Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Semifinal No. 1, 2015 vs. 1998

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Semifinal No. 1, 2015 vs. 1998

Terry Johnson

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Semifinal No. 1, 2015 vs. 1998

We are continuing our simulation series where we use our friends at WhatifSports.com to simulate matchups of the best Ohio State teams over the last 20 years. It may (or may not) determine which OSU team was the best over that time, but hey, it’s all good fun either way, right? We are all the way up to the semifinals now.


Round 1 Results:  1998 vs. 2012  |  2002 vs. 1997  |  2007 vs. 2014 |  2015 vs. 2009 | 1996 vs. 2003 | 2013 vs. 2016 | 2010 vs. 2006 | 2008 vs. 2005 |

Round 2 Results: 1998 vs. 2002 | 2007 vs. 2015 | 1996 vs. 2013 | 2006 vs. 2005

Contact/Follow Terry P Johnson

Ohio State Football Simulation Series: Semifinal No. 1 – 2015 vs. 1998

As we talked about a few weeks ago, we’re going through the best Ohio State teams of the last twenty years by holding a single-elimination tournament of sixteen seeded teams. The first two rounds certainly didn’t disappoint, as we had some tight-contests and a couple of upsets.

Just as a reminder, we used the seeding method used by the Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS) to seed the teams. SRS uses both strength of schedule and margin of victory, so it gives preference to teams that beat quality opponents — not necessarily where you might think teams would be slotted based on record and trophies.

(4) 2015 vs. (1) 1998

Setting The Table

The 2015 team hardly broke a sweat in the first two rounds, throttling the 2009 and 2007 squads by a combined score of 62-10. While not quite as dominant, the 1998 lived up to its top billing, defeating the undefeated 2012 team, as well as the 2002 national championship team.

Which one of these teams will advance to the championship game?

How It All Went Down

To beat the 1998 squad – considered by some to be the best team in school history – the 2015 Buckeyes knew that they had to be solid in all facets of the game.

That’s exactly what they did. Thanks to a balanced effort on offense, defense, and special teams, 2015 Ohio State advanced to the championship game.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Urban Meyer’s team was perfect in this game. It certainly wasn’t. The 1998 club racked up 533 yards of total offense, including 297 through the air. The 1998 pass rush also made 2015 Ohio State one-dimensional, sacking JT Barrett three times.

Despite these shortcomings, the 2015 team made just enough plays to get a “W”. Yes, the defense struggled at times, but it forced two turnovers (one of which led to a score) and managed to keep the 1998 team out of the end zone on fourth-and-three from the nine-yard line with less than a minute remaining. The Buckeye special teams also came up huge in the second half, producing a huge punt return that put the team in position to retake the lead.

Ezekiel Elliott was the star of the game for the Ohio State offense. He ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner.

Final Score And Link To Summary

No. 4 2015 21, No. 1 1998 17

Tomorrow: (11) 2013 vs. (7) 2006

 

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