Observations on the loss to Ohio State, 21-26
Ohio State gains 20 points off 6 red zones, 2 on Michigan turnovers and 4 off offensive drives. Michigan can only answer with 7 points in one red zone off a Buckeye turnover.
Offense was totally dominated in the second half by a Buckeye defense that made adjustments at halftime, and forced three Wolverine turnovers. Offense came up with 60 net yards in the second half and 4 first downs. We never crossed midfield the entire second half. Poor play calling by Al Borges doomed a Michigan offense that was sacked 4 times and forced into 4 turnovers. 6 second half possessions resulted in a 4th down stop after a time out on the first possession, two 3 and outs, and three turnovers on fumbles by Robinson, Gardner and an interception by Gardner. Denard Robinson carried 10 times for 122 yards and a TD; Devin Gardner was 11 of 20 for 171 yards. No running game, no wins in our 4 toughest games. Jeremy Gallon had 6 catches for 67 yards. Zach Boren led the tough Buckeye defense with 9 tackles that was playing without its best player, Johnny Simon.
Defense kept us in the game the entire second half after a poor first half holding the Buckeye offense to no touchdowns, and only two field goals in 4 red zone opportunities. Ohio State netted 396 total yards, 207 on the ground with 23 first downs and amassed nearly a 14 minute time of possession advantage which gave the Buckeyes 23 more offensive plays. The Buckeyes were only 4 of 13 on 3rd down conversions, and did lose 2 of 3 fumbles; however, the kept their poise and composure while the Wolverines did not. Desmond Morgan had 11 tackles, Will Campbell had 10 to lead the defense. Jake Ryan and Kenny Demens had 9 tackles each; Ryan forced 2 fumbles and had a sack. Other sacks were by Thomas Gordon, Frank Clark and Jibreel Black. We gave Braxton Miller our best shot, knocked him down several times, but he is one tough dude and kept his cool for 60 minutes. Miller was 14 of 18 for 189 yards and a TD despite the 4 sacks and turnover on a fumble; he also carried 20 times for 57 yards after the sack yardage reduced his total. Carlos Hyde carried 26 times for 146 yards, and a TD. Corey Brown had 8 catches for 95 yards and a TD.
Special Teams were the difference in this game with Drew Basil nailing 4 of 5 field goal attempts. We took 5 penalties for 54 yards, Schofield for holding, Mike Jones for a block in the back, offside by Campbell, a phantom pass interference penalty on Roundtree, and Joe Reynolds for a block in the back.
It looks like the Capital One for the 8-4 Wolverines against the loser of Alabama vs. Georgia in the SEC championship so probably Georgia. It was a disappointing ending to a good season. It was a winable game, but we were outplayed, outhustled, and outcoached in the second half after playing a capable first half. Defense didn't lose it, but the offense couldn't win it. Go Blue!