Observations on the loss to Ohio
1-We create 5 red zones for 31 points.
The Buckeyes create three red zones for 21 points. We create
three turnovers, and score 10 point off the turnovers to make
the game close; however, the Buckeyes come up with three big plays
for touchdowns, two on long runs from midfield, compared to our
one big play, the 37 yard pass to Arrington. The Buckeyes watched
our defense on game films, and knew they could move the ball on
them; they implemented a successful game plan.
3-If Smith doesn't win the Heisman,
then nobody deserves it. Troy Smith was 29 of 41 for 316 yards
and 3 TDs and one pick. We only were able to come up with one
sack by Biggs. Pittman had 18 carries for 139 yards and one TD
while Chris Wells powered for a 52 yard TD. We couldn't stop their
running game, and they netted 187 yards. The Buckeyes get 24 first
downs and 503 yards of total offense on 70 plays while only being
forced into three punts. They were 6 of 11 in 3rd down conversions.
David Harris had 10 tackles, one for loss for a beleagured defense.
Terry Taylor came up with a big second half and finished with
7 tackles, 2 for loss. Leon Hall and Chris Graham had 6 tackles
each. Our defensive backs are outmanned by the faster Buckeye
receivers who made them look like a demo team. Ted Ginn had 8
catches for 104 yards and one 39 yard TD. Robiskie had 7 catches
for 89 yards, Gonzalez had 4 catches for 50 yards and a TD, and
Roy Hall had 3 catches for 38 yards and a TD. We couldn't stop
the big play, and we can't stop the Buckeyes. Michigan held no
time of possession advantage, and the Bucks managed to run 5 more
plays as a result.
4-Henne was 21 of 35 for 267 yards
and 2 TDs; he has been sacked 3 times in the first half and once
in the second. Vernon Gholston separated Riley's shoulder; yet,
the coaches left him in and Henne was constantly hurried late
in the game by the Detroiter we refused to offer a scholarship
to. Manningham had 6 catches for 86 yards, and 2 rushes for 13
yards; however, no TDs. Arrington had 5 catches for 90 yards and
one 37 yarder for a TD. Hart had 23 carries for 142 yards, 3 TDs
plus 2 catches for 5 yards. Michigan was 4 of 14 in 3rd and 4th
down conversions with 17 first downs and 397 yards in 65 plays.
Laurinaitis had 9 tackles for the Buckeyes and walk-on Antonio
Smith had 8 tackles including a sack. Wilson, Richardson and Penton
had sacks, and the defensive line hurried Henne all day. The Buckeyes
stopped us when they needed to, holding us to a field goal on
the one red zone was huge.
5-Special teams were a non-factor
in the game. We have punted 5 times versus 3 punts for Ohio State.
Other than that, everyone has made their extra points, and Rivas
hit his field goal attempt. Almost all fair catches on punts,
and no great kickoff returns. Mesko punted 5 times with 2 inside
the 20 and one touchback. Hood made a nice tackle on Ginn on one
return. Penalties were a big factor down the stretch as the personal
foul call on Crable led to the final Buckeye red zone that they
converted into the game winning TD. We had 5 penalties for 45
yards, and the Bucks took 4 for 50 yards. The roughing the center
and pass interference penalties resulted drives culminating in
6-No defense, no Michigan win. Ohio
State successfully executed an offensive game plan that negated
Woodley, and a defensive game plan that negated Breaston. Great
game plan and Tressel continues to outcoach Carr. It is amazing
that Tressel has won 5 fo 6 games; he is a great coach, a class
act and the Buckeyes are very lucky to have him. I never like
to lose to the Buckeyes, but they deserved to win; they pretty
much led from start to finish after our opening drive. They scored
3 times, and didn't look back even though we kept nipping at their
heels when they graciously gave us the turnovers. I would say
a big turning point in the second half was after we made it 21-28,
and their defense held us in their red zone after the pick by
Branch to a field goal. We could never catch them due to their
offense. The turf was a big factor, but both teams had the same
disadvantage; every time someone cut, they fell.
7-Going into the game, I thought
it was a stupid question to ask about a re-match; however, now
that they have played. A rematch would certainly be welcome on
neutral turf, and it is a possibility if Notre Dame beats USC,
LSU beats Arkansas and Arkansas beats Florida. I think Michigan
would be voted #2 in the BCS over Rutgers.
8-Nothing much to report in the
player participation other than Dutch, Moosman, Ortmann and Gallimore
didn't make the travel team. I think Moosman must be injured.
9-I sure hope our recruits were
watching about the opportunities open in the defensive backfield.
It was unfortunate that Barringer hurt his knee and left the game
early; however, our safety play was atrocious and has been bad
for a long time. We can't always see it against lesser opponents,
but it screams at us in big games. I hope Finch and Chambers along
with Mouton will make a difference. We really need a bonafide
cornerback like Ron Johnson, Donovan Warren, Michael Williams,
etc. We have to have corners and safeties who can stay with outstanding
receivers in big games like this.
Observations on the first half with
the Buckeyes, 14-28!
1-I really wish that Lloyd had brought
the defense with him to Columbus, it would have been a great help!
2-The Buckeyes are totally humiliating
us with two red zones for 14 points while we created one red zone
in our opening drive for 7 points. The Buckeyes also come up
with two big plays for touchdowns compared to our one big play.
Our defense can't keep up with the fast pace set by the Buckeye
offense, we are "sucking air." They are outhustling
us as well as outplaying us.
3-If Smith doesn't win the Heisman,
then nobody deserves it. Troy Smith is 21 of 26 for 241 yards
and 3 TDs. We have only been able to come up with one sack by
Biggs. Pittman has 7 carries for 26 yards while Chris Wells powers
for a 52 yard TD on his only carry. Buckeyes get 14 first downs
and 320 yards of total offense on 36 plays while only being forced
into one punt, and are 4 of 5 in 3rd down conversions. Of course,
since they are moving the ball so easily, they aren't in many
3rd down situations. David Harris has 5 tackles, one for loss.
Leon Hall and Prescott Burgess have 4 tackles each. Chris Graham
has missed tackles all over the field including when Chris Wells
took off on his 52 yarder. Our defensive backs are outmanned by
the faster Buckeye receivers who are making them look like a demo
team. Ted Ginn has 6 catches for 74 yards and one 39 yard TD.
Robiskie and Gonzalez have 4 catches each, and Roy Hall has 3
catches. Hall and Gonzalez have the two other TDs. We can't stop
the big play, and we can't stop the Buckeyes. Michigan holds a
minute and a half time of possession advantage, but Ohio State
doesn't need the ball that long to score so they don't need to
win that category.
4-Henne is 10 of 14 for 144 yards
and 1 TD; he has been sacked 3 times. Manningham has 3 catches
for 58 yards. Michigan is one of five in 3rd down conversions
with 8 first downs and 181 yards in 26 plays. Arrington caught
the 37 yard TD. Henne overthrew a wide open Manningham for a sure
TD that could have negated some of the Buckeye onslaught.
5-Special teams have been a non-factor
in the game. We have punted 3 times versus 1 punt for Ohio State.
Other than that, everyone has made their extra points. No field
goals, and all fair catches on punts. No turnovers, no points
off turnover. Each team has 2 penalties, Ohio State's roughing
the center penalty resulted in a drive for a TD.
6-Unless Ron English and company
can find a defense, Ohio State will probably put up another 28
points in the second half to win 56-28. No defense, no Michigan
win. Ohio State has negated Breaston and Woodley. Great game plan
and Tressel continues to outcoach Carr.
OHIO STATE PREVIEW
The game we've been anticipating
all season is finally here. There has never been a more unique
Michigan versus Ohio State football game because both teams are
undefeated, ranked #1 and #2 for the first time in the series,
and the winner not only wins the Big Ten title outright, but also
will be in the national title game. This would be Michigan's first
title game, and Ohio State's second opportunity after winning
the 2003 game nearly four years ago.
Let's start on offense. It is clear
that Ohio State has a more dangerous offense than Michigan with
a more dangerous quarterback. Senior Troy
Smith has defeated Michigan the last two years, and will probably
win the Heisman Trophy as the nation's best collegiate football
player this year regardless of the outcome of this game. The best
thing about this game for Michigan fans is that it will be the
last time we have to face him. Smith
has thrown for 26 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, a +22.
He leads the nation in passing efficiency, and as a result, the
Ohio State Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring offense. Smith
has a fleet of outstanding receivers led by Juniors Anthony
Gonzalez and Ted
Ginn who have 97 receptions and 15 touchdowns combined; they
average 8.5 receptions and over 100 yards per game. They also
have Freshman Brian
Hartline, Sophomore Brian
Robiskie and Senior Roy
Hall who have added another 7 touchdowns this season. They
don't throw to the tight end that often, but Sophomore Rory
Nichol has 3 TDs and Jake
Ballard has one TD. While their passing attack is dangerous,
their running attack is even more of a threat since Troy
Smith is such an outstanding open field threat. They are the
top team in the Big Ten in 3rd down conversions averaging over
50% while our defense has allowed the least conversions at 25%;
something has to give. Junior Antonio
Pittman is a powerful, fast runner who is averaging 94 yards
per game, nearly 5 yards per carry and has scored 12 touchdowns.
If Michigan is to begin to contain Smith, they must first stop
the Buckeye running game led by Pittman and his capable backup
Wells who has scored 6 touchdowns as a true freshman. Let
us not forget that Ginn
are plenty capable of running a reverse. This will be no easy
task even though Michigan boasts the nation's top defense against
the run. The mighty Buckeye offensive line is anchored by two
5th years seniors, Right Guard T.J.
Downing, Left Tackle Tim
Schafer and Center Doug
is the son of former Michigan All-American offensive lineman,
Downing. They also have giants, Right Guard Kirk
Barton and Left Guard Steve
Rehring. They have allowed the fewest sacks in the Big Ten
this season. Covering Troy
Smith's behind and lead blocker for Pittman is fullback, Stan
White Jr. Many older Michigan fans may remember his father,
a wicked Buckeye linebacker in the early 1970s.
On defense, the Buckeyes lead the
nation in scoring defense surrendering less than 8 points a game,
and turnover margin. They are led by Sophomore Middle linebacker
Laurinaitis who has 91 tackles, 8.5 for loss with 4 sacks,
5 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and a pass break up. The other
linebackers are Sophomore Marcus
Freeman and 5th year Senior John
Kerr; they have 75 tackles, 4 for loss. Freeman
has 2 interceptions and 6 pass break ups so he is an excellent
cover linebacker; an interesting side note, he wears the #1 jersey.
Homan and Junior Larry
Grant have also seen action at linebacker. When they line
up, their defensive line is led by Lombardi
Finalist and 5th year Senior Quinn
Pitcock, Sophomore Detroiter Vernon
Gholston, Senior David
Patterson and 5th year Senior Jay
Richardson; they have 112 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and
18.5 sacks intimidating opponent offensive lines and quarterbacks
into mistakes. Patterson
has 6 tipped passes, and unheralded Gholston
beat out heralded national prospect Lawrence
Wilson. Senior Joel
Barrow and Freshman Robert
Rose have contributed on the defensive line. Their defensive
backfield is led by Antonio
Smith who, like Leon Hall, is a Thorpe
Semi-Finalist. They also have great covers with Corner Malcolm
Jenkins, Safeties, Sophomore Jamario
O'Neal and Senior Brandon
Mitchell plus Redshirt Freshman Nickel Back Donald
Washington. Their 5 starting defensive backs have 201 tackles,
16 for loss with 9 interceptions. Jenkins
leads in picks with 4. Redshirt freshmen Andre
Russell and True Freshmen, Kurt
Coleman and Aaron
Gant have seen action in the backfield and on special teams.
The backfield is strong in run support and cover. They will be
a typical, tough Buckeye defense swarming to the ball and trying
to create takeaways in every play.
Special teams are led by Junior
Ginn who may be the fastest player in the nation; he has returned
22 punts for a 12.1 yard per return average with 1 TD. He ran
one back for a TD against Michigan in 2004, and he will also be
ready to return kickoffs. Sophomore punter, A.J.
Trapasso, leads a Buckeye punting unit that is ranked #2 in
the Big Ten Conference and #24 nationally compared to a Wolverine
unit ranked #77 nationally. Trapasso
has a 41.2 yard average with 14 of 40 punts inside the 20. If
the game comes down to a kick, Aaron
Pettrey has converted 8 fo 11 field goal attempts and 47 of
50 extra points. Pettrey
is 2 of 3 in the 50+ yard range, 3 of 4 in the 40-49 yard range
with his longest being 51 yards.
This game will be determined by
turnovers, points off turnover, red zone efficiency and the ability
to come from behind, play over mistakes and/or make the big defensive
stop at the end of the game whether it is the 4th quarter or overtime.
It is a classic matchup of the nation's top offense against the
nation's top defense, and a matchup of two strong defenses challenged
to stop two strong rushing attacks. While it is certain that Ohio
State has the home field advantage, the favored team by oddsmakers
and pollsters, and the nation's finest player, it won't be enough
in this game. Michigan's defense will rise to the occasion as
and Coach Stripling
"lets the Beasts loose." Woodley,
combine with Crable,
to sack the nation's top offense and Heisman hopeful Smith.
to prevent big plays. Michigan holds the Buckeye offense to under
300 total yards, and will record at least 5 sacks. The Michigan
offense led by Henne
won't be flashy or spectacular, but efficient capitalizing on
Buckeye mistakes. Michigan will win the time of possession and
turnover battle plus points off turnover. Each team creates 3
red zones with Michigan scoring more points in their red zone
gets over 100 yards, but it will take him 30 carries to do so.
Breaston won't be the game's most valuable player, but he
will prove his value in this one! Offensively, one player won't
stand out, but it will be a team effort. One team will wear down
in the 4th quarter.
Michigan 23 Ohio State 20
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