Observations on the loss to Ohio
1-Ohio State's offense earns three
red zones including one with 47 seconds left in the game and converts
all three for 15 points, and converts a big play 26 yard pass
to Santonio Holmes for a TD while Michigan earns 4 zone opportunties,
mostly off defensive turnovers, and converts all four for 21 points,
2 TDs and 2 field goals. Ohio State deserved to win the game,
and outplayed us from start to finish; we were only in the game
due to costly mistakes on their part.
2-Henne was 25 of 36 for 223 yards
and 1 TD to Avant. We had only 17 first downs and 255 yards in
total offense on 61 plays with 6 of 15 in 3rd and 4th down conversions
(1 of 8 in the second half. Our rushing attack was non-existent
with Hart managing 15 yards on 9 carries before leaving with an
injury, and 2 catches for 15 yards. Breaston had 7 catches for
53yards, and Manningham had 4 catches for 64 yards. Henne completed
passes to 8 receivers, and played an outstanding game. He was
only sacked once, and ran for a two point conversion. It is too
bad our offensive line couldn't handle the Bucks because the lack
of our offense being able to keep time of possession in the 4th
quarter with a 9 point lead was an embarrassment.
3- The Bucks dominated time of possession
by nearly 4 minutes, and that has led to an 11 extra plays advantage.
It resulted in total offense of 418 yards with Smith completing
27 of 37 for 300 yards, and rushing for 37 yards in 11 carries
including a TD. Smith was 6 of 12 on 3rd down conversions, and
certainly gets the game ball because the Bucks couldn't have won
without him. Pittman had 85 yards in 23 carries including the
game winning TD with 20 seconds to go. The Buckeyes had 10 first
downs by rushing compared to only 3 by us; they outrushed us 118
to 32. Ginn had 9 catches for 93 yards, Holmes had 6 catches for
72 yards including the 26 yarder with 6:40 to go to put the Bucks
within striking distrance. Pittman and Gonzalez had 4 catches
each, and it was Gonzalez who went high to grab the final red
zone opportunity at the 3 with 47 seconds to go.
Schleigel led them on defense with
10 tackles. Hawk had 7, and Everett had 6. Our defense was disappointing
in how we couldn't handle the Buckeye offense from start to finish,
but especially in the 4th quarter. Nobody stepped up.
4-Prescott Burgess led the defense
with 10 tackles including one at the end of the half that stopped
the Buckeye drive, and injured his leg. He should return. Harris
had 8 tackles, and Mason and Hall had 7 each. The Buckeye offensive
line handled our defensive front all day long except for the turnover
we forced when Woodley hit Smith, and Branch recovered early in
the second half. We have zero pass rush, and zero push on our
offensive line; it is simply embarrassing.
5-Rivas made his extra point, and
two field goals plus a nice pooch punt to the 12. Ryan had 3 nice
punts including a 50 yarder that forced the Bucks into poor field
position with a forced fumble by Hood on Ginn. Harrison, Hood
and Mike Massey did a great job on punt coverage. Ryan also had
5 kickoffs with 3 touchbacks. We couldn't get our return game
going with Breaston as he only had one 15 yarder, and no punt
returns. Of course, our defense only forced two Buckeye punts
all day. Huston did a nice job keeping his poise despite missing
an extra point and field goal; his kickoffs were excellent with
6 kickoffs, 4 were touchbacks and he had to kickoff from his own
6-A lot of injuries in this game:
Hart, Henige, Lentz, Stenavich, Massaquoi, Woodley and Burgess
left at some time. Henige's injury looks serious so don't expect
him in the Alamo Bowl. The Buckeyes played over their injuries
and mistakes and deserved the win. They have now beaten us two
of the last three in our own stadium, and won 4 of the last 5
games with Jim Tressel winning 4 and losing only once. Lloyd Carr
better seriously develop some strategies to turn this around.
We need to make major changes in our offensive and defensive lines
and that begins with a different recruiting strategy and philosophy.
We were "manhandled" today on both sides of the ball.
7-We did some things well in this
game. We had no turnovers. We won the points off turnover battle,
10-0. We forced turnovers, and capitalized on those. We had 4
red zone opportunities. We did a nice job on special teams forcing
3 punt returns for -37 yards, a missed extra point, a missed field
goal, forced fumbles on punt returns and a shanked punt of only
What we did poorly was we choked
with the game on the line in the 4th quarter and couldn't keep
our poise and the lead. Our defense couldn't come up with big
plays at the end to put the nail in the coffin, and allowed too
much offense and time of possession by not containing Smith.
8-Our freshman, Grady, Manningham
and Bass played well and contributed today. Hopefully, they will
help reverse the trend for the next three years of their eligibility.
We had 10 official and 6 unofficial visitors although Percy Harvin
couldn't make it due to injury. I sure hope they realize there
are job openings here immediately for playing time.
9-The internet rumors about Whitner,
Long or Kraus not playing were mostly incorrect. Kraus was the
only one who didn't play, the other two played the whole way.
10-4 losses is not a good year especially
when were ranked in the top 5 at the beginning of the year. Losses
to our chief rivals, Ohio State and Notre Dame, with additional
losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin is unacceptable. I sure hope
our coaching staff comes up with some answers.
Observations on the first half with
Ohio State, 7-12!
1-Ohio State's offense earns two
red zones and converts both for 9 points while Michigan earns
one red zone off a defensive turnover and converts for 7 points.
2-Henne is 14 of 16, but for only
91 yards and 1 TD to Avant. We have only 7 first downs and 103
yards in total offense on 27 plays with 5 of 8 in 3rd and 4th
down conversions. Our rushing attack is non-existent with Hart
managing 15 yards on 8 carries, and 2 catches for 15 yards. Breaston
has 4 catches for 21 yards, and Manningham has 3 catches for 26
yards. Henne has completed passes to six receivers as has Smith.
3- The Bucks have dominated time
of possession by 3 minutes, and that has led to 8 extra plays.
They have 200 yards in total offense with Smith completing 12
of 16 for 129 yards, and rushing for 23 yards in 6 carries including
a TD. Smith is 4 of 6 on 3rd down conversions for 12 first downs.
Pittman has 52 yards in 12 carries, and Ginn has 4 catches for
57 yards. Schleigel leads them on defense with 6 tackles. Everett
and Hawk have 4 each.
4-Prescott Burgess leads the defense
with 7 tackles including one at the end of the half that stopped
the Buckeye drive, and injured his leg. He should return. Harris
has 5 tackles, and Woods forced the fumble that Watson recovered.
It is absolutely critical that we come up with some way to rush
Smith, and limit his time to make plays in the second half.
5-Ryan has been awesome on kickoffs
with two touchbacks. Rivas made his extra point. We have no returns
on punts or kickoffs for Breaston because Huston has also been
excellent making two field goals, and turning 3 kickoffs into
touchbacks. The only mistake has been the missed extra point.
Only one punt in the game by Ryan for 34 yards with a super tackle
by Mike Massey.
6-Message boards posted prior to
the game that we shouldn't expect either Adam Krause or Jake Long
to play today. As we say, Bihl has played the whole way at center
as has Jake Long. Carpenter and Mangold go out for the Bucks while
Woodley and Burgess go out for Michigan.
7-We have to play better defense
in the second half, and negate any red zone opportunities for
Ohio State. We need to create two or more red zones and convert
offensively plus establish some type of running attack that will
even the time of possession if we are to win. The call by Carr
to go for it at the 28 on our first drive rather than kick a field
goal was a mistake. So far, we have won the turnover advantage,
and we must do this to win.
Ohio State Preview:
The Buckeyes are 8-2, and 5-1 in
the Big Ten with losses to Texas at home and at Penn State. They
have one of the best defenses in the nation, and this game will
be a challenge for our offense.
They are led on defense by their
three Senior linebackers,
Carpenter and Anthony
Schleigel. Carpenter leads the Big Ten in sacks and Hawk averages
nearly 11 tackles per game. These three average 21 tackles and
1.5 sacks per game. These three plan to create havoc for Chad
Henne. They lead the Big Ten with 38
sacks; this is twice the amount of
sacks that we have. In the backfield, Ashton
Youboty is a great cover and has 8 pass break ups; he will
be tight on Jason Avant. Junior Strong Safety Donte
Whitner, Freshman Cornerback Malcolm
Jenkins, Senior Free Safety Nate
Salley and Senior Tyler
Everett will make thier presence felt in the backfield. When
Henne isn't worrying about the linebackers, he'll be looking for
Kudla on the pass rush. Junior David
Patterson, Seniors Marcus
Green and Quinn
Pitcock also anchor their line. Their defensive line leads
the nation in rushing defense limiting opponents to 78.7 yards
on the ground, 198.6 yards in the air, 277.3 yards in total offense
and 14.2 points per game. The Bucks lead the conference in total
defense. Only 8 rushing and 6 passing touchdowns have been accomplished
by Buckeye opponents. Tough Gopher back, Laurence Maroney, who
knocked out both our safeties, was held to 13 yards in 7 carries
by the Buckeyes in the second half. They have limited opponents
to the least first downs, 15 per game, and least 3rd down conversions,
27.2%, in the Big Ten. They have only allowed 10 TDs in 22 red
zone attempts. Only two teams have had more than two red zones
against the Buckeyes this season: Texas and Michigan State. Texas
had 4 red zones and converted 3 while MSU had 5 and converted
only 3 with the blocked field goal before haltime resulting in
a 10 point turnaround.
On offense, they are led by senior
Smith. He currently leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency
with a 150.3 rating. He has only allowed 4 interceptions, and
scored 8 rushing TDs while averaging nearly 239 yards in total
offense per game. He is a multiple threat option quarterback who
can run and throw as he demonstrated last year, and averages 56
yards per game on the ground. His favorite target is Santonio
Holmes who averages nearly 19 yards per catch and 78 yards
per game; he has 9 TDs. Hall will need to have his best game as
a Wolverine to blanket Holmes. They also have Sophomore Anthony
Gonzalez who caught a 68 yard TD pass against Michigan in
Hall and Ted Ginn along with senior tight end Ryan
Hamby. Their rushing offense has improved and is averaging
196 yards per game. They are led by Sophomore tailback, Antonio
Pittman, who is averaging 111 yards per game. They also have
Wells. Their offensive line is led by seniors, center Nick
Mangold and tackle Rob
Sims. Former Michigan great, Walt Downing, has his son, T.J.,
starting at right guard. Our defensive line will need to limit
their running attack to less than 100 net yards if we are to win
in my opinion.
Ginn lurks on punt and kickoff returns. He ran one back against
Michigan last year, and is itching to execute a repeat performance.
This year, the Sophomore has 21 punt returns for a 12.2 yard average
with one TD. On kickoffs, he has a 29.6 yard average on 18 returns
including one TD against Minnesota. Senior Josh
Huston is a solid kicker, and the team's leading scorer; he
has 18 field goals (of 21 attempted) and 39 extra points (of 39)
and he is the most accurate placekicker in the conference (82.4%
on field goals). Sophomore punter A.J.
Trapasso is averaging 40.9 yards per punt, and has dropped
17 of his 40 punts inside the 20, another 13 have been fair caught
so this only leaves 10 that have been returnable. One can count
on the Buckeyes to sport excellent special teams coverage on punts
and kickoffs. Breaston will have a difficult time finding room
against the Buck's stellar special teams.
Penn State was so successful against
the Bucks because the converted both their red zone attempts into
rushing TDs, and their defense completely thwarted the Buckeye
offense. Also, the Bucks couldn't convert any Penn State mistakes
into points. In fact, they had no turnovers and converted 2 Buckeye
miscues into points. Texas was successful because they have a
solid defense that held the Buckeyes to 13 first downs and 111
yards in net rushing and 255 yards in total offense, and their
quarterback, Young, is so awesome especially in the red zone.
Still, it took and incredible 24 yard TD pass late in the 4th
quarter, and a mistake by the Coach Tressel
by inserting Zwick instead of Smith on the last drive that sealed
the Longhorn victory.
It will take a perfect game from
the Wolverines: no mistakes, no turnovers and the ability to move
the ball offensively especially on the ground. We must do enough
offensively to keep a time of possession advantage. Defense will
need to come up big, and hopefully create some turnovers and at
least one red zone opportunitys for the offense. We must stop
the Buckeye running attack, and force them to beat us in the air.
Special teams will need to contain Mr. Ginn while hopefully breaking
some big plays by Breaston. Special teams creates field position
advantage, and we must be able to keep the edge there. I'm predicting
a Michigan win in another nailbiter. Anyone have a defibrillator?
Michigan 19 Ohio State 17
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