Ohio State Football 2015 Bowl Capsule

Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten


At 11-1, the Ohio State Buckeyes finished their season one game earlier than they would have liked. Rather than a trip to the Big 10 championship, OSU was relegated to watching on television. The Buckeyes failure this season in-conference came down to a lone loss in late November against Michigan State. The team’s shortcoming all year was its inability to put weak teams away and recapture the glory that it carried with it during last year’s magical title run.

2015 Record: 10-1, 7-1
Coach: Urban Meyer
Coach Bowl Record: 9-2

Big Wins: 10/17 Penn State (38-10), 11/28 at Michigan (42-13)
Bad Losses: 11/21 Michigan State (14-17)

11-1 is nothing to sniff at just because it wasn’t enough to push OSU into the conference-title discussion. This is still a super talented team on both sides of the ball. The two-headed quarterback monster of J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones was eventually settled on by midseason by head coach Urban Meyer. Once Barrett was given the reins, he had quite a fine season, especially on the ground. He ran for more than 500 yards and 11 touchdowns in fewer than 100 carries this season. The combination of Barrett, slot back Braxton Miller and Heisman-hopeful Ezekiel Elliot propelled OSU to one of the preeminent rushing attacks in the country. Elliot topped 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground by himself for the second consecutive season. On defense, Ohio State wasn’t too far behind. The Buckeye defense finished in the top 10 mainly by disrupting opposing passing games and keeping opponents out of the end zone. The unit was also very good on first down this season, putting foes in long yardage right from the get-go. While Joey Bosa gets all the headlines, and for good reason, Tyquan Lewis led the squad in sacks and Adolphus Washington created havoc along the interior.

This crew never quite played up to its potential this season, falling off from last year despite returning almost everyone of note outside of wide receiver Devin Smith. The team went on a magical run to finish out last season, so perhaps it was misguided to expect it to build on that coming into this year. The quarterback controversy also seemed to hold the offense back for a number of weeks as Coach Meyer rotated between his options, never settling on one. The other problem with OSU was the way it played down to a very weak schedule. 11-1 is impressive but less so when considering who the Buckeyes actually beat and by how much. According to ESPN’s FPI, Ohio State played just two top-30 teams all season. Those games came in the season’s final two weeks, and OSU went just 1-1. Sluggish early wins over the likes of Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois and Indiana solidified the fact that this team wasn’t on the same level as the 2014-15 champion. The passing offense was the main culprit. But this team also failed to execute in timely situations, namely on third downs and inside the red zone. A poor team can make up a lot of ground by being elite in those vital situations. Likewise, a talented team can be outplayed by doing the opposite.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, 1,672 yards
Passing: Cardale Jones, QB, 1,460 yards
Receiving: Michael Thomas, WR, 709 yards
Tackles: Raekwon McMillan, LB, 114
Sacks: Tyquan Lewis, DL, 7.0
Interceptions: Vonn Bell, S, 2; Gareon Conley, CB, 2; Tyvis Powell, S, 2

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 241.9 (12th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 187.0 (104, 12)
Total Offense: 428.9 (43, 3)
Scoring Offense: 35.0 (31, 2)
Rushing Defense: 127.3 (23, 7)
Pass Defense: 176.2 (12, 4)
Total Defense: 303.5 (10, 3)
Scoring Defense: 14.0 (2, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.17 (55, 7)
Sacks: 2.83 (17, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (31, 4)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2014    Sugar Bowl-Semifinal    Alabama (42-35)
2014    National Championship    Oregon (42-20)
2013    Orange Bowl    Clemson (35-40)
2011    Gator Bowl    Florida (17-24)
2010    Sugar Bowl    Arkansas (31-26)
2009    Rose Bowl    Oregon (26-17)
2008    Fiesta Bowl    Texas (21-24)
2007    BCS Championship    LSU (24-38)

*all team stats through 11/30


Bowl Central