November 10, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (12) calls a play against the Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Football: Coach's Corner -- Michigan at Ohio State -- "THE GAME" -- Lets Talk Football/Match-ups

Posted at 12:00pm — 11/23/2012

Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Michigan at Ohio State — “THE GAME” — Lets Talk Football/Match-ups

As most of you know I am huge on match-ups. (IMO) they are key to game planning. Team that best exploits their advantages and neutralizes their opponents has best shot at getting the “W”. These are the ones I will be watching the most. Would love to hear everyone else thoughts and opinions.

Nov 17, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer (center) fires up the team during warmups prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

When Ohio State Has The Football:

1. Miller vs. Michigan linebackers and Safeties.
We have talked about this for weeks. Michigan has to slow down Braxton Miller. Wisconsin did and held Ohio State to 14 points in regulation.

Advantage: Ohio State, Miller is second best athlete on the field.

2. Miller vs. Michigan linebackers and Safeties part II.
Michigan has to make Miller pay a price every time he touches the football. Miller takes a lot of shots, and if Michigan can constantly get 11 hats on him.

Advantage: Push, Michigan is getting better at pursuit and Miller is not shy about contact.

Nov 17, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) rushes with the football as Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Mike Taylor (53) defends during the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

3. Ohio State Skill vs. Michigan Perimeter.
Michigan has to keep Ohio State skilled, Devin Smith, Jordan Hall, Corey Brown, and Miller between the hashes. Ohio State will make some plays. If Michigan can keep them from breaking contain and limit the big plays, ala Wisconsin they can take a lot wind out of Buckeye sails.

Advantage: Ohio State, better athletes, Michigan has to be very disciplined and positional strong to have a shot.

4. Ohio State left side vs. Michigan right side.
Ohio State’s best Linemen are LT, LG, and OC. Jack vs Michigan (RDE) in particular could be problematic. Jack is a very good drive blocker. If Michigan left side and slow down Ohio State to the left they can slow down the running game.

Advantage: Push, defensive tackles have been Michigan’s most improved and Demens has really stepped up his game. Morgan makes me nervous.

5. Ohio State pass protection vs. Michigan rush.
Michigan has to be very careful. They have to pressure Miller. He will throw the ball up. But they cannot be wreck-less. Michigan will more then likely have some specific spy packages to try and negate Miller when he vacates the pocket.

Advantage: Slight to Michigan, Ohio State personnel is built to drive block!

When Michigan Has The Football:

1. Michigan rushing game vs. Ohio State front 4.
Strength of Ohio State defense is the front 4. The linebacker play is okay, but Michigan has a chance to move the ball on the ground. They must limit penetration and be able to block Hankins. He is a load!

Advantage: Push, Hankins will be a challenge, but Boren is not overly nimble. He is solid at things ran right at him.

2. Michigan pass Protection vs. Ohio State pass rush.
Michigan pass protection has been improving. Ohio State’s Simon and Spence will provide a challenge. If Michigan can protect Ohio State secondary can be exploited.

Advantage: Mixed, Michigan in base, Ohio State in nickle package.

3. Same as #5 in first #1.
Ohio State has to contain Gardner. He can really hurt teams with his feet. Ohio State linebackers will need to spy Gardner that will open up space for Michigan’s wide receivers.

Advantage: Michigan, Gardner’s combination of size and speed will be a challenge.

November 17, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess (19) scores a touchdown against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the third quarter at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

4. Funchess vs. Ohio State Linebackers.
Yes this freshmen has shot at being a big factor (IMO). Ohio State linebackers are very average in coverage and at 6’5 target can make a difference.

Advantage: Push, Funchess better athlete, although Shazier blitzing very good, but counting on true freshmen in game this big is problematic.

5. Rawls! With Fitz out Rawls has to be the MAN.
He cannot miss cutbacks and run into the backs of his blockers. Ohio State linebackers (IMO) are not great scrappers and if he sees and hits the cutback good things are possible.

Advantage: Ohio State, I think Rawls eventually learns to see and hit cutback, but he has not yet.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — CoachBT

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