Observations on the Ohio State debacle, 20-26!

1-Ohio State controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball! If you'd have told me this week that Ohio State would score 23 points in this game, I'd have told you we'd probably lose. 23 points by halftime is completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Our defense did pick it up a notch in the 2nd half holding the Bucks to only one first down, but it wasn't enough to compensate for the first half problems.

2-Bo Schembechler said prior to the game on the Big Ten Ticket to watch for "missed tackles." Well, it is obvious who missed tackles in this game and who made them. It wasn't us!

3-Jonathon Wells had 129 yards on 25 carries and 3 TDS until he cramped up! We knew coming into this game that to be successful, we'd need to hold him to under 100 yards. He gets the MVP for the Bucks in my opinion!

4-For those Michigan fans who are so quick to defend our quarterback, John Navarre, please stop your naivety! He is simply a mediocre quarterback. We need to re-tool at this position! Krentzel did everything we'd hope that Navarre would do, but didn't! Gonzalez is also not the answer! Yes, he is more mobile, but more mistake-prone. He can make some exciting plays, but he is also not the answer. Krenzel finished 11 of 18 for 111 yards and one interception compared to Navarre's 21 of 47 for 206 yards, 4 interceptions, one fumble and 2 TDs. Navarre was 6 of 17 on 3rd down efficiency: unacceptable!!!

5-Our special teams did block a punt, but needed another! Our special teams simply couldn't make up for our pathetic offense. The turnover advantage by the Bucks was impossible to overcome, 4 picks and one fumble to one pick by us. 4 turnover advantage is way too deadly in this game. Epstein's missed field goal also hurt, and it appears that it was Navarre's fault on the hold (in his defense, it was raining and slippery).

6-I hate to admit it, but we were out-coached big-time by Tressel and staff. They came way more prepared than us and with a predictable, but much better game plan. Carr and staff better treat this game much differently in the future! It is a special game that requires special (i.e. much, much more) preparation! Mike Doss had 2 interceptions for the Bucks! Kudos to Ohio State! Their players came up big! They executed well, kept their poise, didn't make big mistakes, dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half to put up 23 points and held on for a very impressive win.

7-We really missed Julius Curry, Markus Curry and Marlin Jackson on defense! We miss their pass coverage and ability to make the turnover/interception! Drake can made hits to stop runs, but he can't cover well and he doesn't anticipate well enough to be a threat for interceptions on pass coverage. Kudos to our defense in the second half! We held them to only one first down, a field goal off a turnover and gave our offense several opportunities to come back. Hobson and Brackins led the defense with 10 tackles each!

8-The time of possession advantage by Ohio State is simply a result of their offensive execution, preparedness and game plan vs. our offensive ineptitude. 34 minutes to our 26 gave the Bucks an 8 minutes advantage which they never gave up. Still, we netted 14 more plays than the Bucks because of our defense in the second half. Does this sound familiar? Same problem as last week against the Badgers and the Spartans!

9-Our offensive line produced a rushing game of 117 yards on 35 carries and while they did improve in the 2nd half, it wasn't even close to enough. We had to beat the Bucks with the passing game, and failed to do it. Perry had 53 yards and Askew had 46; Bell had two reverses for 21. Walker did have 15 catches (new record) for 160 yards and 2 TDs, but it wasn't enough. That dropped pass at the end of the 3rd quarter was a killer! We netted 323 yards to 255 for the Bucks.

10-The Florida Citrus Bowl is a nice consolation for an 8-3 team; it'll probably be Auburn again. Illinois deserves the championship and Fiesta/Orange Bowl matchup with Oregon or Maryland! If we can't beat either of our two chief rivals, the Spartans and the Bucks, we don't deserve a major bowl or a championship.

11-As far as player participation in this game, the only offensive lineman to play besides the starters was Joe Denay. For the second game in a row, Phil Brackins didn't play at all at fullback. On Defense, Zach Kauffman hasn't played at all for the past 3 games. Brandon Williams started at cornerback in place of Marlin Jackson, and all-in-all did a fine job!