Observations on the loss to Ohio, 28-42
Michigan converted 4 red zones for 28 points; Ohio converted 3 red zones for 21 points, and 2 "big plays" for TD plus a fumble recovery for a score. The Buckeyes capitalized on two Wolverine turnovers for 14 points.
Devin Gardner was 22 of 32 for 232 yards and 2 TDs plus an interception, a fumble plus an 18 yard reception; he also had 14 carries for 62 yards, but his rushing day netted only 21 yards after 5 sacks for 41 yards were deducted. It was the best passing day of the season for Gardner and our offense with 27 first downs. Drake Johnson ran 15 times for 74 yards and 2 TDs plus an 11 yard reception until he left early in the 4th quarter with a knee injury. Devin Funchess had 7 catches for 108 yards, and Jake Butt grabbed 4 for 35 yards and a TD. Offense had 372 net yards, 121 on the ground, and was 7 of 13 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Offense had a 9 minute time of possession advantage which resulted in 8 more offensive plays. Buckeye defense was led by Vonn Bell with 9 tackles, and an interception; Darron Lee and Joshua Perry also had 9 tackles each; Lee got a sack and romped 33 yards with a fumble recovery for a TD.
Defense didn't get the job done against Ohio! The Buckeyes had 416 net yards, 233 on the ground (the most given up all season), 20 first downs, and were 8 of 14 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. J.T. Barrett was 13 of 21 for 176 yards and a TD plus he ran 15 times for 89 yards and another TD. Our defensive line put no pressure on Barrett so he was able to run, manuever the offense, and throw when needed. Devin Smith caught a 52 yard bomb early in the second half over Ramon Taylor without any safety support to set up the go ahead TD in the second half. The defensive backfield continued to look bad especially in the second half. Ezekiel Elliot had 17 carries for 121 yards, and a 44 yard TD after a missed tackle by Jake Ryan to clinch the win. We could only force the Buckeyes into 4 punts and no turnovers. Greg Mattison couldn't make the right defensive calls at the right time, and we couldn't make big stops when we needed to in the second half. Joe Bolden had 9 tackles, and Jake Ryan netted 8 stops for the Wolverine defense.
Special Teams were not the difference in this game; we had 4 punts, 4 kickoffs and 4 kickoff returns with some poor decisions by Norfleet in fielding punts and returning kickoffs along the way.
Hopefully, Jim Hackett will make the Hoke announcement by tomorrow. It was a good team effort overall, but like most of Hoke's team efforts, this one fell short.
Observations on the first half with Ohio, 14-14
Brady Hoke on November 26
Press Conference for Ohio State on November 24