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Carlos Hyde imitating Denard's obnoxious eating motion after his game-clinching 1st down. He continued to do it on the Ohio State sideline at the end of the game. Players were egging him on to keep doing it. Christian Bryant ran up to almost the entire Michigan team as they were leaving the field after the game and was doing it. Bryant said in an interview the fact that TTUN players and Denard kept doing it last year ticked of the Buckeyes and they wanted payback.
Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach Luke Fickell TTUN postgame
Offensive Coordinator/QBs Coach Tom Herman TTUN postgame
Asst. Head Coach/Co-Def. Coordinator Everett Withers TTUN postgame
10 Things We Learned from The Big One November 25, 2012 Source: The Ozone - 1. Ohio State fans still love their coach. No, not Urban Meyer. Of course Ohio State fans love Urban Meyer. They adore him. They will probably worship him and name their children after him, especially if he can bring home another BCS national championship to Columbus. What we learned Saturday is that most OSU fans – at least the ones who buy tickets and sit in 35 degree temperatures – still have nothing but love for Jim Tressel...
2. In the end, this team had what it takes. It’s amazing what a difference there is between 12-0 and 11-1, or even 11-0 for that matter. At 11-0, there was still a chance this team was not as good as it was pretending to be; there was the possibility they had escaped some tough situations on luck alone and that all of that would be exposed in one, agonizing, defeat to end the season. It still would have been a good year. Not many teams can say they won 11 football games, but a loss to Michigan would have made this season largely meaningless in the eyes of most OSU fans. But this team wasn’t about to let that happen. Like they have done all year, the Buckeyes overcome numerous mistakes to pull off a 12th victory and cap off an undefeated season.
3. That was a very average Michigan team. I think we all know it now, but that Michigan team was not as good as it was billed to be coming into the season. Three losses probably should have told us that, but I still wasn’t sure what to make of the fact two of those losses – Alabama and Notre Dame – were against teams that may very well play for the national title. The Wolverines have some good individual players like Jake Ryan, Roy Roundtree and even Devin Gardner, who could be a pretty formidable challenge for opponents next season. They put up over 200 yards and 21 points in the first half, but most of that was courtesy of Robinson, who claimed he could have passed, but clearly wasn’t much of a threat. When the Buckeyes figured out how to slow Denard down, they effectively ended any chance Michigan had to pull the upset.
4. Braxton Miller is about to embark on the biggest offseason of his career. What a season for Braxton Miller. The kid finished with over 2,000 yards passing, 1,200 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. Statistically, it was one of the truly great season in school history, and yet the final two games of the year seemed to indicate just how much room Miller has for growth. He threw the ball pretty well in the first half against Michigan on Saturday, including that 52-yarder to Devin Smith, but he has to improve that area of his game tremendously this offseason. He also has to improve his ability to make reads in the option game, which is something Tom Herman said would probably have to happen after the season. This will be a big offseason for Miller as he looks to take that next step to true greatness.
5. Carlos Hyde is more than just a sidekick. I think we can officially start talking about Hyde as one of the best backs in the Big Ten, and possibly the country for next season. He finished this year 30 yards shy of a thousand and scored 17 touchdowns, despite the fact he missed 2.5 games with a knee injury. The Buckeyes will have Rod Smith and Jordan Hall back next season, along with Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball and some incoming freshmen, but there’s no question Hyde is the guy for the Buckeyes. And he’s not just Braxton Miller’s trusty sidekick. It was Hyde who carries Ohio State to victory over Wisconsin and Michigan, and it’s Hyde that allows this team to control the ground game.
6. Devin Smith needs to be more involved in the offense next season. One of the biggest things the Buckeyes need to figure out this offseason is how to get Devin Smith more involved in the offense next season. It started to take shape this last two weeks, with the Buckeyes using him on some shorter routes and screen plays, which will eventually free him up for more big plays down the field. That became the problem for Smith this year. He was a deep threat only, so corners were playing really far off him and the Buckeyes weren’t making them pay. They started to change that against Wisconsin and Michigan, but it has to evolve even further going into next year.
7. Adolphus Washington is going to be a good one. It was only one play, but we got a great glimpse of what young Adolphus Washington might be capable of during his OSU career. Playing in the biggest game of his life, Washington made one of the bigger plays of the day. He used his unique blend of speed and power to go right by all-conference left tackle Taylor Lewan in the first quarter. Not only did he get to Gardner, he knocked the ball loose on his sack and it was recovered by Zach Boren. The Buckeyes will need a whole lot more of that next year, as they move forward without John Simon and Nathan Williams.
8. This team will miss guys like Boren, Simon, Williams and Sabino more than we can imagine. Speaking of Simon and Williams, who would have guessed it would be this senior class that would lead the Buckeyes to that rare air Urban Meyer was talking about. It was supposed to be last year’s group, led by the Brew Crew, but a lot of these guys were a part of that class. Williams, Sabino, Orhian Johnson, Travis Howard, Ben Buchanan all came in with that 2008 group. So did Jake Stoneburner and Garrett Goebel, and all of those guys are going to be missed. This team really was the most selfless group I’ve been around at Ohio State and that started at the top with guys like Boren and Simon. They set the tone for everything, and you don’t simply replace that type of leadership over night. You only hope they imparted some of that wisdom and understanding to the next group of seniors, which will include guys like Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Corey Brown and C.J. Barnett.
9. Bradley Roby has all the physical tools, but… Saturday’s game seemed to serve as a reminder of what Roby can be instead of what he already is. That’s not to discount what Roby has done this season. He has been one of the best players on Ohio State’s defense and easily one of the best cornerbacks in the Big Ten all season long, but you still get the sense he is just starting to really tap in to how good he can really be. Remember, he is a redshirt sophomore who played mostly wide receiver in his school. His natural coverage abilities and his knack for closing on the football are NFL-ready, but his game is still a work in progress. He could go to the NFL now and probably be a first-day draft pick and get a chance to play some special teams, but if he comes back next year, he could play his way into being the first defensive back taken in the entire draft. He’s that good.
10. The best is yet to come. This team may be the most flawed team Meyer ever coaches at Ohio State. They had no depth on the offensive line, they had to move their three-year starter at fullback to linebacker and they tried to shoot themselves in the foot at every turn. Remember when they roughed the punter and fumbled the punt return on Saturday? That was the perfect example of this football team in a nutshell, and yet, somehow, they overcame. It seems unfathomable to think this team went undefeated while everyone was already looking ahead to next year and the year after when Meyer can really sink his teeth into the program...
The Buckeyes gave John Simon the game ball after the game.
It was over when... C.J. Barnett intercepted Michigan QB Devin Gardner with 4:40 left. Ohio State ran out the clock from there.
Gameball goes to... OSU defense. The Buckeyes started slow but shut out the Wolverines in the second half and forced four turnovers on the day.
Stat of the game... 39. Michigan could muster only 39 yards of offense in the second half, failing to move the ball across midfield.
Stars of the game: When Ohio State needed to run out the clock, the Buckeyes turned to running back Carlos Hyde, and he and the offensive line delivered two first downs. The defense, playing without “heart and soul” John Simon on the line, opted to tackle quarterback Denard Robinson and shut out Michigan in the second half.
Turning point: With 4:50 to play, safety C.J. Barnett intercepted Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner, helping to offset a Buckeyes offense that mustered only two field goals in the second half.
Repercussion: Ohio State capped just the sixth unbeaten and untied season in its history. Whether the Associated Press voters will remember the No. 4 Buckeyes six weeks from now isn’t known, but 12-0 will be a springboard to relevance in 2013.
Zach Boren led the team with nine tackles, including three solos. He collected his first career sack in the second quarter following a big hit on Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and notched his first career fumble recovery. Since moving from fullback to linebacker during Week 7 of the season, Boren posted 49 tackles, including a combined 21 stops in the last two weeks.
Bradley Roby posted eight tackles today vs. Michigan, all but one of which was solo.
Carlos Hyde's 146-yard effort was his sixth career game over 100 yards, his fourth this season.
Hyde said he imitated Denard Robinson's "eating" motion after that game-clinching first down at the end.
The OSU defense forced at least one turnover in 10 of the 12 games this season. The four vs. Michigan tied a season high.
Ryan Shazier finishes as the top tackler in 2012 with 115, including 17 for a loss.
With the win, the 2012 Buckeyes became the sixth Ohio State team to finish a season unbeaten and untied.
Since 1951 (the arrival of Woody Hayes), Ohio State leads the series, 32-27-2. The Buckeyes have wins in nine of the last 11 games in the series.
The Buckeyes matched their season total of field goals from the previous 11 games with four against Michigan. Drew Basil established a career high for field goals made in a game, going 4-for-5. He made a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter and a career-long 52-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter and finishes the 2012 campaign 8-of-10 overall.
Today's announced attendance of 105,899 marks the largest crowd ever for a Michigan-Ohio State game at Ohio Stadium.
Denard Robinson carried the ball 10 times for 122 yards, but his four carries in the 2nd half gained minus 2 yards
Numbers for dummies 2: 12-0 seasons for Urban Meyer (Utah 2004; Ohio State 2012), neither of which ended in a national championship
Tweethearts: @RealBmac: 12 and O-H!
Sources: ESPN, OSU Official Site, Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Ozone
CFN Analysis - Ohio State 26, Michigan 21 November 24, 2012 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - Pete Fiutak: Blame the NCAA. Ohio State did the crime, but college football loses by not getting to see the Buckeyes play for the Big Ten title or the BCS championship. The NCAA should fine programs up the wazoo or take away a ton of scholarships, but the pretend punishment of bowl and conference ineligibility hurts the teams that want to prove they’re the best.
- No, do NOT compare this Ohio State team to the 2002 version. That team was loaded with NFL talent. This is a team full of grinders, and helped by a quarterback who needs to be given far, far more credit and attention.
Michigan could never get control of the game because the running game didn’t work. Denard Robinson had one nice 67-yard run early, but that was about it, finishing with 55 yards on the other nine carries. The Buckeyes did a nice job of stringing plays out and not letting Robinson or Devin Gardner get into the open.
- The Buckeye defensive front did its job without John Simon, who was out with a knee injury. Gardner was never able to get comfortable, and it showed as he had to rush his throws just enough to be off.
- Hoke vs. Meyer. These two guys get it. Rivalry on...
Richard Cirminiello: Brilliant job of making halftime adjustments by the Buckeyes defensive staff. After giving up a few big plays in the first half, Ohio State didn’t allow Michigan to get beyond midfield, let alone score a point.
That said, the Wolverines coaches did nearly as good of a job of containing Denard Robinson in the final 30 minutes than the Buckeyes did. No. 16 was vastly underutilized in the second half.
Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde has a future in the NFL. Good inside power and just enough giddy-up to get outside the tackles from time to time.
Urban Meyer led Ohio State to just its sixth undefeated season ever despite not having the motivation of the postseason at his disposal. Then again, he also didn’t face the pressure of playing for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Still very impressive under the circumstances.
Matt Zemek: The Wolverines – hamstrung by inefficient passing, poor play selection from offensive coordinator Al Borges, and Ohio State's resolute defense – never threatened to score for the remainder of the game.
Any perfect regular season in college football requires an iconically defining play at some point. Brad Roby's tackle of Jeremy Gallon became that magic moment for Urban's Unbeatens, the ballsy Buckeyes of 2012...
Phil Harrison: Meyer one, Hoke zero. Twelve games up for OSU, and twelve games in the win-column. And with that, Urban Meyer’s first season at Ohio State can only be considered a huge-success. Many will tell you that this Ohio State team can’t hang with Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Kansas State and the other top dogs this year, and they may all be right. But at the end of the day, Urban Meyer came into Columbus, took a team that doesn’t have the talent of past Ohio State teams, and had them answer every-single challenge.
While there might not be a whole lot to play for this year (chaos at the top pending with the AP vote), the framework has been set that Ohio State is on its way back to perhaps being a monster in the Big Ten. After all, if Meyer can do what he’s done with THIS team, what’s to be said once he gets all of his recruits in the fold and things really get cooking?
You’d certainly be wise to not project greatness just yet, but things are looking up with Ohio State garnering only its sixth undefeated season of all-time. If that doesn’t speak volumes of what has been accomplished by Meyer and the coaching staff, what does?...
Bart Doan: Ohio State is undefeated. Let that sink in a bit, because the shake up in college football has just begun. There will be a chance for the AP to make a real statement about the agenda driven sport with their votes, but for today, to the victors go the spoils, and once again The Game goes to Columbus.
This had all the makings of a classic. And it nothing else, this rivalry is ‘back,’ and you can insert any sort of hyperbole you want. There’s Michigan-Ohio State, and there’s everything else.
Early in the second half, you felt the arc of the emotion turn a bit. Michigan had a fourth and two at midfield, up one on the first drive of the half, and wasted a timeout. The thought process? After crashing Thomas Rawls into the line for no gain, eschew the punt and go for the fourth. With Ohio State all day dominating the ball through the O-gap, again, Al Borges ran Denard Robinson this time into the teeth of the defense and he was stoned.
Meanwhile, Meyer’s team, minus John Simon, destroyed Michigan’s offensive line the way the only other two elite teams they played did...Alabama and Notre Dame. Folks, Ohio State has depth and can play in the trenches. Michigan lost to the top three teams in the country, none at home. That’s the narrative on their season.
Yet defense wins games in this rivalry and in this conference. So does running the ball. Ohio State did that. Michigan played a bit over their heads at times. Surely, if nothing else, The Game is back...
C.J. Barnett after the win over Michigan Source: Bucknuts
Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 13 November 25, 2012 Source: ESPN - Ohio State's defense: After some early hiccups, Ohio State slammed the door on Michigan in the second half to secure a 12-0 season. The Buckeyes shut out Michigan in the final 30 minutes, allowing just eight yards in the fourth quarter and 60 in the second half (four first downs). Standouts included senior linebacker Zach Boren (9 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery), linebacker Ryan Shazier (2.5 TFLs, one sack), space-eating defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and safety Christian Bryant (one forced fumble, two pass breakups). Offense might have carried Ohio State early this season, but the Silver Bullets showed up when it counted...
What happened in the game: Miller stayed in the moment and completed his first nine passes of the game, avoiding the early-game overthrows that troubled him at times this season. And his first pass of the game wasn't a surprise, a deep ball after Carlos Hyde ran the ball on the first three plays. Miller didn't overthrow this one to Devin Smith, as he had against UAB earlier in the year, and the 52-yarder set up the Buckeyes' first touchdown.
Coming off his worst game of the season against Wisconsin last week, Miller's 14-of-18 performance showed some maturity.
"He prepared better this week probably better than any other week," offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. "The numbers in the throw game speak for themselves. He made decent decisions, and he threw the ball away a couple times, which was actually nice to see. The sky is the limit for him, and to say he's a finished product is not even close to reality.
"But to have him come back and respond after the game he had against Wisconsin was really good to see, and it's something we can build on."
Miller was bottled up again on the ground to some extent and absorbed four sacks, so his final rushing total was 20 carries for 57 yards. He finished the season 148 of 254 passing for 2,039 yards, with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He carried the ball 227 times for 1,271 yards. That's an average of 276 total yards per game.
Miller is probably a 50-50 shot as a Heisman finalist at this point. It only gets crazier from here. Ohio State should enter 2013 ranked among the top three teams in the country, while Miller will be viewed as one of the Heisman favorites.
"It comes along with playing football," Miller said. "You can expect things like that."
That's big stuff. In his last game of 2012, Miller showed that the Michigan game to finish off an undefeated season wasn't too big for him.
WHY OHIO STATE WON: It was a mixture of some questionable Michigan play-calling and good Ohio State defense. Michigan was held to only 279 yards of offense and turned the ball over four times. Ohio State did allow two big plays in a 75-yard touchdown reception by Roy Roundtree and a 67-yard touchdown run by Denard Robinson. But other than those two plays, Michigan couldn't do much on offense.
In fact, if you take away those two plays, Michigan only had 137 yards on its other 47 plays.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: The Wolverines were trailing 26-21 with five minutes to play when Devin Gardner's pass was picked off by C.J. Barnett. The Buckeyes just ran out the clock from there.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: There is no postseason for Ohio State. However, postseason or not, a 12-0 season is still a 12-0 season and the Buckeyes still have a chance to win a split national title.
WHAT MICHIGAN LOST: With Nebraska winning on Friday, the Wolverines had no chance to get to the Big Ten Championship game, but that doesn't mean a win over Ohio State would have meant any less. Instead, the Wolverines will have to settle for an 8-4 season and a New Year's Day bowl, which has to be a little disappointing following last year's Sugar Bowl win... Source: CBSSports.com
UNDEFEATED: Buckeyes Win THE GAME, 26-21 November 24, 2012 Source: OSU Official Site - Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and No. 4 Ohio State's defense shut out 20th-ranked Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 win on Saturday, completing an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes.
Almost no one - up to and including first-year head coach Urban Meyer - expected such a rapid turnaround for the Buckeyes, who were just 6-7 last season with a loss to their archrivals in a transitional year when they were facing heavy NCAA penalties. A month after Meyer took the job last November, they were socked with a bowl ban after this season - and still ran the table.
Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is ineligible for a BCS national title but still has an outside shot at finishing No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 if other contenders lose. Michigan (8-4, 6-2) will now await a minor bowl bid.
Drew Basil matched his season output with four field goals and the defense did the rest, forcing three turnovers in the second half.
It was played before 105,899, the largest crowd ever to witness "The Game" in Columbus.
Meyer and his players were mobbed by thousands of fans who flooded the field after the Buckeyes' ninth victory in the last 11 years in the rivalry (the 2010 win was later vacated by the sanctions).
"It'll go down as one of the great teams in Ohio State history," Meyer exulted after the game.
Hyde also ran for a touchdown. Braxton Miller completed 14 of 18 passes for 189 yards and a score to Corey Brown, who had eight catches for 95 yards.
The Buckeyes had already clinched the Big Ten's Leaders Division, but aren't allowed to play in next Saturday's conference title game. Michigan needed a win to capture a share of the Legends Division with Nebraska, which will meet Wisconsin for the championship.
Now, about Ohio State can hope for is every other top team in the nation - including the only other unbeaten, top-ranked Notre Dame - to lose and lose badly in the coming weeks. A team banned from the postseason has never finished No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll, and the Buckeyes are not eligible for the Bowl Championship Series rankings or coaches' poll.
Michigan's Denard Robinson had a brilliant first half but was largely invisible in the second. He totaled 122 yards on 10 carries, but had lost 2 yards on his four carries after halftime.
Devin Gardner, the other half of Michigan's quarterback tandem, was 11 of 20 for 171 yards with an interception and a touchdown pass.
For the Buckeyes, the game will be remembered for the staunch defense played when most needed. Michigan had 26 plays for 219 yards in first half, then ran 21 plays for a net of 60 yards in the second.
For the Wolverines, there will be lingering questions for coach Brady Hoke, who wore short sleeves in the freezing temperatures - just like Woody Hayes used to during the 1960s and 1970s in the rivalry.
With his team ahead 21-20, Hoke called timeout on fourth and 2 near midfield on Michigan's first possession of the second half. Robinson then ran up the middle, but ran into linebacker Ryan Shazier for a two-yard loss.
That cost the Wolverines the lead as Ohio State drove to the Michigan 11 before settling for Basil's 28-yard field goal, putting the Buckeyes up 23-21.
The teams traded possessions and turnovers for the next 12 minutes. Robinson fumbled after Bradley Roby's helmet hit the ball on a tackle, with Nathan Williams recovering for the Buckeyes.
Early in the fourth quarter, Miller was sacked on third and 9 at the Michigan 28 and coughed up the ball to Frank Clark.
But in each case the other team didn't take advantage.
The Buckeyes drove to a second and 1 at the Michigan 4 but a sack and a high snap preceded Basil missing a 39-yard field goal attempt.
The Wolverines lost 2 yards on third and 1 and were forced to punt after Miller's fumble.
Ohio State did pick up points on its next chance after a turnover.
Gardner fumbled when hit by Johnathan Hankins with 8:19 left, with Travis Howard pouncing on the loose ball after several players had a shot at it. Taking over at the Wolverines' 10, the Buckeyes could not move the ball and were forced to settle for Basil's fourth field goal of the game, a 25-yarder with 6:26 remaining, for a 26-21 lead.
That matched Basil's production the entire season. He came into the game 4 for 6 on the year.
Gardner then tossed a floater that was intercepted by C.J. Barnett, ending the Wolverines final threat as Hyde carried the ball repeatedly and the Buckeyes played keep-away to the finish.
The Buckeyes, who were without captain and top quarterback-sacker John Simon, appeared to grab control early. They scored on the opening possession, with Miller's 52-yard, play-action pass to Devin Smith setting up Hyde's 3-yard plunge.
Michigan came right back and drove to the Ohio State 22 but on third and 8 Adolphus Washington - playing because Simon was out - stripped the ball as Gardner was passing, with Zach Boren recovering.
But the Wolverines forced a punt and then needed just three plays to cover 83 yards with Gardner tossing a short pass in front of the Michigan bench to Roy Roundtree, who straight-armed Barnett and sped down the sideline accompanied by teammate Drew Dileo. The 75-yard pass play was Michigan's longest of the season.
With Miller hitting all five of his passes, the Buckeyes were stymied by three penalties in four plays and had to settle for Basil's 41-yard field goal.
Brown muffed a punt catch that was recovered by Marvin Robinson for Michigan and the Wolverines were right back in business at the Ohio State 25. On the sixth play, Gardner kept for the short TD and a 14-10 lead.
Michigan took over at its own 25 with 90 seconds left. Robinson followed two fullbacks around left end for an eight-yard gain and it appeared Hoke might just be content with running out the clock. But on second down, Robinson followed a convoy around the right side. Ohio State defensive backs Christian Bryant and Travis Howard arrived at the exact same instant, colliding while Robinson popped free. He raced untouched the rest of the way on the 67-yard TD, the 91st touchdown he has accounted for in his glittering career to pass Chad Henne for the school record.
Between the first and second quarters, Ohio State honored its 2002 national championship team. After a highlight clip was shown to a roaring crowd, several players hoisted coach Jim Tressel to their shoulders and carried him out of the end zone.
No boos were heard, or else they were drowned out - even though it was Tressel's NCAA violations which will keep this year's unbeaten Buckeyes home in the postseason.
TTUN, Ohio State Pregame: Players Get In Each Others' Faces Before Game
The Bottom Line November 25, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Offense (3 leaves): There were moments when Braxton Miller again looked to be running a sack race. And in the second half, the Buckeyes seemed to view the end zone as a patch of poison ivy. Balance in the passing game helped, but OSU got it done in large measure because of his largeness, Carlos Hyde. What a bull.
Defense (3 leaves): Much like early in the season, OSU’s first-half D seemed perfectly content to play bumper cars. That’s how Denard Robinson became a pinball. After halftime, though, OSU traded its silly cars for a steamroller that smoothed the road to an unbeaten record. Second half: 60 yards, three turnovers.
Special teams (3 leaves): Inauspicious: In the first 20 minutes, Drew Basil sliced a kickoff out of bounds and Philly Brown muffed a punt to set up a Michigan score. But things got better. Basil finished with four field goals to double his season total, and Ben Buchanan pinned UM inside its 20 on all three of his punts.
Coaching (4 leaves): It’s a rivalry game, sure, but the Buckeyes were way too wound up at the beginning, exhibits A through G being the rash of avoidable penalties. The Buckeyes settled in soon enough and, even better, made the requisite defensive adjustments. Urban’s late headset flip-out? He earned it.
Opponent (3 leaves): Who knows what might have been if these were healthy Wolverines? But Robinson is a one-winged bird (though his feet are fab) and Michigan’s power game went down with Fitz Toussaint. Two questions for you, Brady Hoke: What on earth were you thinking on fourth down? And you don’t shake hands?
Officiating (3 leaves): Forgetting for a moment that referee John O’Neill checked his microphone during Script Ohio — twice! — the only real officiating faux pas was the missed face mask on a Philly Brown punt return. Meyer didn’t miss it and nearly blew a gasket. The crowd didn’t like a tackle out of bounds; when does it?...
Mark Snyder rates the Wolverines on a scale of 1 to 10 November 24, 2012 Source: Detroit Free Press - Offense 5: There were explosive plays in the first half: the short pass on which Roy Roundtree broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown, the Denard Robinson 67-yard touchdown run just before halftime. But the dynamic offense teased in the Iowa game last week with Robinson and Gardner interchanging under center and Robinson moving around the field never showed up the same way. There were first-half flashes, but the second half was an offensive disaster. U-M compiled just 57 yards, never crossed midfield and the quarterbacks turned the ball over three times.
Defense 7: Even though the defense surrendered 396 yards of Ohio State offense and allowed 20 points in the first half, when the game was in doubt after halftime, Greg Mattison's unit did its job. Ohio State had just two field goals in the second half, despite starting four of its six drives on U-M's side of the field. But the problem was the defense couldn't get off the field, allowing OSU to hold the ball for almost 37 minutes and Carlos Hyde to rush for 146 yards.
Special teams 6: Without a major impact, U-M's special teams were decent. Will Hagerup punted the ball well, averaging 47.8 yards on four punts, but there was nothing unique in the return game. The regular season ended without the spectacular return impact that Dennis Norfleet's talent hinted at most of the year. The biggest special teams play Saturday came when Ohio State gave U-M a free possession, fumbling the ball deep in OSU's end, setting up an easy touchdown drive.
Overall 6: U-M hasn't won an important road game since early in the 2007 season. It may say something about the program's resurgence under Brady Hoke that an 8-4 season is considered disappointing, but even tougher is that U-M had a chance in three of the losses. Ending the regular season with a loss in Columbus is painful, especially because it's happened every other year since 2000. But this season was defined by the offense's ineptitude in big road games.
But that’s precisely where Michigan remains in Hoke’s second year. They detonate scoreboards at home with an explosive offense, but take them away from Ann Arbor and they become physically and strategically deficient. Until they’ve proven they can beat a good, ranked team on the road, the Wolverines cannot be taken seriously nationally...
Perfectly predictable November 24, 2012 Source: ESPN Michigan Wolverines - After outburst vs. Iowa, Michigan's two-QB scheme lost luster at Ohio State...
It was another road game against a top opponent and another letdown for Michigan, another chance to take a step forward as a program and to establish themselves as an emerging power in the Big Ten washed away with the same predictable problems in a 26-21 loss to Ohio State...
Speaking at Earle Bruce's Beat Michigan pep rally today, a visibly moved Urban Meyer drops a bomb on the crowd: "There's a reason why you do what you do. These kids love this school. They love each other and we can't forget that. Let's beat the shit out of Michigan." November 23, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors
Keep emotions in check
Yes, this is the biggest game of the season. Yes, the outcome will define the season. But the Buckeyes have prospered this year by not getting swept up in the hoopla. It will be more difficult today, for obvious reasons, but they can’t expend all their energy pregame or in the first quarter. They need to have something left for the fourth quarter.
Open up the offense
The Buckeyes threw only one deep pass last week against Wisconsin, and it sailed out of the end zone. Coach Urban Meyer has said the conservative play-calling was a mistake. Last year against Michigan, Braxton Miller had his most productive passing day as a freshman, though he also missed on a few big throws. Michigan has been stellar in pass defense, but that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes don’t need to push the envelope a little. Receiver Devin Smith, for one, needs to be a threat.
Be aggressive, Miller
Miller looked surprisingly tentative running the ball against Wisconsin. The Badgers’ scheme had much to do with it, as they had all of the escape hatches sealed. But Miller is too elusive to be completely bottled up. If Michigan gears its scheme to stopping him, then he needs to give the ball to Carlos Hyde and make the Wolverines pay. Hyde is more than capable of pounding the ball consistently.
Prepare for trickeration Denard Robinson has been unable to throw because of an elbow injury, but he remains a weapon. And who knows, maybe he can throw, but the Wolverines didn’t need that out of him against Iowa last week. The Buckeyes need to be prepared for gimmick plays using both Devin Gardner and Robinson. And while we’re at it, we haven’t seen a lot of gadget plays from the Buckeyes this year. Could they unveil some today?
Get stops on third down
Michigan has converted 52 percent of its third-down situations this season; Ohio State’s defense has been pretty solid on third downs, allowing opponents to convert only 33 percent. Whoever wins the third-down battle will have a big leg up.
TTUN coach Brady Hoke and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer could produce a rivalry with shades of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes
M!c#!g@n coach Brady Hoke, Ohio State's Urban Meyer could ignite another '10 Year War' November 22, 2012 Source: Detroit News - Woody and Bo. Bo and Woody. Their names are forever linked in the history of college football, Woody Hayes as the head coach of Ohio State and Bo Schembechler, who played for Hayes, as the head coach of Michigan. That was years ago with those two leading the programs in the famed "10 Year War" that developed a rivalry and took it to the next level from 1969 to 1978. Think Michigan-Ohio State, you think Woody and Bo.
Now, though, perhaps we are on the brink of a new "war" as the teams approach their 109th meeting on Saturday as 20th-ranked Michigan (8-3, 6-1 Big Ten) prepares to face unbeaten Ohio State, which is not eligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions.
Brady Hoke, in his first season last year as Michigan's head coach, led the Wolverines to a 40-34 victory to end a seven-game losing streak to their rival. Urban Meyer, who won two national championships with Florida, is in his first season with the Buckeyes and has led them to an 11-0 record (7-0 Big Ten) with the regular-season finale looming.
Like Schembechler and Hayes, Hoke and Meyer are Ohio natives.
Like Schembechler and Hayes, Hoke and Meyer understand the cliché that while all games count the same, Michigan-Ohio State counts a bit more.
In other words, they get it.
Urban and Brady.
Brady and Urban.
Could we be witnessing the 21st-century version of Woody and Bo?
"No question about it. I really do think so," Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, said in a telephone interview. "There won't be another Bo and Woody, but you can have those types of attitudes toward the game, which is what Urban and Brady bring. I never expect there to be another Bo and Woody. There's no doubt they were classic.
"But when Michigan was looking for their coach, they were looking for a coach who understood what that rivalry is about, and I guarantee Ohio State was looking for that, too. I know how dedicated to tradition Brady is and how he has always cherished Michigan, and it's pretty much the same with Urban. Urban is an Ohio guy who has always loved Ohio State. He's always had that tremendous love of Ohio State. Both coaches have had that love for their institution."
For those who have been around what is called "The Game" and widely recognized as one of the greatest rivalries in college football, it might be a romanticized notion to think Brady and Urban might be the new Woody and Bo.
"I've said it before on my show, maybe it's wishful thinking because I want it to be that," said Dustin Fox, a member of the 2002 Ohio State national title team now on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
Brian Griese, a former Michigan quarterback who led U-M to the 1997 national title and is a college football analyst for ESPN, said there's no doubt Hoke and Meyer have brought a renewed enthusiasm to the rivalry.
But Griese cautions patience and says not to overstate what Meyer and Hoke mean to a rivalry since they haven't yet faced each other as opposing coaches.
"I would be very careful making the comparison to Bo and Woody," Griese said. "There was a lot of history there. Maybe over the next five, six, 10 years, if the rivalry goes back and forth, maybe at that point you say, 'Hey, both these guys are kind of similar to Bo and Woody.' In the first year, you can't make that comparison.
"Certainly, both of these coaches are cut from the same cloth, but I wouldn't go as far as saying they're Bo and Woody. Let's hope they're around for a while, but I don't know we'll have another span like that 10-year war, I don't know that."
Roots in rivalry
Hoke and Meyer grew up with the rivalry and know what it means to the programs and fan bases. Hoke made the Michigan-Ohio State game a primary focus during his first formal news conference, installed countdown clocks to the Ohio State game (and also Michigan State), installed signs with the number of days since the Wolverines last beat Ohio State, and he has taken to dropping the "State" from Ohio State and simply calls the Buckeyes, "Ohio."
Meyer took a page from Hayes' book and refers to Michigan as "that team up north." Earlier this year he said there's a constant video loop of Michigan highlights that runs in the Ohio State locker room.
"It's embracing the rivalry and understanding it's a special game," former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman told The News earlier this year. "It's fun. I don't think it's a bad thing to have a little bit of gamesmanship going on. I know those guys respect each other, the schools respect each other."
But while the rivalry during the 10-year war was identified in large part with Woody and Bo, Hoke has shied away from making this game about Meyer and him. He has said on several occasions that they will never play a down.
"I know, he doesn't want this to be about Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer," U-M athletic director Dave Brandon said, referring to Hoke. "I don't believe Brady would look kindly on this being branded as a coach versus coach rivalry. It's about the rivalry and the traditions, and I think our coach would prefer to leave it there."
Because The Game ultimately is about the rivalry and traditions, Griffin believes it is in safe hands with Meyer and Hoke.
"These two coaches, hey, they know it," Griffin said, laughing.
Miller had a statistically splendid debut in "The Game" last season as a freshman, accounting for 335 yards (235 passing), and three touchdowns (two passing) in the Ohio State loss.
But a year later, as No. 20 Michigan prepares to face unbeaten and No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium, Miller has stepped up his game, leading the team in rushing (110.4 yards) and adding 13 touchdowns (another 14 passing).
Ohio State also leads the Big Ten in scoring (38.2 points).
"He's a talented guy," Michigan cornerback J.T. Floyd said. "One thing, he plays with great instinct whether it's in the pass game, reading the defenses, whether it's him tucking the ball and running. He's a guy you always have to be (aware) of out there on the defense and make sure we've got eyes on him for the pass game because he's a very good passer as well."
Michigan's defense is first nationally against the pass (152.1 yards), but it's Miller's ability to run that provides the bigger threat.
Michigan has seen some spread offenses this year, and struggled particularly to contain a running quarterback.
"Some of it is schematic, some of it is athleticism." Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. "Some is they're pretty good.
"Containment and discipline on the edge is really important. This guy is way too fast for you to say, 'Hey, I'm going to catch him, take a chance here.' You've got to try to keep him inside all the time. It's a combination of us really understanding what they do, getting a good read and playing from there."
Mattison made clear that last year's film of Miller would not be of any use for a defensive game plan. With Urban Meyer as coach, the Buckeyes have undergone an offensive face-lift.
"It's a significantly different offense, similar personnel (to last year) but it's just the style," Michigan senior safety Jordan Kovacs said. "It's an up-tempo team. It's not even particularly the same offense as Florida when (Meyer) was there. It's a very up-tempo offense that can run the ball downhill...
Then again, he might pass a lot, run a lot, catch a few balls and even throw a downfield block or two.
Such are the capabilities of the most dynamic offensive player in Michigan history.
No Wolverine has accounted for more total yardage than Robinson, who has passed and rushed for 10,523 yards in four seasons and holds the Big Ten career record for quarterback rushing yards (4,273) and the NCAA record for quarterback rushing yards in a season (1,702 in 2010).
Robinson played his usual role to near perfection in a 40-34 win over Ohio State last season. He rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns and completed 14 of 17 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and one sack.
It is that type of performance — and not the schemes of Borges — that would best help the Wolverines win back-to-back games against the Buckeyes for the first time since 2000.
“We want to think we’re George Patton, orchestrating the battle, and we do to a degree,” Borges said. “But this game is won or lost by the players. Our job is to put them in the best position to succeed.
“Particularly this game, the Ohio State-Michigan game, this is about the players rising to the occasion.”...
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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+++
The Michigan Wolverines have yielded the fewest passing yards of any Football Bowl Subdivision team in the country. Ohio State’s passing game has leveled off after making progress for most of the season.
“We’re not throwing the ball well at this point,” Meyer said.
For Ohio State to have a good chance of defeating Michigan on Saturday, it can’t be a one-dimensional team. But the Wolverines have given up only 152.1 yards a game through the air. Hoke sounded as if he was at a loss to explain the success.
“I wish I could tell you what’s responsible because we don’t get pressure on the quarterback very well,” he said. “We don’t have many sacks.”
That is true. Michigan has only 15 sacks. It’s also true that the Wolverines lost arguably their most talented defensive back when former five-star recruit Blake Countess, a cornerback, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a season-opening loss to Alabama.
But instead of collapsing, the Wolverines’ secondary regrouped and hasn’t allowed a 200-yard passing game all season.
“I wish I could tell you (why),” Hoke said. “Maybe people are running the ball and feeling more comfortable doing that. Last week, we played horrendous rush defense, so I think I’d run the ball, too.”
Hoke overstated things a bit. Iowa ran 34 times for 128 yards last week.
Look deeper into the pass-defense numbers for Michigan, and that No. 1 ranking loses a little of its luster. Opponents have thrown only 276 passes against the Wolverines, which is fewer throws than the next 18 of the top-ranked pass defenses have faced. Michigan has only seven interceptions.
“They don’t blitz a lot,” Meyer said. “They play a fair amount of man coverage, but they’re very good zone-droppers, and understand schemes. They’re a pattern, drop-read team, and they do a very good job.”
Last week, the Buckeyes had early success against Wisconsin on quick passes to the perimeter, but the passing game faltered as the game progressed. Braxton Miller’s only deep pass sailed out of the end zone.
Meyer took the blame for the conservatism on offense. He said field position against the Badgers was an issue, and Meyer had faith in his defense to protect the one-touchdown lead the Buckeyes tried to nurse in the second half.
“Obviously, I’ve got to take responsibility because (offensive coordinator) Tom (Herman) and I called that game,” Meyer said. “We want to open this thing up. We have to against this team we’re playing. We have to open this offense up and trust that good things are going to happen.”
Miller had his most productive game as a freshman against Michigan. He passed for two touchdowns and a season-high 235 yards last year, a number he has surpassed this season once, against California.
But Miller also was off-target on some throws that might have enabled Ohio State to extend its seven-game winning streak against the Wolverines. He overthrew DeVier Posey on a deep pass on Ohio State’s final drive of the 40-34 loss.
Michigan’s pass defense is better now than it was then and far better than before defensive coordinator Greg Mattison took over when Hoke was hired before last season. Mattison had the same job under Meyer at Florida... . Related Mattison revitalizes Wolverines defense
Dr. Brutus Buckeye's 'Beat M!c#!g@n' Chemistry Lab Offers Ohio State A Lesson Ahead Of 'The Game'
5 Questions: M!c#!g@n at Ohio State November 21, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - 1. Will Braxton Miller bounce back?
Ohio State’s sophomore quarterback had one of his worst games last week in a 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin, completing 10 of 18 passes for 97 yards. He managed only 48 yards rushing on 23 attempts, totals affected by three sacks. Miller also seemed confused at times on the read option and struggled to find open receivers downfield against a Wisconsin defense that preferred to play coverage as opposed to pressure. It could be a plan the Wolverines mimic as they try to slow down a player who is still second in the Big Ten in total offense at 278.6 yards per game. "Obviously, I've got to take responsibility because Tom (Herman) and I called that game," head coach Urban Meyer said. "It was not what we want. We want to open this thing up. We have to against this team we're playing. We have to open this offense up and trust that good things are going to happen."
2. How much can Denard Robinson do?
Michigan’s star quarterback missed two games with an injured throwing elbow before starting at running back last week against Iowa. The senior showed he can still be dangerous with the ball in his hands as he rushed 13 times for 98 yards. He also caught two passes for 24 yards, but it remains to be seen if he can throw the ball. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke told reporters in Ann Arbor this week he is capable but would not go into much detail. Even without hearing that, OSU head coach Urban Meyer said the Buckeyes will operate as if he can hurt them with his arm while also preparing for super sub Devin Gardner.
3. Can the Buckeyes stay ahead of the chains?
Some of Miller’s problems were due to down and distance. The Buckeyes were only 3 for 12 on third down, a figure greatly influenced by how often they had unfavorable distances to make. They needed seven yards or more on eight of their third downs, including four double-digit distances. Even after taking out a third-and-31, the average distance to go was 7.2 yards. That is not a formula for success as it allows teams to vary pressures and coverages without concern of the run, and it exposes how much more development Miller needs to make as a drop-back passer.
4. Will tight ends play a notable role?
Ohio State’s tight ends have been off and on contributors as far as catching passes this season, but they could be part of the plan this week. Iowa’s tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz led the Hawkeyes with eight catches for 99 yards, and his backup Henry Krieger-Coble hauled in three passes for 24 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter before the game got out of hand. Northwestern also had some success throwing over the middle against the Wolverines a week earlier. This is a question that could swing either way as Michigan 6-4, 229-pound freshman Devin Funchess presents a big, athletic target for the Wolverines. He enters the game with 13 catches for 201 yards and four touchdowns on the season.
5. Which star linebacker has the biggest impact?
This game features two of the best young linebackers in the Big Ten in Ryan Shazier and Jake Ryan. Not only are both tackling machines, they have also shown a knack for making plays at times their teams really need them most. Shazier is second in the Big Ten with 110 tackled and shares the conference lead in tackles for loss (14.5) with teammate Johnny Simon, and Ryan is only 1.5 behind in a fourth-place tie with Indiana lineman Adam Replogle. With three forced fumbles apiece, Shazier and Ryan are both one off the conference lead in that category, too.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the media at midday to preview the season ending game with M!c#!g@n on Saturday (noon, ABC national broadcast). Meyer: 'A pure, intense rivalry' Source: Bucknuts
Brady Hoke: Urban Meyer Better Not Honor Woody Hayes November 21, 2012 Source: CBS Detroit - Rumors are swirling in the Ohio State athletic office that Urban Meyer might honor Hayes by going for two on Saturday if the game is out of hand. Stoney asked if that would piss off Hoke.
"Yeah it would piss me off a lot," Hoke said. "It won’t get to that point."...
How about the first guy Meyer called when he made his biggest move, taking the head coaching job at Florida? Because that's the guy who's going to try to stop Meyer and Ohio State on Saturday at the Horseshoe.
Heck, if he wasn't already locked in with the Wolverines, he might have received another call when Meyer took over the Buckeyes.
"He was the first phone call I made when I got the job at the University of Florida, to find out if he'd go with me," said Meyer, as Mattison was still coaching at Notre Dame at the time. "We lived next to each other at Notre Dame for a long time. I know he's a great recruiter. We recruited together for many, many years. I've just got a lot of respect for him as a coach."
And he has to have some concern that Mattison knows just how Meyer thinks and what he wants to do as a coach.
"That enhances [the game] a little bit," Meyer said. "I know we've spent a lot of time now having conversations about how they'll play us, and that's probably the only thing that really matters now."
Ohio State fans have seen before what happens when Mattison knows what a team is going to do. It was his game plan that sent Gators defensive ends flying at Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith during the 2007 national championship game when Meyer, Mattison and the Florida Gators dominated Jim Tressel's Buckeyes, 41-14.
Mattison later used the Buckeyes for a case study of how to figure out an offense.
At a speech in March 2007, Mattison noted that, for instance, of 90 formations he had scouted when Ohio State lined up two running backs and two tight ends, the Buckeyes ran the ball 80 times. The result was that the Gators were calling out plays before the Buckeyes even ran them, and the OSU players knew it.
Now, however, Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman are different. They typically aren't predictable, and for the most part, they have made good adjustments in the second half. Last week against Wisconsin wasn't one of those times.
"We have to open this offense up and trust that good things are going to happen," Meyer said...
Ohio State Buckeyes - M!c#!g@n Wolverines Key Matchups November 21, 2012 Source: The News Herald - "OSU linebacker Ryan Shazier vs. Michigan QB-RB Denard Robinson: Robinson (elbow) is listed as the Wolverines’ starting QB, even though he started last week’s game at running back and did not throw a pass when he did take a snap as QB. Shazier is the Buckeyes’ leading tackler and has a nose for the ball. Elbow injury or not, Robinson could have the ball in his hands a lot.
OSU defensive lineman John Simon vs. Michigan QB Devin Gardner: If it’s Gardner at quarterback, Ohio State has to get after him, try to rattle him and force him into mistakes. Simon has been on a tear of late. He leads OSU with nine sacks and is tied with Shazier in tackles for loss with 14 1/2. It’s senior day at Ohio Stadium on Saturday — what better time for one of the Buckeyes’ most productive inspirational leaders to go out with a bang?
OSU running back Carlos Hyde vs. Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan: Hyde only carried the ball 15 times last week against Wisconsin, but still had 87 yards. That came one game after a 137-yard game against Illinois. Hyde could have a huge game this week if he gets 20 or so carries. Ryan, a sophomore from Westlake, leads Michigan in stops as well as tackles for loss.
OSU quarterback Braxton Miller vs. Michigan’s front seven: The Buckeyes’ sophomore quarterback was shackled last week at Wisconsin, with 48 yards rushing on 23 carries and 97 yards passing. Look for a possible breakout effort this week. He was ever so close to leading OSU to a victory in the Big House as a freshman. He’ll need a big game this week for OSU to win.
* Meyer said he lived off Neil Ave. when he was a grad assistant in 1986. Remembers seeing all the hype around campus for Michigan.
* Meyer said anyone would be honored to play or coach at Ohio State, especially this week.
* Meyer: "Growing up here, it means great memories." Remembers winning that game in Ann Arbor for coach Bruce.
* Meyer said Bo Schembechler called him when he got his first head coaching job to congratulate him.
* Meyer made it sound like he will sit down with Gene Smith this offseason to talk about more night games and 3:30pm starts.
Preparing for That School Up North
* Meyer said they had a pretty good Tuesday, but they can't have a bad day today. Can't get reflective yet.
* Meyer: "Our guys are locked in. I can see a major shift in demeanor this week."
* Meyer said the Buckeyes have to be sound on defense, especially when they play man and bring pressure.
* Meyer: "They lost a good running back last week, so it's going to be the Denard Show."... ...
Keys to Buckeyes' Victory over Rival M!c#!g@n November 21, 2012 Source: The Bleacher Report - Braxton Miller There isn’t a player in America that means more to his team than what Braxton Miller means to Ohio State...Whether it’s through the air, on the ground, or carrying out fakes, Braxton Miller will control what kind of day the Buckeye offense will have. Miller will be playing in his second Michigan game, and I don’t see Urban Meyer holding anything back against the Wolverines this Saturday.
Get to the Quarterback
It doesn't matter if Devin Gardner is starting under center or if its Denard Robinson, the plan has to be the same: put pressure on the quarterback. If it’s Gardner under center, he will be making his second career road start and fourth overall start as a collegiate QB. However, if it’s Denard Robinson at the helm, it will be his first game back after missing the last three-and-a-half with an elbow injury. Robinson, as you remember, started the 2010 game in Ohio Stadium in which the Bucks rolled 37-7. Either way, both quarterbacks have the ability to get outside the pocket and make plays with their feet...
Keep Carlos Hyde Involved
Besides Braxton Miller, of course, Carlos Hyde has been a huge reason for the Buckeyes' success this season. He’s not a guy that will out run everyone for a 90-yard TD, but he is someone who will pick up over five yards per carry and won’t be afraid to lower the boom on any defender. Hyde, who has 715 rushing yards in seven Big Ten games, wasn’t targeted enough in the win versus Wisconsin last week. The final drive in overtime, however, he was given the ball twice for 12 yards including the decisive two-yard touchdown run. Bottom line, keep feeding Hyde on Saturday...
Capitalize on Turnovers
If there’s one thing Michigan has done in prime-time road games this season, it’s turn the ball over. Michigan has turned it over a total of 10 times in its three biggest road games this season: Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska. Granted, Alabama was a neutral site in Dallas, but still a long way from home. Looking at those numbers it seems as if the Buckeyes may get a few extra opportunities to put up points...
Control the Line of Scrimmage
A huge question mark going into the season was how the Ohio State offensive line would perform. Eleven games later, and the Buckeyes' offensive line can now be considered a strength of the team. To win big games, teams need to be able to be physical at the line of scrimmage and run the ball...
The Ohio State O v. M!c#!g@n's D: Strength v. Strength November 15, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Examining how the Ohio State offense measures up against the Michigan defense.
The Wolverine offense has been inconsistent at times this season, and has largely shifted styles with Devin Gardner at quarterback after Denard Robinson's injury. The Michigan defense, however, led by Urban Meyer's former defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, has been a strength for the Wolverines. Brady Hoke consistently relies upon his defense to keep them in games. As such, this match-up will likely reflect strength versus strength and dictate the terms of the rivalry game...
Braxton Miller leads OSU, while Denard Robinson will likely be at RB (& maybe QB) for M!c#!g@n
Michigan (8-3, 6-1) and Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) will meet in the 109th reincarnation of The Game in Columbus. Michigan leads the all-time series at 58-44-6.
Last year’s 40-34 win for Michigan at home snapped OSU’s seven-game winning streak in the rivalry. Michigan will be going for back-to-back wins over OSU for the first time since 1999-2000. OSU has won nine of the last 11 meetings and will be going for a sixth straight home win over UM.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said it is difficult to emulate OSU dual threat quarterback Braxton Miller in practice.
"I don’t think we can ever find a guy that can give us the kind of look your going to get with Braxton and his athleticism and maturity," Hoke said. "He has played a lot of football. That’s hard to find when you’re trying to replicate that. He is surrounded by a good cast as well.
"You look at the execution. Whether it’s the jet read or the zone read or making the good decision and maybe not throwing a football, I’m sure the coaches have to be happy with what he’s done at the line of scrimmage and get them in and out of plays."
Hoke’s UM defense, maligned over the past several years, is No. 1 nationally against the pass (152.1 yards per game).
"I wish I could tell you what is responsible because we don’t get much pressure on the quarterback and we don’t have many sacks," Hoke said. "Maybe people are running the ball and feel better doing that. Last week, we played terrible rush defense so maybe I’d feel good doing that as well."
Ohio State will be attempting to become just the sixth team in the 123-year history of OSU football to finish a season unbeaten and untied. Hoke was an assistant on UM’s 1997 national championship team, which brought an unbeaten record to The Game and prevailed 20-14.
"I’ve been on that side before," Hoke said. "I think you just go prepare your team. There is enough enthusiasm and fun in this week as you prepare because of the great respect you have for each other. We’re just worried about making sure we’re prepared and we have a great plan for our kids to play their best football."
With Denard Robinson nursing an injured shoulder, Devin Gardner has started UM’s last three games at quarterback. In last Saturday’s 42-17 win over Iowa, Gardner threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for three scores.
"When you look at Devin’s maturity, I think playing receiver and being a part of that group and the mental part of the game from routes and coverages, I think that was something that helped him as a quarterback," Hoke said. "Devin is one of those guys who loves to watch tape and learn. I think Al Borges has done a great job with him."
OSU coach Urban Meyer offered a quick scouting report of UM. He expects both Gardner and Robinson (who took 13 carries for 98 yards as a running back last week) to play against the Buckeyes.
"Number one on offense, they are dynamic with those two quarterbacks in there right now," Meyer said. "Those coaches are good coaches. They will be creative and we know something is coming with double passes. You have to be careful with how you defend them.
"I know their coordinator very well. I know they will run to the ball. They have good players who are relentless and run to the ball. That’s what gives us an issue on defense."
OSU will bid farewell to 21 seniors with this final home game. Meyer credits them with helping him establish his new program.
"It is an incredible group," he said. "They had blind faith when they did some things we asked them to do. They were told they’d be ineligible for a bowl game and they had a free pass to go anywhere they wanted to go. To a man, they stayed, they improved and had their best year of football.
"What they’ve done – I know this is a very proud tradition here at Ohio State – but if they find a way to win this last game, they should go down as one of the great senior classes of all time."
Meyer, an Ashtabula, Ohio, native, was a graduate assistant for Earle Bruce at OSU in 1986-87. He desperately wants to be a winner in his first taste of this rivalry as a head coach.
"It means everything from a person who grew up here and understands the rivalry and respects the rivalry," Meyer said. "The thing I understand is the incredible obligation and responsibility we have to get this team ready to go."
After the win at Wisconsin, Ohio State moved up two spots to fourth in this week’s AP poll.
After the win over Iowa, Michigan moved up from 23rd to 20th in the AP poll.
Members of Ohio State's 2002 national championship team will be recognized between the first and second quarters on the 10-year anniversary of their historic season.
John Simon has 14.5 TFLs, 9.0 sacks and is this week's Big Ten defensive player of the week. Simon, who earlier this season had a school-record tying five tackles for loss in the win over Nebraska, sacked Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips a school-record tying four times, for a school-record 36 yards in losses. He now ranks seventh in school history in both TFLs and quarterback sacks
Corey Brown's 68-yard punt return touchdown vs. Wisconsin, his second punt return TD of the season, netted him Big Ten special team's player of the week honors...
Carlos Hyde has scored 15 rushing touchdowns this season to tie Chris "Beanie" Wells for the most in the last 10 years. Wells had 15 rushing touchdowns in 2007. The high before that was 16 by Maurice Clarett in 2002. Hyde's 16 touchdowns this season has the junior ranked first in the Big Ten and 11th nationally with 96 points and 10.7 points per game.
Braxton Miller has 3,064 yards of total offense this season - the third-most in school single season history - and he needs 227 yards to break Bobby Hoying's 1995 record of 3,290 yards.
Ryan Shazier has had six double-digit tackling games this season and his latest - 12 vs. Wisconsin - moved the sophomore over the 100-tackle mark for the season. With 110 stops, Shazier is the first sophomore at Ohio State since James Laurinaitis in 2006 to top 100 tackles in a season.
Twenty-one seniors will make their final appearance in Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State is efficient, offensively and defensively, in the red zone. The offense ranks second in the Big Ten with an 88.9 pct. (40 of 45) and it is first with 36 red zone touchdowns. The defense is second in the Big Ten, allowing opponents to score on 71.4 pct. of its trips (25 of 35), and its 17 touchdowns allowed are third-fewest in the league.
Ohio State has spoiled M!c#!g@n's undefeated seasons in 1970 (No. 4 and 9-0), 1972 (No. 3 and 10-0), 1974 (No. 3 and 10-0), 1975 (No. 4 and 8-0-2) and 2006 (No. 2 and 11-0).
M!c#!g@n spoiled undefeated seasons for Ohio State in 1969 (Ohio State was ranked No. 1 and 8-0), 1973 (No. 1 and 9-0), 1993 (No. 5 and 10-0-1), 1995 (No. 2 and 11-0) and 1996 (10-0 and No. 2).
Sam Willaman (1929), Francis Schmidt (1934), Carroll Widdoes (1944), Earle Bruce (1979) and Jim Tressel (2001) are the Ohio State coaches to have their first Ohio State team defeat Michigan. Overall, Ohio State first-year coaches are 5-11-1 in games against M!c#!g@n.
Urban Meyer's 11-0 start ties his mentor - Earle Bruce - for the second-best start for a head coach all-time in Ohio State history. Bruce opened the 1979 season 11-0. Only Carol Widdoes, who went 9-0 in 1944 and eventually won his first 12 games, has opened a coaching career at Ohio State with more wins.
BTN's Tom Dienhart: 5 things I learned in Week 12 1. It’s going to be difficult for Michigan to beat Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus. The Buckeyes seem to be a team of destiny. Their latest close win was Saturday at Wisconsin, when Ohio State took a 21-14 overtime decision in which its offense didn’t play that well (236 yards). The Buckeyes have now won four Big Ten games by seven points or less—and two have come in overtime. This team seems to have a special mojo about it that will make it difficult to beat.
Webmaster note: And then Dienhart picks scUM to win the game?
The Game Odds: Michigan vs Ohio State Source: OddsShark Power Rankings / Prediction: The game pits the Buckeyes, currently No. 50 in our OddsShark NCAAF Power Rankings, against the Wolverines, who rate No. 28 in the latest survey. Meanwhile, math and handicapping models run on this game predict a 43-40 victory for the Buckeyes.
Game Data: Michigan at Ohio State
November 22, 2012 Source: Bucknuts - * In the last 12 meetings in which one team came in unbeaten, that team has left unblemished just six times (OSU in 1979, 2002 and 2006; Michigan in 1971, '92 and '97)...
* This will be the final home game for 21 OSU seniors, including nine starters (RT Reid Fragel, WR Jake Stoneburner, DE John Simon, NT Garrett Goebel, DE Nathan Williams, MLB Zach Boren, OLB Etienne Sabino, CB Travis Howard and punter Ben Buchanan)...
* Twenty-four Michigan players are from Ohio, including seven starters (DE Frank Clark, DB Jordan Kovacs, OL Elliott Mealer, OL Patrick Omameh, WR Roy Roundtree, LB Jake Ryan and RB Fitzgerald Toussaint)...
* Ohio State’s 11-game winning streak is tied for the eighth-longest in school history. The record of 22 straight wins was set between 1967-69...
Michigan is 10th in the Big Ten in sacks with just 15 on the season. That works in Miller’s favor as he should be able to keep plays alive. But LBs Jake Ryan and Kenny Demens and DB Jordan Kovacs have been consistent playmakers for the Wolverines. OSU is No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 38.2 points per game...
Against the spread, which is OSU -4.5, Tom Fornelli, Jerry Hinnen, Matt Hinton & Chip Patterson pick M!c#!g@n.
Preview: #21 Michigan at #7 Ohio State
November 23, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Michigan receivers Roy Roundtree, Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo have become much more dangerous with Gardner passing them the football. The trio has over 1,300 yards receiving and five touchdowns on the season.
Ohio State cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Travis Howard, with six interceptions between them, including a pick-six, will be in charge of patrolling the wide receivers’ turf.
Gardner has completed more than 65 percent of his pass attempts for 834 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s also averaging nearly four yards per carry and has run for seven touchdowns. The junior has been named the Big Ten offensive player of the week the past two weeks.
In Michigan’s 42-17 win over Iowa, Gardner threw for three touchdowns and ran for three touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to accomplish that feat since 2000...
Michigan is giving up just over 150 yards per game through the air and has not allowed a 200-yard passing game all season. Alabama’s A.J. McCarron only completed 11 of 21 passes against Michigan, though two of them went for touchdown passes. He finished with 199 passing yards.
“They don’t blitz a lot,” Meyer said. “They play a fair amount of man coverage, but they’re very good zone-droppers and they understand schemes. They’re a pattern, drop-read team, and they do a very good job.”
Miller only has two games all year in which he’s eclipsed the 200-yard mark.
With a veteran secondary returning this season, Michigan was expected to have a solid pass defense. But it was an underclassman, sophomore cornerback Blake Countess, which was supposed to headline the group. He suffered a season-ending injury against Alabama, though.
The Wolverines have stood tall, however, and regrouped. Now they face Miller, who has shredded many opponents this season. In an up-and-down freshman season a year ago, Miller had his best game against the Maize and Blue, throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for an additional 100 yards and a touchdown...
Tom’s pick: Michigan, 28-27 – This is a different Michigan team with Devin Gardner. This is a better team with Devin Gardner. The offense has run-pass balance. And the defense has been one of the better units in the conference all season. Add it all up, and the Buckeyes’ unbeaten ride ends right here.
Brent’s pick: Ohio State, 30-24 – The Wolverines struggle against mobile quarterbacks, and there isn’t a more mobile guy out there than Braxton Miller, who should be focused and determined coming off the worst game of his season...
Ohio State at Michigan Preview
November 23, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Quarterback Devin Gardner will likely be making his fourth start of the season this week, and not just because Denard Robinson isn't 100% healthy, but because of the way Gardner has played the position.
Of Michigan's five best total offensive yardage performances in conference play, Gardner was at the helm for three of them, including the two best these past two weeks...
The wildcard in Michigan's offensive deck is Robinson. He played for the first time in three weeks last week, rushing for 98 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards. He started the game at running back, and also lined up at quarterback, but never threw a pass...
Urban Meyer fully expects Robinson to throw the ball at some point, though it may look more like a halfback option than a typical quarterback throw.
Without Toussaint, the talent drop at tailback is significant. Offensive coordinator Al Borges likes to run out of the I-formation, but that's not something that Robinson has done before, and it's doubtful that he can start now...
It's not clear whether Michigan will start out in the nickel or not, but the Buckeyes need to be able to counter whatever it is that the Wolverines throw at them.
The good part about the Buckeyes having to deal with their struggles last week is that they know what they should have done differently, so when they face the same issues this week, they'll have a better idea of how to get out of it.
The short passing out wide will be available as long as Michigan is willing to give it up. Where there will be plays to be made is over the middle on the linebackers. The Buckeyes have three very solid tight ends, and all of them can beat middle linebacker Kenny Demens down the seam. However, Michigan knows they are weak here, so don't be surprised if they dupe Miller into an interception at some point over the middle...
Week 13 Previews: TTUN at Ohio State November 1, 2012 Source: BTN - Why you should watch: It’s Michigan-Ohio State, one of the nation’s most iconic rivalries. The Buckeyes will be trying to punctuate a perfect season and seek revenge for seeing their seven-game winning streak in the series end in 2011. The Wolverines are playing for bowl position and chance to tie Nebraska for the Legends crown. And Michigan will go to the Big Ten title game if it wins and the Huskers lose at Iowa.
Player on the spot: Michigan running back Thomas Rawls. With Fitz Toussaint out after getting hurt last week, the burly Rawls must play a big role in the ground game to take pressure off quarterback Devin Gardner. Denard Robinson also figures to be asked to run the ball often after he notched 98 yards last week on the ground.
Key matchup: Michigan front seven vs. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller. The Wolverine defense has played well most of the season and ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten (303.5 ypg). It will have a tall task in containing the shifty Miller, who is coming off one of his least effective games of 2012 in a 21-14 overtime victory at Wisconsin last week, when he threw for 97 yards and ran for 48.
Key number: 12, years since the Wolverines have won in Columbus. Michigan took a 38-26 decision in 2000.
Key number: Over its last three games, Michigan has scored 16 offensive touchdowns. Eleven of those 16 touchdowns were produced on 75-plus-yard scoring drives...
Denard Robinson is going to get his in his final game against the Buckeyes. That's a given. But if backup running back Thomas Rawls has a big game, a la Fitzgerald Toussaint last year, the Wolverines will find it much easier to get a road win over the Buckeyes.
Rawls has rushed for 240 yards on 52 carries and will likely get more.
He will get plenty of action because it's uncertain how Hoke will divide snaps between Robinson and Devin Gardner...
Expect another big day from Miller, but Michigan won't let Ohio State get away to a big lead. At the end of the day, Ohio State should be able to celebrate a 12-0 season. Prediction: Ohio State 41, Michigan 28...
No. 20 Michigan Wolverines at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes: Preview, prediction
November 21, 2012 Source: CBSSports.com - Who could steal the show: Michigan -- Linebacker Jake Ryan (75 tackles on year) and S Jordan Kovacs (60 tackles) each had big games against the Hawkeyes and both will be tasked with keeping Braxton Miller from breaking one of his signature runs. Last weekend the Badgers crafted their defensive game plans around Miller and he finished with season-lows of 97 passing yards and just 48 rushing yards. With Miller accounted for, RB Carlos Hyde averaged 5.8 ypc on 87 yards and two touchdowns and largely dictated the pace of Ohio State's offense. Hoke may want to blitz Kovacs and Ryan, putting trust in Michigan's secondary, statistically, the best in the country. Ohio State -- Miller and Hyde are the two pillars of a Buckeyes rushing attack ranked ninth in the country (245.5 ypg). With Miller held in check last weekend, Hyde took control. Even though he's had significantly fewer rushing attempts than the other top backs in the Big Ten, Hyde is second in the conference with 16 touchdowns, including 14 in the past six games. Michigan has comparable linebackers to Wisconsin, so expect a similar game plan predicated around stopping Miller. The Buckeyes may feed Hyde -- a between-the-tackles tailback -- to keep the clock running and Michigan's offense off the field....
The game comes down to: Ohio State's ability to get to Gardner. The Buckeyes can derail Michigan's offense and force Gardner, who has only started three games, into dangerous throws.
The Other Side: M!c#!g@n November 21, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Take an in-depth look at the Wolverines with Detroit News beat writer Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News... The Game is nearing as an 8-3 M!c#!g@n team prepares in its quest to remove Ohio State from the ranks of the unbeaten. A lot has been going on with M!c#!g@n's up-and-down season, so be sure to stay on top of things with this week's Other Side feature...