Ohio State vs. Georgia: 6 crazy stats that could factor into the Peach Bowl Playoff semifinal
It’s the marquee matchup of the college football season. The game’s most highly powered offense and most potent defense. It’s B1G and SEC. It’s the defending champ and a perennial power. It’s Ohio State and Georgia, Saturday night in Atlanta, in the Peach Bowl Playoff semifinal.
The winner gets an opportunity to win it all on Jan. 9.
Here are 6 numbers that might tell the story.
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That’s how many games Georgia has played since it allowed the 198 rushing yards to an opponent that Ohio State is averaging in 2022. That game was in October 2018, and it was LSU that did the rushing. But since then, the Georgia run defense has been almost perfect — they’ve ranked 1st, 1st, 2nd and 1st in the nation in rush defense. The Bulldogs have allowed 2.6, 2.4, 2.6 and 2.9 yards per carry in those seasons. But meanwhile, Ohio State has placed 6th, 3rd, 3rd and 10th in yards per carry. If Ohio State can manage something near that 198 rushing yards, it stands an excellent chance of pulling the upset … but that’ll require some work.
Oddly enough, 42 is how many plays of 20+ yards Georgia has allowed all season … and also how many Ohio State has allowed. Georgia’s defense draws all the headlines, and justifiably so. But a stat like this points out exactly how well Ohio State has played under new coordinator Jim Knowles. Down the season’s stretch, Ohio State gave up 400+ yards in 3 of the last 5 games. Some of that was competition (Penn State, Michigan), some of it was injuries finally catching up with the Buckeyes. But it’s easy to forget that the Ohio State team that didn’t allow over 307 yards in any of its first 7 games could just as easily show up on Saturday.
That’s how many games Ohio State has lost in total in the past 11 seasons. At no point in that run has Ohio State lost 3 games in a season, and the Buckeyes have finished each season in the top 10 of at least 1 of the 2 major polls. For comparison’s sake, Georgia has lost 28 games in the same span. Five times during that run, Georgia lost 3 or more games — including a pair of 8-5 seasons in which UGA finished the year unranked. Georgia is the defending champion and the favorite to repeat, but given the recent history of the teams, the shoe could as easily be on the other foot.
That’s the rundown between the programs on conference titles. Ohio State has won an astonishing 39 B1G titles, starting back in 1916. Ohio State has 11 Big Ten titles (including 3 shared titles) in the 21st century. Meanwhile, Georgia won its first SEC title in 1942. The Bulldogs can claim 4 SEC titles in the 21st century. Also, for whatever it’s worth, Georgia has 3 acknowledged national championships, with 4 other titles awarded by some entity, but not sufficient to rise to the level of acknowledged national title. Ohio State has 8 acknowledged national titles, and 7 others that are only kinda, sorta, possibly arguable national titles.
That’s the count of Ohio State NFL first-round draft picks versus Georgia first-round picks in the last 10 years. During that span, OSU has had 8 top-10 picks against just 5 (JUST, lol) for Georgia during the last decade. Georgia does have the only overall No. 1 pick of the decade, with Travon Walker in 2022. Ohio State had no top overall picks, but did have a pair of No. 2 overall selections (Chase Young and Nick Bosa).
That’s 5-star players (per 247sports.com) from the last 4 recruiting classes. Georgia has the lead, although Ohio State’s 7 5-star recruits in the 2021 class did narrow the gap significantly. Notice that doesn’t include the as-yet-incomplete 2023 class, in which Georgia holds a 2-1 lead.