Michigan Football: Ohio State at Michigan — Preview
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What May Happen — Reality Will Cover Myth
Ouch, may I have another, do I have to watch, and what went wrong may be comments offered during the game and afterwards. It could be an ugly day for Michigan, perhaps past ugly. But, UM will take the field and have at it, hopefully well prepared.
First, a look at the units and a quick beforehand evaluation, but be advised this is not pretty.
Offensive line- advantage Ohio State- one of the best compared to one that eventually wants to be one of the best.
Wideouts- advantage Ohio State- the Columbus crowd poo-poos their wideouts but there is plenty of speed and raw athletic ability.
Quarterback- advantage Ohio State- Miller is a premier athlete that has a great back, a big line, and talented wideouts at his disposal. Devin Gardner is talented but the performance between the two this year is obvious.
Running backs- major advantage Ohio State- Ohio State has four or five running backs that could start for Michigan. All of the backs run behind a big line, and some of the backs have elite speed.
Defensive line- slight advantage Ohio State, but Bennett could absolutely clean up and single-handedly force UM to leave the ground game.
Linebackers- about a push, although Ohio State folks badmouth this group pretty bad for coverage.
Defensive backs- slight advantage Ohio State, although once again Ohio State presents match-up problems when it is the athletic receivers against the UM backs if man to man press happens and Miller gets plenty of time.
Special teams- about a push- kick coverage team for Ohio State has an advantage.
Coaching-Ohio State has had a month to prepare for this game playing the harmless bye, Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue. As Casey Stengel said- if you ain’t got no animals, you ain’t got no circus. Simply put Ohio State has a near all-senior offensive line and tremendous skill players. Roby and Shazier are impact players and Jake Ryan is near that qualification.
Myth- 1969- this is not Woody Hayes coaching during the game, it is Urban Meyer. Woody was great until he was down in the second half and run the same three plays that did not work. Meyer is cold, calculating, and loves to crush the opposition while convincing everyone he took it easy. The only similarity is the teams are named qualification.
Myth- Michigan will play at a much different level. People like leopards do not change their spots. Ohio State has been drilled all year that this game is a chance to destroy the Michigan program.
Myth- secret trick plays will win this game, like Michigan going to a spread, or zone blocking the entire game. Forget it, one of two efforts might yield results but remember the famous blotched trick plays last year.
Michigan’s trouble spots- Ohio State can take Hyde up the middle against Michigan’s weak interior triangle. Ohio State can take miller wide on the outside read. Ohio State gives superior pass protection, so UM will need to blitz and could get burned for big plays. Michigan cannot take away all of Ohio State’s options. But remember this: for years Michigan has not been able to stop Ohio State’s running game up the middle.
Ohio State’s trouble spots- coverage has been just ok if the opposing qb has some time, but it is tough to run up the middle on these guys.
What this game means: this is in the eye of the beholder. To me it means one game in a long rivalry and the underlying minions of doom that portray the end of the Michigan program, embarrassment, etc. overstate 3.5 hours of competition. Ohio State still possesses a talent advantage and has done a much better job progressing the defensive and offensive line than Michigan. But remember 19-year old boys become 22-year men and the difference on the lines is not imaginary. Yes some guys can play early, but not half a team. Ohio State cares much more about this game than Michigan; it is the sole reason for breathing air for 365 days, 6 hours, and a few minutes every year.
What would be most unacceptable for Michigan is for fans not to honor and respect the players on the team, especially the seniors. First hand, I state this is a class group of kids who are getting one of the best public university degrees in the nation. Doing things right and graduating with good careers outweighs 3.5 hours of play that should not overshadow years of hard work.
Have a day of great competition seniors, and thank you.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
Go Blue — Wear Maize!