worth about 3.5 pts. per game statistically, IIRC. So, even if you give OSU another 4 pts., Michigan still wins comfortably, in this exercise.

We've all watched both teams play this year, and while OSU may have a slight talent advantage, Michigan appears much better coached and more cohesive. I like our chances better than in most recent years, especially with the improved QB play.



November 20th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^

Everyone GTFOH with your confidence. I've been reading MGoBlog fanatically since 2009 and I have yet to see a win in the shoe. This type of analysis is meaningless in this sort of game: an extremely hostile environment, an ultra-athletic opponent that's been playing below it's talent level, and almost two decades of history to overcome. 

SD Larry

November 20th, 2018 at 2:49 PM ^

Very solid work, thank you.  The stats cited probably move me from optimistic and hopeful to optimistic and somewhat confident :).  Big game for both talented teams at the Shoe.   I expect quite a battle from both teams.  Go Blue !

gustave ferbert

November 20th, 2018 at 9:04 PM ^

Surprised at the idea that they played only two teams with winning records. with one of those teams running on fumes (MSU). 

The PSU game (who choked btw) and TCU at the beginning of the season muddied my perception of them having a tougher schedule. 


November 21st, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Michigan's pass defense will be easily the best one OSU has seen this year. As long as our CB's are healthy and stay in position, I like our odds. OSU is already a pretty one-dimensional team; if we can limit that one dimension I'm not sure they have a back-up plan.


November 21st, 2018 at 11:33 PM ^

Michigan's defense has never faced a QB with a rating of 167.1 nor a completion percentage of 69%.

Not even in weekly practice.

That's Dwayne Haskins - 335 yards per game, 8.7 YPA and 36 touchdowns.

Campbell, Victor and Hill are outstanding targets for his throws.

Control Haskins and this game is over.

Ohio State is 2nd in the nation in total yards per game with 554.

No one Michigan has faced even comes close. Note even Notre Dame (454 YPG).

This game is played in Columbus, where Michigan has not won since the second George Bush administration, and where officiating has been horrible. 

Both Michigan #4 and Ohio State #3 are highly penalized teams respectively, so expect that aspect to possibly take a decisive toll in this game, on top of special teams, and turnovers.

Michigan's defense is significantly better than Ohio State's, with pass defense its speciality.

But Michigan also has the advantage in rushing offense. 

In this game the team with the most rushing yards has won the game every year dating back to 1998.

Michigan 31, Ohio State 23







November 22nd, 2018 at 7:47 AM ^

When I analyzed common opponents, I considered only three:  at Michigan State, Nebraska and Indiana.  The other games were not played on the same field and I strongly believe the home field advantage is underestimated in college football.

My analysis suggests an even bigger advantage for Michigan if the game were played on a neutral site.  My experience is that there's nothing neutral about the Horseshoe.