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MICHIGAN vs. OHIO STATE
Source: Big Ten Network
Ohio State Michigan Highlights Source: OSU Official Site 11/27/10
Ohio State vs. Michigan 2010 Highlight Video by lexco44
Buckeyes maul Michigan for 7th straight win over rival November 27, 2010 Source: ESPN - " In the 107 editions of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, things have never been this bad for the Wolverines. No wonder coach Rich Rodriguez is mad. "I'm ticked," he said, moments after his Wolverines got blown out 37-7 on Saturday -- an unprecedented seventh straight loss to the Buckeyes. "What do you want me to do? Hold hands with all the Buckeye fans and sing 'Kumbaya'?" Might as well. Nothing else seems to work for the Wolverines these days against their archrivals. They fell to 0-3 against Ohio State under Rodriguez, and have been outscored 100-24 in that span. It was enough to make even Ohio State coach Jim Tressel offer some consolation. "You know, we all have our ups and downs," he said after improving to 9-1 against Michigan. "But Michigan will be back. You don't have to worry about that."...Now the Buckeyes wait to see what bowl game they'll go to. Most signs point to the Sugar Bowl against an SEC opponent. "There's 10 BCS teams, right?" Tressel said. "Yeah, I think we're one of those."..."
Just wondering: When was the last time Michigan Men rooted for the Buckeyes to win The Game? After calling the one-sided rivalry "depressing," former Buckeyes linebacker Bobby Carpenter said several former Wolverines now playing in the NFL told him they wanted Ohio State to win the game so Michigan would fire coach Rich Rodriguez.
It was over when...: The Ohio State players, decked out in bright scarlet helmets and shoes, sprinted into the Horseshoe.
Gameball goes to...: Dan "Boom" Herron. The Buckeyes running back powered his way to 175 yards, which pushed him to 1,068 for the season, and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Herron appeared to set an Ohio State record for longest run from scrimmage with a 98-yard touchdown jaunt, but a questionable holding penalty on Dane Sanzenbacher meant he had to settle for tying the record at 89 yards.
The Turning Point: Jordan Hall's 85-yard kickoff return for touchdown at 7:50 of the second quarter. Michigan had just cut the lead to 10-7 with an 80-yard TD drive, but Hall's return the first for a TD by the Buckeyes this season -- reasserted control by OSU. It was also the 1st KO return for a touchdown by Ohio State since Ray Small against Wisconsin in 2009. (See our Play of the Game)
OSU Seniors: The seniors improved to 43-8 in their careers. A bowl victory next month will tie them with their predecessors in 2009 for the most wins in team history.
Select Company: Terrelle Pryor became only the third Ohio State quarterback to beat Michigan three times. William “Tippy” Dye (1934-36) and Troy Smith (2004-06) are the others.
Stat of the game...: 7, 6. Ohio State has won seven straight vs. Michigan and at least a share of six consecutive Big Ten titles. The six consecutive conference titles (outright or shared) ties the Big Ten record set by the Buckeyes from 1972-77.
One-liner: Every time Wolverines hold gloves together, they form an "L."
What he said: "It was not the dive" -- explaining the excessive celebration penalty on DeVier Posey
What he meant: "If diving gets you penalized, Michigan should warrant the NCAA death penalty."
Jim Tressel, Buckeyes Head Coach, said it: "What our guys enjoy and what our staff enjoys, we enjoy the journey," Tressel said. "It's the thrill of the challenge. It's hard to do. ... The process of chasing the championship, to me, is the fun."
Ross Homan, Sr LB, said it: "It's always the same feeling. Every time we beat Michigan, it's always a great feeling and a success." -On the feeling of beating Michigan
Bryant Browning, Sr OL, said it: "They put in some schemes that we hadn't seen before, and it took us a little while to adjust to them. I thought as the game went on our offense was more effective." -On the play of the Michigan defense in the first half
Jordan Hall, Soph RB, said it: "I've been waiting all year for it. Jaamal [Berry] got a good block for me and I hit the hole." -On his kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter
Justin Boren, Sr OL, said it: "I didn't want to look back and have any regrets. I didn't want to second-guess myself. And I can honestly say I've never done that. ... It's the greatest choice ever made." -On his choice to become a Buckeye and transfer from Michigan
Jermale Hines, Sr DB, said it: "It was real tough and our defensive line fought the whole game. I take my hat off to the defense and all the coaches that helped us prepare." -On the second-half defensive shutout
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan head coach, said it: "I'm mad. I wish we would have played better and I expect better out of this team. I'm going to be angry for awhile. It's going to sting for a bit, but it's not something that we can go back and replay." -On his mind-set following the game
Worst vague reference:: "Maybe some people don't want me to have success," he said. "I would think most people that follow Michigan, love Michigan, do. Because they love our school and love our program. We've got that going for us." -As Rich Rodriguez defended his right to have another season on the job, he also made a vague reference to the forces he's fighting in his attempt to turn the Woverines into a winning program again. He cited "some people" who make his job difficult.
Career Long: Ben Buchanan had a career-long 59-yard punt in the fourth quarter, topping his previous high of 53 set vs. Indiana earlier this year.
Numbers for dummies:
7: Ohio State has defeated Michigan seven straight games, the longest Ohio State win streak in the series history (2004-10).
7: Wolverines' point total was 30 less than their avg coming in and lowest since a 42-7 loss at the Buckeyes in 2008.
7: Tressel joins Bo Schembechler & Gophers Bernie Bierman as only coaches in Big Ten history to win 7 titles in first 10 years.
218: Ohio State has outscored Michigan 218-108 during the seven-game win streak.
9: Jim Tressel improved to 9-1 against Michigan during his tenure in Columbus.
7/6: Big Ten titles for Jim Tressel and Big Ten wins for Rich Rodriguez
-1: Daniel Herron's rushing yardage at halftime. He finished with 175.
175: Dan Herron rushed for 175 yards and a TD on 22 carries.
27-1: Ohio State is now 27-1 when Terrelle Pryor throws at least one touchdown pass.
83: Michigan managed just 83 yards of offense in the second half (15 rush yards).
$14 million: What Michigan owes RicherRod if they fire him, or about $933,333 for each of his 15 wins$14 million: What Michigan owes RicherRod if they fire him, or about $933,333 for each of his 15 wins
FB Carries: Fullback Zach Boren was accorded a carry, the first by an Ohio State fullback since the 2007 season.
How the team sees it: We're collecting so many gold pants, Fort Knox is getting nervous.
How the pollsters will see it: Gordon Gee was wrong. Buckeyes do play Little Sisters of the Poor.
How Buckeye Nation will see it: Can they move The Game earlier, like to 1975?
They said it:
As heard on TV: Like Michigan, Matt Millen was decent at the start and even scored with his "I bet (Tressel) would like to give the official a different hand sign" -- a reference to the idiotic penalties called on Ohio State for their "O" glove celebrations. But, like the Wolverines, Millen quickly fell apart, as expected. Does he get paid extra to be a RichRod apologist?
As heard from stadium cop on radio late in closing minutes: "I anticipate no problems. The game was over hours ago."
As "heard" on an OSU banner: "Viva Rodriguez"
Pregame buzz: Let's be honest. The biggest question of the week was not "who will win?" but "pumpkin or pecan pie?"
The $70 question: After a scoreless first quarter, The Game held all the suspense of a Looney Tunes cartoon. One team was going to take an anvil to the head, and it wasn't going to be the Buckeyes.
THE REPERCUSSION: That's seven straight wins in The Game -- Jim Tressel is now 9-1 vs. Michigan -- and at least a share of a record-tying six straight Big Ten titles for the Buckeyes, who should rise in the polls with Boise State's fall. Signs point to the 11-1 Buckeyes playing in the Sugar Bowl or perhaps the Orange when the invitations go out next Sunday. Stay tuned.
(Sources: Cleveland Plain Dealer/ESPN/OSU Official Site/Columbus Dispatch/Bucknuts.com)
Boom Herron Talks Win over Michigan Source: Big Ten Network
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 13: Ohio State RB Dan Herron: After finishing the first half with one yard on three carries, Herron exploded for 174 rushing yards and a touchdown in the final two quarters. He had a 31-yard touchdown run and tied a team record for longest run from scrimmage with an 89-yard burst that should have been a 98-yard touchdown if not for a bogus holding call. Herron shares the sticker with defensive end Nathan Williams (2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery). Source: ESPN 11/27/10
10 Things We Learned From A Seventh-Straight Win over Michigan November 27, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "...1. You can't help your team from the sideline. Having finally gotten a chance to see Denard Robinson up close, there’s no denying how explosive he can be. The Wolverines weren't able to do much of anything, including catch the ball, when Robinson wasn't making the plays himself...The OSU defensive players came away impressed with his ability, and if he had stayed in the game the Wolverines might have had a change to put up some points in the second half. Only Robinson wasn't in the game. For the 10th time in 12 games, he was forced to the sideline with an injury. This time it was dislocated fingers on his non-throwing hand...
2. Pryor beat Michigan with his arm. After missing 2-3 days of throwing during practice, Pryor looked off on his first two series. As a result, it took the Buckeyes more than 12 minutes to pick up a first down, but once they did, things started to get rolling. The Wolverines were committing eight or nine to the box in the first half in order to take away Ohio State’s running game and force Pryor to beat them with his arm...The problem is, Pryor eventually found some rhythm. Either that, or Michigan started leaving guys so wide open that he couldn't miss. Despite the bruised shoulder, Pryor finished the half 15-of-21 passing for 196 and two touchdowns...
3. That was not a good football team. Michigan fans can fool themselves all they want into thinking this was a good football team, but their improvement from last year to this season has been minimal...
4. Seniors led the way. There has been a lot of talk about the junior class of Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Mike Brewster and the rest of that heralded class. It was the seniors, however, who really led this group. There’s a reason this team had six captains this year and all of them were seniors. The senior class had a big day against Michigan, and they have been the lifeblood of this football team. Offensively, Dane Sanzenbacher had three catches and a touchdown, Taurian Washington had a big 13-yard catch on third down and Justin Boren got his second win over Michigan. Defensively, the Buckeyes had four seniors lead the team with eight tackles—Chimdi Chekwa, Ross Homan, Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines. Fellow seniors Cam Heyward and Devon Torrence each finished with six tackles as the Buckeyes held Michigan to 30 points below their season average.
5. Sanzenbacher will be missed...He will be remembered for his great route-running, his toughness and most importantly for his fantastic hands...he has been the team’s most reliable weapon in the passing game all season. A guy like that is impossible to replace.
6. Jermale Hines has a future at the next level. Of all the players who stood out defensively Saturday, it was impossible not to notice Jermale Hines. One of the steady forces on the OSU defense all season, Hines saved his best game for Senior Day. He was all over the field making plays in the run game and the pass game. Along with his eight tackles, Hines had two big pass breakups in the red zone and a number of big hits that jarred passes loose. He was a force on the back end of the defense and settled down the play of an often erratic secondary...
7. Travis Howard is going to be a player...In the last three games, Howard has two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He already might be the team’s best cover corner, and the Buckeyes actually added a dime package to their defense to get him on the field. He is not much of a tackler and doesn't bring a physical presence like a Devon Torrence, but he is long and athletic.
8. Little guy made the biggest play...The Wolverines drove down the field and third time and punched it in to make it a 10-7 game. That’s when Jim Tressel challenged return man Jordan Hall to flip the momentum. The 5-9 tailback grabbed the ensuing kickoff and darted down the left sideline. He got great blocks from Zach Boren, Jaamal Berry and Jamie Wood on his way to the end zone for an 85 yard touchdown and just like that it was 17-7 and the will of Michigan had been all but broken.
9. Herron joins the list of Michigan-killers. Even with Boom Herron’s success this season, few people would have expected him to post the third-highest rushing total by a Buckeye in the history of the Ohio State-Michigan game. No one in their right mind would have expected it after he ran five times for -1 yards in the first half. But all that passing by Pryor in the first half opened to the door for Herron to have a big second half. He busted off a 32-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter and followed it on the next drive with a 98-yard touchdown run. The play was changed to 89 yards after a questionable holding call on Sanzenbacher, but it still tied the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history. He finished with 175 yards on 22 carries, the third highest total ever by an OSU player against Michigan.
10. Don’t trust Nike. Hall and Dane Sanzenbacher may have gotten away with it on their touchdowns, but Herron and DeVier Posey were blasted with 15-yard celebration penalties on theirs. What are we talking about? Herron and Posey were flagged for flashing their gloves at the crowd. What’s wrong with that? Well Nike went ahead and put half of a block O on each palm so that together they formed a full block O. Jim Tressel even displayed this “cool” feature to his team when they saw the alternate jerseys. So ultimately just looking goofy wasn't the only crime Nike committed against Ohio State...."
Buckeyes' defense gives up yards, but not points, to Michigan's Robinson: Ohio State report card November 21, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "A -- Ohio State's defense: Michigan entered the game averaging 37 points and 515 yards per game. The Buckeyes held the Wolverines to seven points and 351 yards, and applied pressure in the second half with a good push from their front four. "They're very good on the run, so a lot of teams keep playing that run and never get back into the pass and get after them, and that was very key for us to try to get pressure on them," defensive lineman Dexter Larimore said. After not getting much pressure in the first half, OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock couldn't have been happier with the defense, its shutout in the second half and the way the Buckeyes contained Michigan star quarterback Denard Robinson, who didn't play much after halftime because of dislocated fingers on his left hand. "You can have a guy or two on him, but he's such a great talent with such great speed that you're never certain," Heacock said. "You have to be able to tackle in space. We have played the spread fairly well and I think our guys have confidence in playing the spread over the last couple year. I think we've got some speed and some quickness, and the guys played well." A defense that has been balanced all season ended, appropriately, with four leading tacklers. Chimdi Chekwa, Ross Homan, Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines all had eight tackles.
A -- Ohio State battling through injuries: The two stars in Ohio State's backfield weren't quite themselves on Saturday, and neither of them let on much. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was dealing with a shoulder injury that was more serious than anyone knew and running back Dan Herron had an ankle issue, both of them lingering from big hits in the Iowa game. But Pryor was 18-of-27 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, as you could almost see his shoulder warm up during the game. Herron ran 22 times for 175 yards after rushing three times for one yard in the first quarter. "I was a little hanged up, but it was Michigan week, so I had to fix it up quick," Herron said. "It did hurt a little bit at first, but I ran it off and started feeling better." As for Pryor's right shoulder, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said it didn't affect the game plan, but it was an issue, no doubt. Pryor said he took a break from throwing for two or three days during the week and only watched film. "After you get a little tiny injury, it doesn't go away right away," Pryor said. Now they'll both have plenty of time to rest.
INC -- Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson: The quarterback matchup between Robinson and Terrelle Pryor never quite developed because Robinson dislocated several fingers on his left hand in the second quarter and ended up playing only about half the game. "It wouldn't have been much of a problem, but he likes to grip it with that hand and he couldn't get any feeling back," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. "He tried to go back in the second half, but he just couldn't do it. It's unfortunate because he was playing well today." In the seven series Robinson did play, he led the Wolverines on drives of 45, 73, -5, 80, 20, 18 and two yards. The drives ended with a failed fourth-down conversion, a fumble, a punt, a touchdown, another failed fourth down and two more punts. Robinson finished with 18 carries for 105 yards and completed 8-of-18 passes for 87 yards. "He's faster than he is on film," linebacker Brian Rolle said. "But our guys hung in there and were able to contain him."..."
OSU report card November 28, 2010 Source: Zanesville Times Recorder - "OFFENSIVE LINE: With Michigan stacking the box, the Buckeyes had only 33 yards rushing in the first half Saturday. Most Michigan opponents have that in the first series. Saturday marked only the second time this season the Wolverines forced back-to-back three-and-outs to open a game. The other time was against Iowa. OSU did a much better job of exerting its will in the second half, when it outgained the Wolverines 249-93 -- 225 of that on the ground. GRADE: A
RUNNING GAME: Dan Herron needed 107 rushing yards coming into the game for 1,000. At halftime (five carries, minus-1 yard), it looked like it would take him until the middle of next season to get there. He finally got on track with a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter that all but cemented the victory. Herron then had a 98-yard score negated by a highly questionable holding call on Dane Sanzenbacher, but he was credited with 89 yards, tying the longest run from scrimmage in school history. He finished with 175 on 22 attempts, giving him 1,068 on the season. GRADE: A minus
PASSING GAME: Terrelle Pryor was having an almost flawless day until the last play of the first half, when he threw an end zone interception for the second straight home game. He helped loosen up a Michigan defense that was jamming the box and finished 18 of 27 for 220 yards, with two touchdowns. DeVier Posey had five catches for 82 yards and a score, offsetting a fumble, and Sanzenbacher caught his 10th scoring pass of the season. GRADE: B plus
DEFENSIVE LINE: There were sizeable gaps in the middle of OSU's defense in the first half, but they were sealed up in the second half, partly because quarterback Denard Robinson (105 yards, 18 carries) was hurting with two dislocated fingers. The Wolverines could have had 21 points at halftime instead of trailing 24-7. They twice got the ball inside the 20 with nothing to show for it. Nathan Williams had a sack and a fumble recovery that helped thwart a Michigan drive at the OSU 19. GRADE: B
LINEBACKERS: Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Brian Rolle followed up his big game at Iowa by sharing the team lead with eight tackles. His two tackles for loss gives him five in the last two games. OSU's offense failed to capitalize on a fumble forced by Ross Homan, who also had eight tackles. GRADE: A
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Jermale Hines and Chimdi Chekwa both had eight tackles, which partly speaks to Robinson's ability to get through the first line of containment. Hines knocked away passes with three fine plays, one at the goal line; Travis Howard had a fumble recovery and interception, and Orhian Johnson pried the ball loose from Robinson after a 17-yard gain that blunted a Michigan drive at the OSU 19. GRADE: A
SPECIAL TEAMS: Jordan Hall's 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown provided a huge spark, coming immediately after Michigan closed within 10-7 in the second quarter. Drew Basil had good length on his kickoffs, including one for touchback. Punter Ben Buchanan didn't have any "wow" kicks, but he had a better day than opposite number Seth Broekhuizen, whose 18-yard punt led to the Buckeyes' first touchdown. Devin Barclay converted all three of his field goal attempts. GRADE: A
COACHING: The Buckeyes got off to another slow start, but it didn't matter because it was Michigan. And, as you know, Jim Tressel owns Michigan, running his record to 9-1 in the series, including a school-record seven straight victories. The last six have resulted in at least a share of the Big Ten championship. The only surprise was that, in building a 24-7 halftime lead, Ohio State had most of its success by throwing the ball despite blustery conditions. It was a rare departure from Tressel's usual grind-it-out form in November. GRADE: A..."
The Bottom Line November 27, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Offense (3 leaves): The 478-yard figure on the total offense line seems like some sort of mirage, maybe because the Buckeyes started like they were playing in the 1942 team's combat boots or maybe because so many big gainers were tainted by penalty. Converting 10 of 18 third downs put some shine on OSU's red shoes.
Defense (4 leaves): The Wolverines walked in averaging 514 yards and nearly 37 points and slinked out with 351 yards and an itty-bitty seven spot. Denard Robinson was slippery and the Buckeyes missed a few tackles early, but they also dished out some lumps and accepted UM mistakes with open arms.
Special teams (4 leaves): Wasn't it September when everyone started saying Jordan Hall was due to break one? So, better late than never. And his timing was impeccable, an open grapefruit to the Wolverines' face when they got mouthy. Also good: Devin Barclay handled the tricky winds, and Ben Buchanan launched a boomer.
Coaching (4 leaves): The Tressels already have a couple of yippy Maltese in the house, and now it looks like the Vest has picked up another lap dog to join Scarlett and Gracie. The little fella goes by RichRod, and his bark is only slightly worse than his bite. Seriously, how long can this continue? Pinch yourself, Buckeye Nation...
Opponent (2 leaves): The sadists are already on record -- Rodriguez must stay! As for the Michigan men (and women) in the world, this Little Sisters act has to be a burr under the saddle. But what of the Michigan power brokers? There's some talent on the field, especially wearing No.16, but players seem willing to accept defeat.
Officiating (0 leaves): That's no leaf -- it's two gloves forming an "O" -- and Dennis Lipski's inept crew earned it only because booth review properly overturned their blown call of a DeVier Posey fumble. Otherwise, guilty as charged on all counts. Q: What does that mean, "giving a sign to the crowd"? A: Clueless..."
This was a 15 yard penalty? It was called a penalty by the officials. Why? The officials said it was "giving a sign to the crowd." The officials missed a great game! They were described in the Columbus Dispatch's Bottom Line: "Dennis Lipski's inept crew."
Gloves likely to come off after penalties: Players said that only after the second penalty was it explained to them exactly why the flag was thrown.
"(The officials) came and told us what the big deal was," Herron said. "They were thinking it was kind of like a (taunting) sign, but it was just teammates having fun, trying to show the 'O.' " Tressel was livid after the Herron call, but after the game he refused to get drawn into a discussion of the subject.
Worst Reffing Ever: I rarely if ever complain about the refs but this was ridiculous. Apparently, Nike doesn’t have much pull with the refs as the logo on the gloves was a big part of all 10 their Pro Combat uniforms. I mean really, do you think Alabama would have gotten a penalty for flashing the “A” on the palm of their gloves? How about the Florida Gator? Miami doesn’t get penalized for flashing gang signs, least bit “the U” on the palm of their glove. And yet when Boom Herron waves to the student section or bows down on one knee after scoring a touchdown, the Buckeyes take a penalty.
It was also horrendous to see Boom’s record tying touchdown get called back for a holding call. Just as exciting as ingBoom break it out from the 2 yard line was Sanzenbacher make the block that got him to the end zone. What a pathetic call. Senzenbacher was getting his head torn off by a face mask for about 10 yards yet manage to stay in there and protect Herron. Yeah, he finally threw him to the ground but not until long after a flag should have been thrown in Michigan. Source: The Buckeye Blog Eight Thoughts on the Michigan Game
Michigan can't kick about outcome, They had no kick coming: "Michigan hasn't worried about its punting game for years. Twinsburg High graduate Zoltan Mesko kept the position steady for four years, his booming kicks so consistent that he became a cult hero for Michigan fans. This year, the Wolverines' punter was a newcomer, freshman Will Hagerup. He averaged 43.6 yards per punt this season and had 10 punts of 50-plus yards. But Saturday, Hagerup was back in Ann Arbor, not traveling with the team because he violated a team rule, coach Rich Rodriguez said. That meant that the Wolverines had to rely on placekicker Seth Broekhuizen to punt. Michigan managed just 34.5 yards on four punts -- one even coming from back-up quarterback Tate Forcier, who punted in high school.
Forcier, in fact, had the best punt for the Wolverines, booming a 52-yard kick in the third quarter. But until Forcier showed off his kicking skills, Michigan stumbled woefully with its punting game. Broekhuizen's first attempt was an 18-yard shank that allowed Ohio State to begin its drive from the Michigan 35 -- and set up the Buckeyes' first touchdown. Broekhuizen also had punts of 44 and 24 yards.
The unsteady punting game -- and a non-existent field-goal squad -- meant that Michigan went to great lengths to avoid punting, attempting five fourth-down conversions and completing just one. Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 11/27/10
CFN Analysis : Ohio State 37 ... Michigan 7 November 27, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Pete Fiutak...No, this 37-7 loss isn't about Michigan; it’s about the consistent greatness of Ohio State. Ohio State football is a runaway monster, evidenced by the bizarre, sky-is-falling reaction to a loss at Purdue last year. The pressure in Columbus is greater than at any program in America, and yet Jim Tressel produces year after year after year with a sixth straight Big Ten championship and a seventh straight win over Michigan. In a year when Texas has gone into the tank, Florida has been lousy, and USC hasn't been able to begin the rebuilding process from sanctions, Ohio State keeps on rolling along with another title, another BCS appearance, and another great year...How dominant have the Buckeyes been this season? Outside of the loss at Wisconsin and the thriller at Iowa, they won every game by double digits, and without having to breathe hard in any of them. Third in the nation in total defense and ninth in scoring, this was a typical Ohio State team and a typical season...
Richard Cirminiello: The Wolverines have lost seven straight to Ohio State (insert yawn here). The last four have been decided by double-digits, including today’s 37-7 snoozer, which stopped being competitive before halftime. The fading national interest in the game certainly isn't the fault of the Buckeyes, who've held up their end of the bargain under Jim Tressel. Ohio State is always relevant. Michigan hasn't been important outside the Big Ten in years, the underlying reason that this game hasn't captured my imagination, like I guess it’s supposed to, in some time. So what happens to Rich Rodriguez...
Matt Zemek: Why have the last three editions of The Game merited a click-away on the remote control before the final few minutes of regulation? Two words: Richard Rodriguez. We'll see what the University of Michigan and a fella named David Brandon (the school’s athletic director) do when Stanford’s regular-season finale concludes against Oregon State. Until Michigan decides to do something about its coaching situation, we'll see more Buckeye blowouts in a special series that is currently bereft of ballast..."
COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 8 Ohio State defeated Michigan, 37-7, Saturday before 105,491 fans in the 107th edition of "The Game" to win a share of its sixth consecutive Big Ten Conference championship and in the process extend its winning streak over its rival to seven straight wins. The attendance was the seventh-largest in Ohio Stadium history and the fourth largest to witness an Ohio State/Michigan game.
"This was an important day for us," head coach Jim Tressel, who improves to 9-1 vs. Michigan, said. "Representing the 1942 team was a lot of responsibility because not only were they champions, they were heroes. We also had to represent our seniors because they are first class and do things the way you are suppose to do them. They are unselfish and don't care if they have the spotlight. They just want to help Ohio State. I'm so proud of these guys. Our guys fought all day long. I thought that kickoff return was a key factor after they scored the touchdown. Our kids prepared and played hard and they deserved everything they had coming to them."
Jordan Hall's 85-yard kickoff return and a 24-point second quarter sent the Buckeyes on their way after the two teams were scoreless through the first quarter. The win improved Ohio State's record to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten while Michigan drops to 7-5 and 3-5.
Terrelle Pryor led the Ohio State offense by passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 18 of 27 passes, with wideouts DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher combining for eight receptions for 153 yards with each catching a touchdown pass.
Dan "Boom" Herron rushed for 175 yards, including an 89-yarder, and scored on a 32-yard touchdown run - the 11th consecutive game he has scored a touchdown - to give Ohio State a 31-7 lead early in the third quarter. Herron's total sent the junior over the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. He has 1,068 yards on the season.
Hall's return, the first by a Buckeye this year, came midway through the second quarter after Robinson had engineered an 80-yard scoring drive to cut into a 10-0 Ohio State lead. Big blocks on the return were delivered by Zach Boren and Nate Ebner. Hall made two dandy cuts to his right to avoid tackles.
The offense was slow to come for both teams, but leading 3-0 on a 33-yard Devin Barclay field goal, Ohio State took off after an 18-yard punt by Michigan set the Buckeyes up at the UM 35 early in the second quarter. The Buckeyes marched into the end zone in five plays with Pryor hitting Sanzenbacher with a seven-yard pass over the middle. Pryor scrambled out of trouble on third down, and just before going out of bounds, hit Taurian Washington for a 13-yard gain to extend the drive.
After Hall's return and leading 17-7, Ohio State went 62 yards in six plays with Pryor finding Posey over the middle for a 33-yard catch, run and dive touchdown play. Barclay's extra point made it 24-7.
One series after Herron's third-quarter touchdown, Ohio State went up 34-7 on another Barclay field goal, this one from 36 yards. The score was set up after Herron burst 98 yards for a touchdown, but he was credited with an 89-yard rush after holding was called at the end of the run. The play tied Gene Fekete's 89-yard run in the 1942 game vs. Pitt as the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history. Another Barclay field goal from 23 yards increased the lead to 37-7 entering the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines had an opportunity to score their second touchdown of the game but was denied on fourth down when senior defensive back Jermale Hines broke up a Tate Forcier pass inside the Buckeyes' 10-yard line with 8:15 left in the fourth.
Robinson rushed for 105 yards - 87 passing - which totaled 351 yards of offense on the day. Ohio State totaled 478 yards..."
This week's play of the game from Saturday's Ohio State Michigan tilt: Jordan Hall's 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter.
The Columbus Dispatch called it the The Turning Point, and it was.
Michigan had just cut the lead to 10-7 with an 80-yard TD drive, but Hall's return at 7:50 of the 2nd qtr, the first for a TD by the Buckeyes this season -- reasserted control by OSU and seemed to break the Wolverines spirit and resolve. The Wolverines, who had dominated the game statistically to that point, never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
It was also the 1st KO return for a touchdown by Ohio State since Ray Small against Wisconsin in 2009.
Doug Lesmerises wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "The Buckeyes shifted their alignment on their kick returns Saturday, with Jaamal Berry deep all alone, instead of having Jordan Hall joining him. Hall and Devon Torrence flanked Berry, several yards in front. So when this Michigan kickoff, after the Wolverines had cut the lead to 10-7, came up short at the 15, the Buckeyes' best returner was waiting for it. "That was the coaches' plan," Hall said. "We saw how they kicked off and came up with a good game plan."
Then Hall finally did what he was waiting all year to do. His teammates bugged him about it. Assistant coach Darrell Hazell told him it was finally going to happen in this game. So when Zach Boren got an early block, Hall was off on an 85-yard return, the first touchdown return of his career, to move the Buckeyes' lead back to 17-7.
"We had a lot of times where we were close this season," Boren said, "so it was great to finally get one."
"When it came to me, I was like, 'This is the chance,'" Hall said. "Words can't really explain it. There were 105,000 screaming, and your emotions take over."
It wasn't just emotions. He needed a final cutback and a very careful block on the kicker at the 30 from Jamie Wood to make sure he wouldn't come up just short again.
"I was like, 'I am not going to let the kicker get me on this one,'" Hall said. "I knew we had to get one sooner or later, I just didn't know when. What a big game to do it in."
Hall, a sophomore running back, was Terrelle Pryor's teammate in high school.
Inside The Vest:
Jim Tressel isn't one for campaigning, and at this point, there's not much he can do. His 11-1 football team isn't going to, and shouldn't, pass Wisconsin in the BCS standings to get the Big Ten's Rose Bowl berth. But there's also no way the Buckeyes will be denied an at-large BCS bid. He won't be the Big Ten coach of the year -- that's between Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio -- but after another Michigan win, Tressel could say that he liked his team.
"(We're) not good enough to be the outright Big Ten champions and automatic bid to the Rose Bowl and all those things that you shoot for, but we're pretty fair," Tressel said, "and I believe we're a top ten football team.
"Sometimes the ball bounces funny and you end up undefeated or you end up losing however many, and our guys just kept working and whatever came their way, they handled it and pressed on and handled adversity and handled success as it came.
"Really we've had 13 games in 2010. We played a pretty good Oregon team on the first day of the year, so it's been a lot of fun." Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 11/27/10
What they'll remember from Ohio State 37, Michigan 7 November 27, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...The Big Ten is trying to penalize the natural human instinct to celebrate an achievement. It is trying to reduce it to the joyless state of the NFL, the so-called No Fun League. Both DeVier Posey and Boom Herron were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties Saturday after making a hand signal to the crowd instead of celebrating their touchdowns with their teammates. Some viewers thought they were forming the "Roc," a gesture by the hip-hop artist Jay-Z, which has been much mimicked by LeBron James. Actually, the players were wearing new gloves with a design on them which forms a Block O if both thumbs and forefingers are pressed together. I have to call excessive persnicketiness and cluelessness on the refs. This was a harmless gesture of school pride, the reverse of the diva performances of NFL receivers. Sometimes, referees have to use some common sense and realize they're dealing with kids.
In the sports reporting world, there are a handful of unwritten rules when covering games. Among the most important are: 1. If another reporter is on deadline and you're not, let that reporter ask questions first, and 2. If you need to ask tough questions, let other reporters lob the softies first. The tough questions have to come at the end. Which is why when Rich Rodriguez sat down at the post-game podium Saturday, he was greeted with silence. There were no easy questions after Michigan lost to Ohio State again, the third time in Rodriguez's three years as head coach of the Wolverines. There were long, awkward pauses between a couple fleeting questions about the 37-7 rout Michigan had just endured, the seventh consecutive loss to the Buckeyes. And then someone finally asked the question that everyone knew had to come. "Do you know you'll be back next year?" someone asked Rodriguez. "Or hope you'll be back next year?" And suddenly, the fire that had been simmering just beneath the surface in Rodriguez's demeanor burst into full flame, and the Michigan coach rattled off his defense of why he should have more time to turn the program around. His kids are young. He has only had two recruiting classes. Forces that never wanted him to coach at Michigan in the first place are too eager to usher him out the door. He's not "deterred," he said, time and again. The way he was put on the defensive, and his resulting petition to have one more season to topple the Buckeyes, was what stood out most in a pretty forgettable game.
I don't think I was alone in questioning how effective Herron would ever be as a go-to back in the Big Ten, but he has always been one of the most humble, self-effacing players on the roster. Ask him about his personal success, and his voice gets soft and he almost seems to blush...Now he was a 1,000-yard rusher after gaining 175 yards against Michigan, a hard, tough runner with vision and a burst. He was in the record books with an 89-yard carry that tied for the longest in school history and should have been a 98-yard touchdown, if not for a questionable holding flag. Herron started the year with 44 yards on seven carries against Marshall, on a night when Brandon Saine rushed for 100 yards. After three games, he had 137 yards. In his next nine he had 931. Now he was at 1,068 after 12 games, with his offensive linemen happier than anyone. "Definitely one of our goals this year was to have a back get 1,000 yards," Herron said. "I'm very grateful it was me." No matter how many yards he gained, that's the Dan Herron everyone will remember..."
Ohio State Captains Postgame MichiganSource: OSU Official Site 11/27/10
Ohio State senior class wins 43 games overall: With Ohio State’s 37-7 win against Michigan on Saturday, OSU’s senior class won its 43rd game overall. That ties for second all-time in Buckeyes’ history. A win in their bowl game would tie the 24 seniors with the Class of 2009 for most wins all-time.
Classes with most wins in OSU history
3 AP Top 5 finishes
2 BCS title games
Frosh on ’02 title team
Rose/Sugar Bowl wins
Rose Bowl win, 4 Big 10 titles
29-1 stretch of games
Nov. 18, 2006 — No. 1 vs. No. 2
1997 Rose Bowl champ
2004, 2003, 1976, 1975 teams
Wins Class Highlights
1. 44 2009 3 AP Top 5 finishes 2. 43 2008 2 BCS title games 43 2005 Frosh on ’02 title team 43 1998 Rose/Sugar Bowl wins 43 2010 Rose Bowl win, 4 Big 10 titles 6. 41 2007 29-1 stretch of games 41 2007 Rose/Sugar Bowls 41 2006 Nov. 18, 2006 — No. 1 vs. No. 2 41 1996 1997 Rose Bowl champ 10. 40 2004, 2003, 1976, 1975 teams
Final straw: Latest loss shows Wolverines need change November 27, 2010 Source: Detroit News - "
You're measured against your biggest rivals, and against your program's own expectations. By any measure, Michigan isn't close. There's no hiding the ugly flaws, not when the opponent is Ohio State, not when they keep popping up, week after week. That's why Rich Rodriguez sits where he now uncomfortably sits, still maintaining he can turn Michigan around but not certain he'll get the chance. My contention was, if this season plummeted at the end with a blowout loss to Ohio State, Rodriguez should be replaced. I stand by it after the Wolverines were embarrassed again by the Buckeyes 37-7. Among fans, the insistent roar grows. It'll be tougher for Rodriguez to survive with a hot candidate out there like Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback and a natural fit. It's a difficult call for athletic director Dave Brandon, who could reasonably argue some pieces are in place for a leap up next season, and firing Rodriguez would cause another gigantic upheaval in system and players and recruiting. Brandon wouldn't comment Saturday other than to say his evaluation timetable hadn't changed, meaning he'd make a decision after the season (presumably after the bowl game)..."
What the Wolverines had to say November 27, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Rich Rodriguez, Michigan head coach...On sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson..."Denard dislocated a couple of fingers on his left (non-throwing) hand late in the first half. It wouldn't have been much of a problem, but he likes to grip it with that hand and he couldn't get any feeling back. He tried to go back in the second half but he just couldn't do it. It's unfortunate because he was playing well today."...Ryan Van Bergen, Michigan junior defensive tackle
On the locker room feel after the game: "It always hurts more to lose to Ohio State. We want to represent our university and wanted to put our seniors out with a win here. Everyone is accountable for the loss. No one played their best game. Hopefully we can send the seniors out with a win in our bowl game."...Jordan Kovacs, Michigan sophomore strong safety On gaining the early momentum and not capitalizing: "They're a good team and they made adjustments. They had a great second half. We didn't take advantage of field position."..."
Michigan's Rodriguez: 'Maybe some people don't want me to have success' November 27, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said he will not decide whether to keep Rodriguez until after the season. He repeated that today after Ohio State's 37-7 rout. But the third straight lopsided loss in the series won't make it easier for Brandon to retain his coach. Asked if he was worried about his future, Rodriguez replied, "I worry about my future every day. Before I took the job. After I took the job." But he said he is not deterred in his belief he is on the right path.
"I took this job to make this the best program in America," he said. "Sometimes it takes a little longer to mold the program the way you want to mold it. Sometimes you get more obstacles in your way when you're trying to mold it. It doesn't mean you can't do it." Rodriguez said he is convinced the worst is behind him, even if others don't agree. "I know what I see and I'm in the middle of it," he said. "Maybe some people don't want me to have success. But I would think most people that follow Michigan do because they love our school and love our program."..."
MICHIGAN vs. OHIO STATE
Four things to watch: Michigan vs. Ohio State November 26, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "1. The Buckeyes up front on defense: The Michigan defense will be the worst unit on the field today, but Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said it's the other matchup -- Michigan's offense vs. Ohio State's defense -- that should worry the Wolverines the most. He thinks the Buckeyes have the speed on defense to create problems for Michigan. If the OSU defensive line never lets Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson find a hole or accelerate around the corner, the Buckeyes may not have much to chase. OSU sophomore defensive lineman John Simon took over the Iowa game at times last week -- "Johnny was ambushing them," Cameron Heyward said -- and Heyward himself had a huge sack when it mattered most. Defensive end Nathan Williams will be a key as Michigan tries to work its zone-read option plays, and if Dexter Larimore can clog up the middle, Robinson will have to hesitate rather than explode through holes. OSU linebacker Brian Rolle said the Michigan offensive line looks to be a lot better than it was last season. But after losing the battles against the Wisconsin offense, ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten behind the Wolverines and Buckeyes, and No. 23 in the country, this is a chance for the Ohio State defense to make a stand against another highly ranked offense. Michigan is No. 5 in the nation and it plays a different style...
2. How Terrelle Pryor handles himself: Whether it was a big deal or not, the Ohio State quarterback was clearly fired up on the sidelines while talking to his coaches last week after throwing an interception. He was still fired up after the win, writing on Twitter, "Talk is cheap none of you haters could fit my shoes [with] ten socks on. Bums. Go Bucks." He also wrote that ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit was a "fake Buckeye" after Herbstreit offered some critiques of the way Pryor handled himself. Coach Jim Tressel said he had no issues with Pryor's actions in the heat of the moment at Iowa. If Pryor hits any rough spots today, you imagine that the cameras will find him.
3. All-Big Ten receivers: The quarterbacks control the offenses, but each has what might be a first-team All-Big Ten receiver to throw to...Michigan's Ray Roundtree is second (Big Ten) with 839 yards and Ohio State's Dane Sanzenbacher is third with 818. Sanzenbacher is also tied for second in the Big Ten with nine touchdown catches, while Roundtree has six...Roundtree has four 100-yard games, including a 246-yard breakout against Illinois three weeks ago. Sanzenbacher has three 100-yard receiving games this season, including at Iowa last week...
4. Rushing marks: Ohio State running back Dan Herron enters the game with 893 rushing yards, which ranks seventh in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes had a 1,000-yard rusher six times in Tressel's first nine seasons, but last year, Pryor led the Buckeyes with 779 yards on the ground. The OSU offensive linemen have said getting Herron to 1,000 would mean a lot to them, and he should certainly get there between this game and the bowl..."
Ohio State vs. Michigan The Rivalry
Five Key Factors November 26, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "TIE UP 'SHOELACE': ...Denard "Shoelace" Robinson is second nationally in total offense. Everyone knows he's a great runner...but his passing is underrated... So how to limit him? The best way is not to take risks _ don't blitz a lot and play a lot of zone coverage. That way, your defenders are facing Robinson, for the most part, and are in better position to keep him contained. Make him settle for small gains rather than explosive plays.
ROLLE WITH IT: If there's one player who may play a key role (bad pun) in defending Robinson, it's OSU LB Brian Rolle. He is the Buckeyes' fastest linebacker, and best equipped to run down a player trying to turn the corner. Rolle is on a hot streak, coming off three straight good games, including being named Big Ten defensive player of the week last week. And he's a senior, so the emotions will be running high.
PLAY POSSESSED: ...the game plan could be similar to that which worked so well against point-a-minute Oregon in the Rose Bowl: Keep the ball away from that dangerous offense...OSU held onto the ball for more than 43 minutes... This strategy can't be taken to extremes, as it might take 30 points to win, and the Buckeyes also can't settle for too many field goals.
POWER, PLAY ACTION: Transitioning off that last key, the Buckeyes should focus on the power-run game in particular. The fullback iso has been OSU's most effective running play, anyway. Michigan is horrible against the run, but the Wolverines do at least see a spread offense each day in practice, so the read-option and one-back stuff might not be as effective as just taking it straight to Michigan. And off the power game, play-action passing always is a good idea.
NOTHING CHEAP: ...one of the few ways Michigan can hang in or even dream of an upset is by getting defensive or special-teams touchdowns... The Wolverines should know that -- Cameron Heyward's fumble recovery for a score put them behind last year in an otherwise fairly even game. Ohio State has righted the special-teams ship since the bye week, with back-to-back solid games of kick coverage. That needs to continue..."
On the Edge: Dispatch beat writers Ken Gordon and Tim May predict which team has the edge in this week's game. See if you agree..."
Ohio State-Michigan key matchups November 26, 2010 Source: The News Herald - "1. OSU linebacker Brian Rolle vs. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. The onus on stopping, or at least slowing down, Robinson falls on the entire OSU defense. But since Rolle insinuated earlier this week he could chase Robinson down from behind, he is the linchpin. Robinson...is going to get his share of yards — and Michigan is going to score — but keeping him at least in semi-control is important for the Buckeyes.
2. OSU defensive backs vs. Michigan receivers Darryl Stonum, Roy Roundtree and Junior Hemmingway.... If Ohio State's front seven are paying attention to Robinson so as to keep him from running wild, the defensive backs (Chimdi Chekwa, Devon Torrence, Aaron Gant, Jermale Hines, Ohrian Johnson) will have to play strong, tight, smart coverage.
3. OSU's Dan Herron and Terrelle Pryor vs. Michigan's front seven. The Wolverines give up a ton of yards on the ground...They could help themselve exponentially if they can not give up more than 300 yards rushing like they did last week against Wisconsin. Herron and Pryor could make life miserable for Michigan if the OSU offensive line blows the Wolverines off the ball....
4. OSU receivers DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher vs. Michigan safeties Jordan Kovacs and Ray Vinopal. Both Kovacs (6-foot) and Vinopal (5-10) are smallish, which could create matchup problems deep downfield. Posey and Sanzenbacher have picked up big-gainers in recent weeks. The Buckeyes could exploit their experience and size advantage on the sophomore-freshman safety combo with some deep passes..."
"Never was at an Ohio State /Michigan game until I coached here. Tickets are hard. And they didn't have eBay back then, I don't think."
- Tressel when asked if he had ever gone to a Michigan-Ohio State when he was a kid.
Jim Tressel's history with Ohio State-Michigan goes way back: Coach Jim Tressel has a fondness for the annual Michigan-Ohio State game that goes a lot deeper than tackling, running and Xs and Os. When the 57-year-old Tressel was a kid, the joust between the Wolverines and Buckeyes was about the first time he and the rest of his family really got to spend any quality time with his father in almost three months. Tressel's father, Lee, was the head football coach at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea. In the days when coaches didn't text or e-mail or tweet, back when staffs were small and the head of the football program might also be in charge of laundering the uniforms, there was little respite during a season. With the small-college season usually over, the Michigan-Ohio State game became a time for the family to reconnect.
"We always watched it. I mean, it was 'The Game,'" Jim Tressel said. "You felt like you were part of it, just like everyone does now." It was a special event in the house, a time for the whole clan to get together. "My dad was pretty busy. We didn't see him much from August until the Ohio State-Michigan game and we got to sit and have a couple hours with him," Tressel said. "When you don't get much (time) and you get a little bit, it's special." Source: Detroit Free Press 11/24/10
"You're defined by your performance in the Ohio State-Michigan game ... You play it like it's the last game in the world."
- Tressel about The Game
Five questions for Ohio State - Michigan November 23, 2010 Source: The OSU Lantern - "Do Ohio State players realize how impressive their streak of dominance against the "team up north" is?:...Center Mike Brewster said part of the reason for the team's success against the Maize and Blue is that the players never stop thinking about the game...
Will OSU approach Wisconsin-like rushing numbers against an overmatched Wolverine defense?: Last week against Wisconsin, Michigan gave up 357 yards rushing...At one point, the Badgers ran the ball 28 consecutively against the Wolverines...Expect more of the same on Saturday...
How long can Denard Robinson keep Michigan in the game?: One thing the Wolverines have going for them is quarterback Denard Robinson, their one-man offensive wrecking crew...Tressel knows his defense faces a tall task in containing the 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore from Deerfield Beach, Fla. "He's got great quickness. He's tough and he's got a live arm," Tressel said. "He's hard to get on the ground. He's just a great player."
Is this Rich Rodriguez's last trip to Columbus as Michigan's coach?: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is running out of reasons to keep Rodriguez, who has a career record of 15-20 and a dreadful 6-17 conference record. He's winless against OSU and Michigan State, the program's top two rivals...
What would an OSU win mean for the team's BCS bowl hopes?: Unless Wisconsin falls to Northwestern on Saturday, OSU likely won't play in the Rose Bowl...a win for OSU on Saturday virtually assures the team of another BCS bowl appearance, possibly the Sugar Bowl, making it OSU's eighth BCS appearance in 10 years under Tressel..."
Coach Tressel Weekly Press Conference Source: OSU Official Site 11/22/10
Michigan (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten) at No. 8 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1): If the Buckeyes win, they will tie a Big Ten record with their sixth consecutive league title (won or shared). They also aim for their seventh consecutive win against their archrival. Michigan can spoil it all for Ohio State and take the heat off of third-year coach Rich Rodriguez, but a Wolverines win would qualify as a major upset. Pryor takes aim at a Wolverines defense that ranks 99th nationally in points allowed (33.6 ppg).
"You're not going to face the team that you're watching on film. That's the way this game is."
- Tressel said about preparing for Michigan
"This is the last time they go out there. That's a big deal to us, and a big deal to them."
- Tressel also said he expects his 24 seniors – who have never lost to Michigan in their careers – to play their final game in Ohio Stadium with unparalleled passion, since it will be their last shot at Michigan, and they will be playing for a piece of a sixth straight Big Ten championship.
Michigan's biggest advantage Scoring: The Wolverines undoubtedly can score. They've proven that, especially when sophomore QB Denard Robinson has the offense in a rhythm. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said the Buckeyes have had several players trying to simulate Robinson during practice, but it is difficult with the speed he brings. Michigan is fifth nationally in total offense (514.55 yards). The trouble is Michigan has issues getting started. In four Big Ten losses, Michigan has been outscored, 90-27, in the first half.
Michigan's biggest problem
The defense: Clearly, Michigan's biggest problem has been its defense, No. 112 nationally (445.18 yards). In four Big Ten losses, Michigan has allowed an average 402.5 yards. Wisconsin gashed the defense for 357 yards rushing (and six TDs). Ohio State has plenty of offensive playmakers and is ninth nationally in scoring (39.64 points). Source: Detroit News 11/26/10
Wolverines QB Denard Robinson against Ohio State’s defense. The Buckeyes rank third in the nation in both total and rushing defense. Robinson, despite some nagging injuries and some notable drops by his receivers, is second nationally in total offense (342.5 ypg) and third in rushing (139.8 ypg). Too bad he doesn’t play defense too.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Michigan: LB Jonas Mouton is one of the few non-matadors on a defense which has given up fewer than 34 points only once since Sept. Only way Wolverines have a chance is if Robinson goes off, the defense suddenly starts making stops and the special-teams play tilts toward Michigan.
Ohio State: QB Terrelle Pryor’s numbers are pedestrian, but when the Buckeyes need a big play he always seems to be making it. In a fourth-quarter comeback for a 20-17 win at Iowa last week, he ran for 14 yards and a first down on fourth and 10 on the pivotal drive. Against Michigan’s porous defense, TB Dan “Boom” Herron might do a Tim Biakabutuka (313 yards for Michigan against Ohio State in the 1995 game). Source: Associated Press
WHAT TO WATCH IN THE BIG TEN: WEEK 13 4. Robinson vs. Pryor: The Big Ten's two most recognizable players meet Saturday at The Horseshoe, and the league's Offensive Player of the Year Award could be at stake. Robinson has broken records and put up some incredible numbers, but he's still looking for a signature win. Beating No. 10 Ohio State certainly would qualify. Pryor boasts a 29-4 record as Ohio State's starting quarterback and came up big in the clutch last week at Iowa. Both signal callers have significantly improved their passing numbers this season, but both remain threats to run. Source: ESPN
Terrelle Pryor vs. Denard Robinson a worthy main event for Ohio State-Michigan November 23, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...I think they're very similar in that they both make a lot of big plays," said Minnesota coach Jeff Horton, who faced Pryor and has seen plenty of Robinson on game film and on highlights. "Denard Robinson has got to be the most exciting player around, and I think Michigan asks more of him than what they do of Terrelle Pryor at Ohio State. But when [Pryor] takes off running ... he's like Secretariat running down that field. He's a big old thoroughbred and a great athlete.
"I think both are the keys to the Cadillac in those two offenses. Both are gamebreakers and that's what really worries you as a coach."
The fact that Pryor was recruited heavily by Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez will always hover around this game, but Rodriguez said Tuesday even if he would have landed Pryor in 2008, he would have take Robinson in 2009.
"No question about it. And I would think [Robinson] would have still come," Rodriguez said. "Some players in recruiting, they don't want to come if they think you have someone already there, but the really good ones don't care."
That's strange to consider. Realistically, Robinson very well may have chosen to go elsewhere if Pryor was a Wolverine, but it wouldn't have been Ohio State, because Jim Tressel said Monday the Buckeyes weren't involved in recruiting him.
At the college homes they did choose, both have done their jobs. The 6-foot, 193-pound Robinson has masterfully driven Rodriguez's spread offense this season, while the 6-foot-6, 239-pound Pryor has continued to evolve as a passer in Tressel's multi-faceted pro-style system.
"One thing, Denard has surprised everybody a little bit because he's so young and he just matured," Illinois coach Ron Zook said. "I think we all kind of expected Terrelle to have the year he's having, but Denard is just a guy who can take a game over, as Terrelle can. It'll be an interesting matchup."
Both should make a much bigger mark on this series Saturday than they have in the past. In two starts, Pryor has accounted for just 254 yards of total offense against Michigan, completing 14 of 30 passes for 187 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while rushing 27 times for 67 yards. In a brief appearance in last season's game behind starter Tate Forcier, Robinson as a freshman completed two passes for four yards and ran 10 times for 31 yards.
Clearly, this is a different Robinson.
"I have a couple of buddies who are Michigan fans and that's all they do is talk about Denard," OSU defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said. "I think he's in his own class right now. I would vote for him as my Heisman winner."
In comparing styles of play, several Buckeyes compared Robinson to how Pryor was a freshman or early in his sophomore year.
"Early on, I think Terrelle was more like Denard," said OSU defensive lineman Dexter Larimore, "being able to run a lot of quarterback runs, quarterback reads and stuff like that. Whereas now I think we protect him, limit him in the amount of carries he gets and the amount hits he takes.
"He is such a key part of our offense, we can't really necessarily have him carry the ball 30 times a game. We can't let him do that. If he were to go down it would be an ugly situation."
Michigan has faced that several times this year, with Robinson leaving games with injuries. After carrying the ball 29 and 28 times in his first two starts, his workload has gradually decreased, but he still averages 21 carries and 140 rushing yards per game compared to 10 carries and 54 yards for Pryor. Robinson accounts for nearly 67 percent of Michigan's offensive yards, Pryor for almost 60 percent of Ohio State's.
As former Ohio State quarterback Cornelius Greene pointed out in a phone interview Tuesday, this will be the first Ohio State-Michigan game featuring two African-American starting quarterback since Greene and Michigan's Dennis Franklin led their teams in 1973 and 1974.
"They both worry defenses to death," Greene said. "This is a game that everybody wants to win, so I think you can try too hard. Sometimes a guy is wide open and instead of zipping that ball in there like you did all year, you try to lob and make sure the pass gets there. You overcompensate and that's when mistakes happen. But I think I'm looking at a pretty high-scoring game."
Like a lot of fans, Greene can't wait to see what they do, with their arms and their legs.
How Michigan's Denard Robinson and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor compare
Source: The Detroit News
Past showdowns in The Game: Terrelle Pryor and Denard Robinson will offer an intriguing quarterback matchup in the Ohio State-Michigan game on Saturday. Here are four other showdowns of the past between two of the better quarterbacks in each program's history.
Cameron Heyward talks about "The Game" Source: OSU Official Site 11/23/10
"I think when you come in as a freshman you know what you're getting yourself into. The Michigan rivalry is one of the greatest and coming here you know it. I think just as a recruit you notice it. All the great traditions you see while walking around. The experience of the gold pants and just the chance to go out there and play for your school. It's a great rivalry. If you don't know it you are missing out."
Ross Homan, senior linebacker, On the improvement of Michigan's offense: "Unbelievable. If you watch it on film their offense is unbelievable. It's one of the best in the country."
Dane Sanzenbacher, senior wide receiver, On the importance Tressel puts on this game:
"I think he's put such an emphasis on the game with himself relaying it to the team and making sure everyone knows it's bigger than a game. Throughout the season it's always on our minds."
Bryant Browning, senior offensive lineman, On beginning to prepare for the Michigan Game: "Right when we finished the Iowa game we started talking about Michigan. I feel Coach Tressel does a great job of keeping that game in our minds – how big it is, how it is the game here and the rivalry of this game. You never want to look down on any of the other opponents, but at Ohio State, the Michigan game is the game. Now we can focus on them and when it's time for it be ready to play."
Devin Barclay, senior kicker, On the rivalry: "This program and the program up in Michigan have that intense rivalry. I don't want to use the word hate – but it's just so competitive. There's going to be no love lost between the two teams. It's going to be them looking to ruin our season and finish on a win and a high note."
Cameron Heyward, senior defensive tackle, On the intensity of the rivalry: "I think as you come in as a freshman you know what you're getting yourself into. The Michigan rivalry is one of the greatest and coming here you know what you are coming to. I think just as a recruit you start to notice it. All the great traditions you see walking around. The experience of the gold pants and just the chance to go out there and play for your school. It's a great rivalry. If you don't know it you are missing out."
Brian Rolle, senior linebacker, On the pressure to win this week: "We know there's always pressure to beat Michigan because it's a big game here. The streak is a lot of pressure. I don't want to be that team when people look back and say ‘remember when we had that five or six-game win streak and we lost'? But we don't focus on that. We're focusing on getting better today and then tomorrow and by Saturday go out and dominate."
A converted Wolverine: Ohio State running back Brandon Saine said Michigan was his favorite team growing up in Piqua, Ohio. "I mainly think it was to be a rebel," he said. "Everyone liked Ohio State, so why not like Michigan? I had a Desmond Howard jersey that I wore all the way up to my sophomore year in high school." What happened to the Howard jersey? "It's gone, definitely. I had to start buying Ohio State stuff." Source: Columbus Dispatch 11/24/10
Fresh from his best game vs. Iowa, Ohio State's Brian Rolle eager to take on Wolverines star Denard Robinson November 22, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Brian Rolle never played better as a Buckeye than he did last week at Iowa, and the Ohio State senior captain and Big Ten defensive player of the week picked a fine time to peak. When 6-foot, 193-pound Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson gets moving Saturday, Ohio State's 5-11, 218-pound middle linebacker will have to be leading the chase. "I feel like in between the lines, I think there's very few people in the country that can run away from me," Rolle said Monday.
Averaging 21 carries and 140 rushing yards per game, Robinson is unlike any other quarterback the Buckeyes have seen this season, and his role in the Rich Rodriguez spread is unlike the other Big Ten spread offenses. "We have to slow down an offense that is doing unbelievable this season. Nobody's really slowed them down yet," Ohio State defensive lineman Dexter Larimore said. "They've just been putting points on the board, they've been running all over the place."...
"This week is a good game because you know they're going to run zone plays where it's not straight downhill at you, and they're going to run [screens] and throw the ball deep so that is an advantage [with me] being able to run like I can do," Rolle said...Four years ago, Rolle, a Florida native attended the Ohio State-Michigan No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Ohio Stadium as a recruit and it made him want to be a Buckeye. Saturday he'll play his final game in that stadium with a full understanding of it all. "I tell my parents I feel like I'm from Ohio," Rolle said. "I feel like this is where I'm from. This is where I belong."..."
Get Your Hate On: If you don't get it, allow Spiels to explain it Source: Eleven Warriors
Chris Spielman on Wolverines: 'I don't know how they got this bad on defense' November 23, 2010 Source: Detroit News - "Former Ohio State and Lions linebacker Chris Spielman, now working for ESPN as a college football analyst, said that without a doubt, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the fastest player he's ever seen, and the Michigan defense is the worst he has ever witnessed from the storied program. Spielman worked Michigan's 48-28 loss to Wisconsin last Saturday, and then Monday afternoon was on Columbus radio station, The Fan 97.1, for "The Big Show", on which he appears regularly with co-host Bruce Hooley. Here are some of Spielman's comments from Monday's show regarding Michigan:
* Spielman on Robinson: "Look, one word of warning. Any time you've got an offense, you've got a puncher's chance. And Michigan has a puncher's chance against Ohio State. A lot of things got to go their way. Ohio State has to throw interceptions, they have to put the ball on the ground. But anytime you have … I think, really, he's the fastest football player that I've ever seen play in person, Denard Robinson. "That's the one thing, here's my warning if anybody is listening over at the (Ohio State football facility) Woody Hayes, here's my warning: You think he's fast. He looks fast on film. You don't know how fast this kid is until you see him play in person. And that's something that our guys are going to have to adjust to, because their offense is explosive, they can score points in a hurry, and it's going to be a challenge on our defense against their offense."
* Spielman on Michigan's defense, ranked 112th nationally giving up an average 445.2 points: "Now their defense on the other hand, it is the worst Michigan defense ever in the history of Michigan football in my opinion. They are so bad. They can't tackle. In my way of thinking, I don't know how they got this bad on defense. You look at Ohio State, when they lose players, we've had injuries, has this defense taken a noticeable step back? No. It still maintains. It still goes. "Everybody is saying, 'Well, they're all young, they're all coming back.' Well, yeah, they're all coming back. It's on the worst defense in the NCAA they're all coming back. Is that so exciting for you? It's bad. (Nose tackle Mike) Martin is the only guy that could start at Ohio State -- the only guy that could start. He would roll in there. He's a good player. But other than that, these guys would be excellent special teams guys. Very good on special teams.
* Spielman said he has an issue with Michigan's scheme and talent level on defense: "It's not for lack of trying. They have a scheme, they can't execute the scheme. I'm not a big fan of the scheme because there's a lot of bubbles. And what I mean by that, there's just areas to run. They're not gap sound. They make a lot of mental errors. I think some of it is youth, but some of it's got to be talent, right? Here's the deal with this whole defense at Michigan, I mean, I think this, I'm pretty sure this is going to happen. There's going to be a huge evaluation of what direction they're going to go defensively. What do you want to do philosophically? What type of player are we going to recruit? Are we going to have walk-ons from outside of Toledo be our starting safety (Jordan Kovacs) or are we going to get kids who can play? And we better get on our recruiting high horse and start going into living rooms and getting All-Americans and getting players that fit the Michigan defensive model that's been established over 100 years of talented players, NFL-ready type players who come in, play hard, play it with a level of tenacity and talent, which I'm used to seeing at Michigan. They had a defensive back (Charles Woodson) from Ohio who won the Heisman Trophy for crying out loud, the NFL MVP, they don't have any of those guys. Frankly, they don't have any of those guys on their roster...but it comes down to one thing when you're talking about playing at a high level like Michigan is used to playing at, and that's talent. And they have zero on defense. One kid, the Martin kid. Other than that, a lot of guys would be nice little subs at Indiana."..."
Next game: vs. Michigan
Where : Ohio Stadium When : Noon Saturday
TV : ABC
Radio : WBNS-AM/FM (1460/97.1)
Up next: Robinson, Michigan's dangerous quarterback, is second nationally in total offense (342.45-yard average) behind Bryant Moniz of Hawaii (362.73). The Wolverines (7-4) are bowl eligible for the first time in three years and probably have saved the job of third-year coach Rich Rodriguez. Their defense appears to be a couple of seasons away from being championship-worthy (112th in the nation in total defense, 445.18-yard avg.), but the offense and Robinson have scored on almost everybody.
This week's challenge: It's pretty straightforward: If the Buckeyes push their win streak over Michigan to seven, they will clinch at least a share of a record-tying sixth straight Big Ten title, matching the streak of the Buckeyes from 1972-77. Insiders believe that a trip to the Bowl Championship Series' Sugar Bowl could be the reward. Some Buckeyes fans might be taking the game outcome for granted, but not coach Jim Tressel, even if he is 8-1 against the Wolverines. He had his The Game face on just moments after the win at Iowa. Source: Columbus Dispatch 11/22/10
Rich Rodriguez, Jim Tressel talk Michigan defense November 23, 2010 Source: Detroit Free Press - "
As three other Big Ten teams compete for the championship this weekend -- including Michigan's opponent, Ohio State -- U-M coach Rich Rodriguez conceded the only way to get there is with a balanced team. Being dominant in one phase, like Michigan is on offense, is not enough.
"I think you have to be better than OK in all three phases," he said on today's Big Ten teleconference. "If you're great on offense, great on special teams and OK on defense, I think you can win some games, but I don't think you can win championships...
The question was asked in relation to Michigan's defense, which has shown brief moments of success but mostly has been a massive disappointment this season. While Rodriguez is focusing on Saturday's game at Ohio State, Rodriguez said he has been considering the long-term solutions, too. "Most coaches, like myself, will do it daily, will do it weekly," he said. "I've done that. I do that every year, and with all three phases. Certainly, we've got improvements to make defensively, and we've talked at length about it, recruiting-wise and scheme-wise and everything else...
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel observed some positives while watching the Wolverines on film. "One of the things I like about them is they run, and they never stop playing, and the one thing we know about the Ohio State-Michigan game is you're going to see a whole different team on the field than you've seen in the first 10 or 11 games," Tressel said.
"That's just the way it was when I was an assistant coach, that's the way it's been these 10 years that I've been the head coach. I love the way they run around. The thing I love best about their team -- and I loved best about Rich's teams at West Virginia -- is they play, and they play and they play, and they just fly around. That's what football's all about. They must be enjoying themselves, because they keep playing, whether it's their defense, offense or special teams."...
Also, Rodriguez was asked whether quarterback Denard Robinson would have come to Michigan if Terrelle Pryor, now Ohio State's QB, had signed with the Wolverines the previous year. Rodriguez said he feels he would have, that U-M recruits quarterbacks who want to compete for the job, regardless who is there already..."
It's Hate Week folks, and we have lots to share. Plan on getting your fix everyday as we show you another video highlighting the extent of our hate of TSUN and the recent fall of their program. We will start the week out by watching the 21-10 victory the Buckeyes grabbed last year, the sixth in a row over the Wolverines. I have lots of favorite moments including (but not limited to) Gibson rocking Tate Forcier, Sabino lighting up Darryl Stonum, and all the interceptions (Coleman, Gibson, and Torrence). Drink it in Buckeye Nation.... Source: The Silver Bullet
11 Reasons To Love Michigan Week 2010 November 22, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "Michigan Week is finally here...That is why, to help the kick-off of Beat Michigan Week, we bring you the 11 reasons you need to get excited for this year's game, the 107th meeting in the rivalry...
11. Everyone has an obnoxious friend who roots for Michigan...There is nothing better than shutting your buddy up after The Game is played every year, and this year is no different...
10. Big Ten/Rose Bowl Chances Stay Alive: The Bucks are gunning for their record-tying sixth straight shared or outright Big Ten title, which is important in itself, but they are also trying to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive.
9. BCS Bowl Chances Stay Alive: If the Rose Bowl doesn't happen, the next best thing would be an invite to the Sugar or Orange bowls....
6. Give MICHIGAN some Insight, Pizza-Pizza, or some Texas TWO-STEP...If we have to watch that porous defense go up against other conferences, let's at least send them where they actually have a shot to not make (BigTen) us look as bad.
5. We get our shot at Denard... I'm finally happy that B-Rolle and Jermale Hines will get their crack at #16. Will Robinson even make it through the whole game with the way Jermale has been hitting? I don't think so.
4. We love to hate Rich Rod: From being called a "snake in a wizard hat selling oil", breaking the rules on a constant basis at every school he's at, or just that stupid smug smile he puts on, we as Buckeye fans love to hate Rich Rodriguez. ...
3. Turkey and some Wolverine too: It's definitely different, but I think I kind of like the whole Michigan game on Thanksgiving Saturday thing...
2. 9-1, 7 In A Row, 2,662: If the Buckeyes win on Saturday, Jim Tressel will move to 9-1 against Michigan, it will be 7 wins in a row against Michigan for OSU, and it will be 2,662 days since UM last beat the Bucks....
1. IT'S MICHIGAN! No other reasons necessary. It's Michigan-Ohio State. It doesn't get any better than this. Let's beat the stuffing out of those guys..."
SERIES RECORD • Ohio State has won the last six meetings with Michigan, for the first time in school history, and 8 of the last 9 overall. Michigan has not won in Columbus since 2000. Michigan leads the all-time series with Ohio State by a 57-43-6 count. Michigan leads 27-23-2 in games played in Columbus and 30-20-4 in Ann Arbor. Since 1951, the Buckeyes hold a 31-26-2 lead, including victories in eight of the nine games during the Jim Tressel era. Michigan leads Ohio State with 14 more victories primarily because of the Wolverines' record of 13-0-2 during the first 15 games (played between 1897 and 1918). Since 1926, the series is tied: 40-40-3.
• The combined scores of the past 83 games are exactly the same: Each school has scored a total of 1,309 points during that span.
• Ohio State has won the last four games in the series played at Ohio Stadium. Last time that happened was 1968 through 1974. The Buckeyes have never won five straight against Michigan at home.
• The last time a ranked Ohio State team lost to an unranked Michigan team was 1993; that was in Ann Arbor and the score was 28-0.
FIRST AND 10 • Terrelle Pryor needs 67 yards rushing to become Ohio State's career rushing leader among quarterbacks. In the win at Iowa, Pryor became just the second QB in Ohio State history to rush for 2,000 yards. Cornelius Greene rushed for 2,066 yards from 1972-75.
• Pryor does his most damage as a ball-carrier on third down. Since 2009, he leads the FBS with 15 carries of 15 yards or more on third down and has averaged 13.1 yards on 23 third-down scrambles the past two seasons.
• Ohio State is 18-3 when 'Boom' Herron has a rushing touchdown. Herron has 1,932 career rushing yards and needs
just 68 yards to reach 2,000 for his career. He has 893 yards this season and needs 107 to reach 1000.
•Through 11 games, Ohio State ranks first in the Big Ten in scoring defense (13.9), total defense (241.5), pass defense (155.1), pass efficiency defense (98.2) and kickoff returns (25.2). The Buckeyes are second in the conference in turnover margin (+1.1), scoring offense (39.6), total offense (446.2). They also have allowed the fewest number of opponent first downs (146).
• Ohio State ranks seventh nationally in turnover margin (+1.09) with 26 forced turnovers in 2010.
THE SILVER BULLETS • Among FBS teams, Ohio State ranks third in total defense (241.4 ypg), third in rushing defense (86.3
ypg), fifth in pass defense (155.1 ypg), fifth in scoring defense (13.9 ppg) and seventh in TO margin (+1.09).
•The Ohio State defense is averaging 5.81 three-and-outs per contest this season, second best among FBS teams behind TCU (6.09 per game).
IN REGULAR SEASON FINALES • In regular season finales, the Buckeyes are 62-54-5 all-time. Under Coach Jim Tressel, the
Buckeyes are 8-1 in those games.
THE SENIOR CLASS • 24 seniors, including 12 starters (Barclay, Justin Boren, Browning, Chekwa, Gant, Heyward, Hines, Ross Homan, Larimore, Rolle, Sanzenbacher and Torrence, will be playing in their final home game Saturday in the 107th meeting all-time between Ohio State and Michigan. These seniors hold a record of 42-8 (84%) entering the Michigan game. There have been 13 Ohio State senior classes that have won 40 or more games, including the 2010 Buckeyes. The 2009 had 44 wins and 3 AP Top 5 finishes.
DID YOU KNOW? • With its win at Iowa Saturday, Ohio State became the first team in Big Ten history to win at least 10 games in six consecutive seasons.
• A win on Saturday would make it seven conference crowns in Jim Tressel's first 10 years. That would tie him with Minnesota's Bernie Bierman for the second best start in conference history, behind only Bo Schembechler, who won at least a share of eight titles in his first 10 years in Ann Arbor.
• With a win Saturday, Terrelle Pryor would become the 1st primary starting quarterback since the end of World War II to lead his team to Big Ten titles in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. A win would also make Pryor just the 2nd QB for any team to beat Michigan three times since 1967, with Heisman winner Troy Smith being the other. Prior to Smith, the last guy who had done it was Purdue's Bob Griese from 1964-66.
• Jim Tressel has taken Ohio State to seven BCS bowls. That is tied with USC's Pete Carroll and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops for the most by any
• Tressel is just the 2nd coach to win eight of his first nine games in this rivalry, joining Michigan's Fielding Yost, who started 12-0-1 against the Buckeyes.
• Ohio State is 95-6 when it has allowed fewer than 24 points in the 10 seasons under Tressel.
• 28-4 is Jim Tressel's November record at OSU...including 16-1 since 2005
• Five times Ohio State has entered The Game as the country's top-ranked team; Michigan has three times been ranked No. 1. The Buckeyes are 3-1-1 in that scenario, winning in 1954 (21-7), 1975 (21-14) and 2006 (42-39); losing in 1969 (24-12); and playing to a 10-10 tie in 1973. The Wolverines are 3-0 as No. 1, in 1947 (21-0), 1948 (13-3) and 1997 (20-14).
• Only once during the 106 seasons of the rivalry have both teams ended the season with losing records. In 1959 the Wolverines finished 4-5 and the Buckeyes were 3-5-1.
• In 106 contests between Ohio State and Michigan, 17 games have been decided by three points or less. In those games, the Buckeyes have a record of 6-5-6.
• Ohio State has six Michigan natives on its roster: TE Reid Fragel (Grosse Pointe Farms), DL Johnathan Hankins (Dearborn Heights), WR James Jackson (Grand Ledge), WR Taurian Washington (Orchard Lake), DB Dionte Allen (Detroit) and DB Aaron Gant (Detroit).
• Since 1923, when Ohio State & Michigan met for the dedication game of Ohio Stadium, 7,638,051 fans have attended The Game, which is more than any other college football game in America. Fifty-nine of those 87 games have been sold out, including the last 42 in a row.
WHAT KNEE BRACE • Pryor played without his left knee brace aganst Iowa. It was the first time since the Rose Bowl.
IN NOVEMBER • Ohio State is 28-4 in November games since Jim Tressel became coach in 2001. That is the fourth-best November record among FBS teams in this span.
OSU TO WEAR SPECIAL NIKE UNIFORMS • Ohio State is one of 10 of the top college football programs that will wear uniquely designed Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2010 season. Ohio State will wear the innovative design for the Michigan game November 27, saluting the Buckeyes' 1942 national championship team.
BUCKEYES & WOLVERINES HAVE MET EACH YEAR SINCE 1918 • The Game was moved to the last matchup of the regular season for both teams in 1935. Only once has an OSU-UM game been decided by a single point -- Michigan won 17-16 in Ohio Stadium in 1926, handing the Buckeyes their only loss that season. Michigan's most one-sided victory was 86-0 in 1902; Ohio State's most one-sided was 38-0 in 1935.
MICHIGAN AT A GLANCE • Michigan enters the game 3-4 in the Big Ten and 7-4 overall after winning two of its last three.
• This will be the 17th time that Michigan and Ohio State have played after Thanksgiving. U-M has compiled a 8-7-1 record against OSU after Thanksgiving. The last meeting came in 2001, a 26-20 victory by the Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium.
• Michigan has lost six straight games to Ohio State, the Wolverines' second-longest losing streak ever against any Big Ten opponent. They lost nine in a row to Minnesota between 1934 and 1942.
• Since Jim Tressel took over in Columbus, Michigan is 1-8 against OSU. In that same span, the Wolverines are 49-21 against the rest of the Big Ten.
• Michigan is 5th nationally in total offense (514.6 ypg), 10th in rushing offense and 15th in scoring offense.
• Quarterback Denard Robinson is one of the most electrifying players in the country, ranking second in the NCAA in total offense (342.5) and
third in rushing (139.8). He also ranks among the Top 20 in pass efficiency (158.21)
• Denard Robinson's 1,538 rushing yards are the most-ever for a QB at the FBS (I-A) level. He passed former Air Force star Beau Morgan's single-season record in last week's loss to Wisconsin.
• Roy Roundtree (58-839 yards, 6 TDs) leads the team in receptions and receiving yards, and is second in the Big Ten. He is from Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison).
• Senior James Mouton leads the Big Ten in tackles (102 total; 10.2 avg) while sophomore Jordan Kovacs, from Curtice, Ohio (Clay), is tied for third in the Big Ten with 8.6 per game. Both have registered 7.5 TFL.
• Greg Banks (3.0-19 yards) and Ryan Van Bergen (3.0-24 yards) lead the Wolverines in sacks.
• James Rogers (3-34 yards) leads the team in interceptions.
• Michigan's defense is allowing 33.5 points per game. Michigan has given up a school record 369 points this season. That eclipses the mark of 347, set in Rich Rodriguez's first season in 2008. They allowed 330 points last year. Before Rodriguez's arrival, Michigan had never given up more than 279 points in a season.
• Michigan's two kickers this season have converted only 4 of 13 field goal attempts
• The 2010 Michigan football program boasts 19 players from the state of Ohio (19 Ohio recruits happy to suit up for Michigan), including six starters this season: CB Courtney Avery (Lexington), TE Kevin Koger (Toledo), S Jordan Kovacs (Curtice), OL Patrick Omameh (Columbus), WR Roy Roundtree (Trotwood) and S Ray Vinopal (Youngstown). The 19 players from Ohio is the largest from any one state other than Michigan. (Wolverines trying to revive Ohio pipeline)
• Head coach Rich Rodriguez is in his third year in Ann Arbor with a 15-20 mark and a 120-81-2 record overall as a head coach. He has a .429 winning percentage. The only other Wolverines coaches with a success rate under .547 are Michigan's first: M. Murphy and F. Crawford who combined to go 4-5 in 1891. Rodriguez is 0-2 gainst the Buckeyes. The Wolverines bowl eligible for the first time in his three year tenure.
TV: ABC will televise the game with Sean McDonough and Matt Millen in the press box and Quint Kessenich on the sidelines.
Radio: WBNS (97.1 FM The Fan) is the flagship station for the 73-station Ohio State radio network. Paul Keels will call the play-by play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game
can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio 125 and XM 102.
GOING FOR 6
Ohio State holds the Big Ten record for consecutive conference titles, winning or sharing six straight between 1972 and 1977. The Buckeyes have a chance to tie that record with a win today, which would guarantee them at least a share of the Big Ten title at 7-1. Here are the two streaks.
Legend Difference <25 in National Rank = Push Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+ Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++ Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++
Last Time Out: Wisconsin November 23, 2010 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "It's time yet again for another edition of The Game. Take a look back at the 2009 meeting between the Buckeyes and their archrival Michigan in this edition of "Last Time Out..."
Injury Update: Pryor felt some stinging in his right arm after getting tackled on a keeper, but he recovered quickly. And running back Daniel Herron had to have his right ankle re-taped at one point. But linebacker Brian Rolle played with vigor, leading the team in tackles, despite the heavy tape job on his left ankle. All major hands appear to be on deck for The Game. Source: Columbus Dispatch 11/22/10
There were some reports that true freshman defensive back Christian Bryant would be back and available this week, but Tressel refuted that notion. "No, I wouldn't expect that," he said. "He's not going to be playing in the game."
And Tressel said there weren't any serious injuries suffered in the Iowa game. "No," he said. "I think (Philly Brown) just got poked in the eye. So, no, I don't think anybody has any (lingering effects)."
Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor was drilled in his right (throwing) shoulder by Hawkeye safety Tyler Sash and appeared to be favoring his shoulder for the remainder of the game (although it didn't seem to affect his throwing ability)..."Yeah, it was a good pop," Tressel said. "It was a physical game and he carried it 15 times. So, it was a physical game and he is a little bruised up, but he'll be fine once the blood gets flowing on Saturday. Might get bruised during the game and have to go like this (makes gesture with shoulder like it's bothering him), but he'll keep going." Tressel does not believe that the right shoulder bruise affected Pryor during the Iowa game. Source: Bucknuts.com 11/22/10
Wolverines Have Burning Sensation to "Take Down the Monster" November 21, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "It has been seven long years for the Michigan football program and nearly a decade of agony for fans who had become accustomed to beating their bitter rival on a yearly basis. There was a time when the Wolverines looked forward to their season-ending bout with the hated Buckeyes of Ohio State. That was before Jim Tressel took over the program in Columbus back in 2001...
Like a black cloud hanging over Ann Arbor, and the entire state up north, the streak has lasted far too long for the players and coaches, let alone the fans. "It's a burning sensation to win since we haven't won in five or six years," injured cornerback Troy Woolfolk said before the season. "Everybody at Michigan has not beaten Ohio State so it's in the back of everybody's minds even more."...
They are bowl-eligible for the first time under Rodriguez this season, but the postseason won't do much for Michigan's image if they can't pull off a victory in the Horseshoe. "People say you can go 1-11 as long as you beat Ohio State," offensive lineman Stephen Schilling said. "I would like to beat Ohio State, I would not like to go 1-11."...
"It's really a chip on our shoulder because it's a rivalry and we're one of the winningest programs (in college football history)," Woolfolk said. "To know we haven't beaten one school in six years, it humbles us and causes us more of a sense of hunger." Michigan seniors like Woolfolk and Schilling have spent their entire careers not knowing what it feels like to beat the Buckeyes...
"We've been here longer than him, but I'm sure he wants to beat them because they're our rival and it would be a great win for the program to end that streak. Get that win back," Schilling said of the third-year head coach. Rodriguez has yet to embrace the rivalry the way Tressel has, but will certainly use the losing streak and the 19.5-point spread as motivation heading into the biggest game of the season..."
Denard Robinson vs. the Buckeyes defense is a worthy Thanksgiving treat November 21, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...On Saturday, the Badgers battered Michigan even more, putting up 556 yards, including 357 on the ground. What does that tell us? What we already knew, that Ohio State's defense is better than Michigan's defense...But Michigan also did what it does on offense in the second half Saturday after getting shut out for the first 30 minutes. Michigan scored 21 points in the fourth quarter of a 48-28 loss. What does what tell us? What we already knew, that the Michigan offense can be explosive. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson accounted for 360 yards and four touchdowns against the Badgers, but Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema took a little shot at the Wolverines, telling reporters when asked about Robinson's performance, "For them, that's great. We would never recruit to that."..."
Ranking the Rivalry Wins of the Jim Tressel Era: Ohio State's head coach Jim Tressel has an 8-1 record against the Buckeyes' biggest arch-rival, the Michigan Wolverines...Tressel has broken out every stop against the Wolverines, from implementing the best of Tressel Ball to wear down their defense and preserve victory, to airing out the long ball. He has his boys on a six-game win streak against Michigan. Only one player on Ohio State has lost in the rivalry game, Justin Boren, who saw the light a few years ago and transferred to Ohio State. So let's take a walk down memory lane and rank all of Jim's wins over Michigan, starting with number eight.
8. 2008 Ohio State 42, Michigan 7...
7. 2009 Ohio State 21, Michigan 10...
6. 2004 Ohio State 37, Michigan 2...
5. 2005 Ohio State 25, Michigan 21...
4. 2007 Ohio State 14, Michigan 3...
3. 2001 Ohio State 26, Michigan 20...
2. 2006 Ohio State 42, Michigan 39...
1. 2002 Ohio State 14, Michigan 9: The Buckeyes came into this game undefeated and looking to win their final game of the season to go to the Fiesta Bowl for a chance at a National Championship.
The memories from 1995 and 1996 were all too fresh going into this game, as Michigan beat Ohio State in both of those seasons to put an end to their perfect seasons and National Title hopes.
Fans were on edge the whole game, as the low scoring affair was close the whole time, with Michigan leading 9-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ohio State's game-winning drive came with less than nine minutes to play, and with two big plays, a 15-yard pass to Brandon Schnittker and a 26-yarder to Maurice Clarett, they set up a three-yard touchdown run by Mourice Hall.
There was no time to celebrate, however, as the Wolverines had two more drives that went deep into OSU territiory.
They stopped Michigan with two-and-a-half minutes left when Will Smith recovered a fumble by John Navarre and ended their second drive in the last five minutes on the 24-yard line with an interception by Will Allen.
The final seconds ticked off the clock and bedlam ensued in Columbus, as the Buckeyes finished the season 13-0 and went on to play Miami University in the Fiesta Bowl.
The rest, as they say, is history..." Source: Bleacher Report 11/24/10
The Michigan Wolverines look to slow down the dominant Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. Spencer Tillman joins Jason Horowitz for an in-depth preview of this Big Ten battle.
Preview: #8 Ohio State vs Michigan November 26, 2010 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...Opponent...armed with with one of the better receiver corps in the Big Ten. Johnson-Koulianos (#15) and Richard McNutt (#7) each enter averaging a bit over four receptions per game and are neck and neck in yards with 673 and 660, respectively. DJK is more of the deep threat, while McNutt's size (6-4/215) presents a matchup problem for just about any secondary without monster corners. Senior tight end Allen Reisner (#82), a Mackey Award semifinalist, also has great size to go along with great hands and will be a frequent target of Stanzi, as will flanker Colin Sandeman (#22)...When you take into account the fact that Iowa doesn't turn the ball over (they lead the nation with just 7 turnovers surrendered), has the conference's best punter, it's top kick return man and the three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year patrolling its sidelines and there just aren't a lot of weaknesses to exploit. Ferentz will have his team prepared and the Buckeyes will likely end up in a fight for only the third time this season...Ultimately, this is a well-rested Buckeye team that probably has enough talent to steal a close one in front of the anticipated blackout. It certainly won't be easy...Ohio State 26, Iowa 20..."
GAME OF THE WEEK Michigan (7-4) at Ohio State (10-1) November 25, 2010 Source: College Football News - "...Why Michigan Might Win: There’s one major difference between this year’s Michigan team and the one that’s been repeatedly waxed by the Buckeyes. The offense works. The consistency might not always be there, but the Wolverines are rolling in the running game with over 200 yards in three of the last four games and 168 yards and two scores on 36 carries against Wisconsin. Denard Robinson got the passing game going against the Badgers in the second half as Michigan put 28 points on the board in the second half, and OSU could be in for a bit of a shock. The Buckeyes, as always, as among the leaders in the nation in total defense and scoring D, but Illinois had some success moving the ball on the ground, Wisconsin had few problems, and Miami moved the chains, only to be done in by turnovers. Michigan should be able to crank up the offense, but …
Why Ohio State Might Win: … yeah, the defense. Last in the Big Ten against the pass, last in league and 112th in the nation in yards allowed, and brutally inept against any offense with 11 players on the field at the same time, nothing is working. Making matters worse, arguably the team’s best defender, end Mike Martin, is hurting with an ankle injury after getting nailed with a chop block by the Badgers. Also doubtful is linebacker Craig Roh, who suffered a concussion, while the offense could be without playmaking receiver Darryl Stonum after twisting his leg last week, and running back Vincent Smith, who got knocked out after coming up with a great block. Michigan needs everyone possible to have any shot of coming up with the upset, and it’s going to take a special effort to keep this close. OSU shouldn’t have to do anything fancy. Run the ball, keep running the ball, control the clock, don’t turn the ball over, and come away with the win. Tressel Ball should work perfectly this week considering the Buckeyes are seventh in the nation in time of possession is 110th, holding the ball just 27:31 per game. If the Wolverines aren’t hitting any home runs, the score might not be pretty.
What To Watch Out For: Theoretical question time. Would you rather have Terrelle Pryor or Denard Robinson as your starting quarterback? Robinson is the dynamic playmaker that Buckeye fans were hoping that Pryor would be, but the results aren’t that bad. Pryor is 14th in the nation in passing efficiency, has run for 590 yards and four scores, and has thrown for 2,331 yards and 23 touchdowns with ten interceptions. Robinson is second in the nation in total offense, 16th in passing efficiency, and has thrown for just 102 fewer yards than Pryor while running for almost 1,000 more yards with nine more touchdown runs. However, he’s not durable. With Pryor coming back next year, this game should set the stage for a year-long countdown to what should be an epic 2011 showdown. As is, it’s not a bad quarterback matchup this year.
What Will Happen: Robinson will put on a show, but it won’t make up for yet another woeful defensive performance. OSU will rumble for 250 yards on the ground and will take control from the start. Down big, Michigan will rally a bit, but three second half turnovers will kill promising drives.
CFN Prediction: Ohio State 40 … Michigan 27 ..."
Gameday+ November 26, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "BuckeyeXtra.com delivers all you need to know about the Buckeyes upcoming game. Click here for everything from the top story, play of the week: Cover Story: The ties that bind: As Cameron Heyward brings his college career to a close, he has always played with Mom and Dad close to his heart, Play of the Week: Shotgun QB Sweep, Game Predictions with guest prognosticator Dan Dierdorf, Meet A Buckeye: Jermale Hines, OSU Recruiting: Another Boren could be a Buckeye and more..."
The Buckeyes/Wolverines rivalry is not what is used to be with Ohio State dominating the Big Ten in recent years. Jim Tressel is looking for his 7th win in a row vs Michigan...Ohio State currently -16.5 on the Don Best Screen.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Preview November 24, 2010 Source: The Ozone - "...If the Wolverines are going to win this game, they will do it on the shoulders of quarterback Denard Robinson...Robinson is the key to the Wolverine running game. When he is contained, the explosiveness on the ground is contained. The Michigan running backs are a mash-up of dinged up dodgers, and none have the burst, speed or vision of Robinson. They are good, but they're not going to go 80 yards in the dot of an I...If Michigan gets the running game going, their offense can be nearly impossible to stop. The Wolverine passing game takes great advantage of safeties who keep their eyes in the backfield by running slot receivers right by them. Denard Robinson has some of the most effective play-action dekes in the nation, and if his accuracy doesn't abandon him on Saturday, he will hit some big gainers on quick passes down the seams...Michigan likes to employ a 3-3-5 look, which features three down linemen and a stand-up linebacker that can play on or off of the line. They also will have a safety, Cam Gordon, who plays the hybrid linebacker/safety role. There really are no playmakers on this defense the further you get from the line of scrimmage. Defensive tackle Mike Martin is the best player on Michigan's defense, but he's banged up this week with bad ankles...The Buckeyes shouldn't even need the play-action pass to have success throwing the ball this weekend. The Michigan secondary is as bad as it has ever been...Ohio State will likely give this Wolverine defense more credit than they deserve early on before seeing that they are truly free to do whatever they would like to do...In the end, however, the Ohio State offense will eventually loosen up and get back to what works. Terrelle Pryor will move to 3-0 as a starting quarterback against Michigan, and Boom Herron will get his 1,000 yards, and then some. Ohio State 45 – Michigan 21..."
2010 Michigan Wolverines Game Preview November 24, 2010 Source: Buckeye Planet - "...Are you ready to discuss the Wolverine defense? ...Playing in a 3-3-5 that was surely concocted after a night of huffing paint, the unit features exactly one player that is capable of disrupting things, tackle Mike Martin (#68). Linebacker Jonas Mouton (#8) has a boat load of tackles (102), but the majority of those are a function of situations, not elite athleticism. As bad as the front six are, the back five are likely even worse. The star of the group is a former walk-on, Jordan Kovacs (#32). It's not often you see a defensive back closing in on 100 tackles, but that's exactly what you get with this defense. Also notable in the secondary is James Rogers (#18), who has made headlines twice in recent weeks by first guaranteeing Wisconsin wouldn't drop 83 on the Wolverines and then by taking a shot at Chris Spielman over Twitter..."
Ohio State's uniforms for the Michigan game Nov. 27 will pay homage to the 1942 national championship team coached by Paul Brown. They feature an American flag on the right shoulder in honor of the members of the team who went on to serve in World War II.
The helmet and jersey are scarlet, with the pants and socks dark gray. The gloves form a block O when the palms face outward. On the opposite side, the design incorporates a Bronze Star in honor of team member Charles Csuri.
The uniform is part of Nike's Pro Combat line. Nike says the uniforms are 37 percent lighter than current designs.
For decades, people have talked about how important this game is. Suddenly, it seems like they aren't taking it seriously enough.
But then quarterback Denard Robinson said the most remarkable thing. He was talking about how the Michigan offense gets better in practice, and ...
"I think our defense is one of the best defenses in the country," he said. "I don't care what nobody says."
That's really funny because Michigan has one of the worst defenses in college football. And guess that's why this game has become The Joke. Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer 11/24/10
"I've got respect for them. But I don't like them."
- Michigan QB Denard Robinson on Ohio State
Down-to-earth Robinson carries Michigan's hopes November 26, 2010 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Denard Robinson grew up in Deerfield Beach, Fla., thinking he knew all about heated college football rivalries. The biggest, he believed, was close to home: Florida State vs. Miami. "I was like, 'Man, that's a big rivalry,'" Robinson said on Monday. During his recruiting process, he learned about another one. "They said Michigan and O-State is a bigger rivalry than that," Robinson said. "I was like, 'Man, I want to be a part of something like that.'" And he is. A year ago, as a freshman backup to Tate Forcier, Robinson took a few snaps in Ohio State's 21-10 victory. Now, he is the main reason Michigan is given a puncher's chance to end Ohio State's six-game winning streak over the Wolverines. In a season when the Wolverines defense and kicking game have been disasters, Robinson has kept Michigan afloat..."
"I didn't get this job by getting a lottery ticket that said 'Congratulations, you're the coach at Michigan.' We didn't get stupid overnight."
- Rich Rodriguez, Michigan football coach
Rich Rodriguez amps up intensity with U-M's chief rival looming November 25, 2010 Source: Detroit News - "Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said he promised his players this week they would see a "different intensity" from the staff as the Wolverines prepare for their annual rivalry game with Ohio State on Saturday. "And they've seen that," Rodriguez said Wednesday, during his weekly teleconference..."I thought the second half of practice was really good in the cold weather. I think our guys, they know the challenge (at Ohio Stadium). I think they're excited for it. Even though it's a holiday and it's sometimes tough to practice over Thanksgiving like we will, our guys understand the importance of the game and how they're going to create some lifetime memories for themselves."..."
"I would've been 14, that's when I was in eighth grade — probably busy chasing girls or playing basketball."
- Michigan DE Ryan Van Bergen on what he was doing the last time the Wolverines beat Ohio State
Michigan football team's seniors don't want 'winless against Ohio State' to be part of their legacy November 21, 2010 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "..."Everybody wants to know how you did against the big teams," (Jon) Jansen, (former All-Big Ten right tackle), said Monday. "That's probably the first question I get. "So (the losing streak to Ohio State) has to be weighing heavy on them. Every year, they get asked, 'What's it going to be like to get your first win against Ohio State?' Well, they don't know yet."
It's a question, that left unanswered, could define the legacies of Michigan's seniors. Although the class before them experienced just one victory against the Buckeyes - a 35-21 triumph in the 100th meeting between Michigan and Ohio State - there were bowl games and other victories to remember. This class has endured a coaching change, three straight losses to Michigan State and two straight years without a postseason bowl experience. Although the Wolverines will return to a bowl game this year, there's still the issue of Ohio State.
"There's been a couple classes that have gone through here without getting the chance to beat them," said offensive lineman Stephen Schilling, one of eight fifth-year seniors for Michigan. "It's big - it's the big rivalry at the end of the year. These last few years have been a different Michigan, I guess, than previous years..."