Weather: 36 partly cloudy
Line: Michigan +3.5
On the line: Respect
Michigan has found a new offense under Devin Gardner after Denard Robinson went down in the Nebraska game. Last week both QB's were under center and tore through Iowa's defense like a knife through hot butter. Denard is reportedly "healthy" which means he will play but we still don't know if he can throw or not. Iowa and Nebraska play in a few hours to decide if Michigan has a second chance to get into the title game with a win in C-Bus. Michigan fans are not holding their breathe on that one.
Ohio State's year has been "unique" to say the least. They started the season knowing they were playing for pride because their former coached lied to the NCAA and kept ineligible players on the field. They have played a weak schedule and sometimes looked really good and other times pretty bad in going undefeated to-date. OSU's offense is Braxton Miller and a battering ram in Carlos Hyde. Michigan had trouble with Braxton last year and he is a better QB now with another year experience and playing under Urban Meyer. OSU's defense has been a bit banged up as they have recently moved their starting FB (Boren) to LB but this unit has played well as a whole and kept OSU in games when their offense has sputtered. OSU's President and AD were lucky enough that Jim Tressel didn't fire them, so they decided to play in a meaningless bowl game last year and missed out on a chance to play in the BCS NC game against ND this year.
This is the first match-up between Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer for many years to come, unless Urban jumps to another job in 3 or 4 years.
Tale of the Tape
Michigan D vs. Braxton Miller = BM
Devin and Denard vs. OSU LB's & DB's = Double D
OSU's O Line vs. Michigan's D line = Push
Michigan's Oline vs. OSU Dline = Big Edge Ohio
Michigan's #1 Pass D vs. Braxton Millers Arm = a Ton of Play Action
Which team can stop the other's QB from running? That might be the difference in the game. If the game isn't too big for Devin and he can continue to throw accurate passes, he could be a big factor.
Tek Fear Factor = 5 out of 5 Bones
Ready for a lunch time snack!
It's a shame that there isn't a championship on the line when these two teams meet, but there is still plenty to play for. Michigan with a win could have an outside shot at back to back BCS Bowls and OSU would like to go 12-0 in Urban's first season. OSU fans pretty much don't care about the 11 games before this one, they just want a win against the Maize and Blue.
Sing Hail to the Victors if..............
- Mattison has a way to stop a mobile QB
- Big Al continues his creativity vision quest into his brain
- D&D at QB confuses the Ohio State defense
- Michigan scores a lot of points on offense
- Wins the turnover battle
- Braxton Miller is considered a Heisman front runner after the game
- The stage/spotlight is too bright for a number of the Wolverines
- Michigan's defense struggles like they did against Air Force and Northwestern
- OSU plays over their head like they do against Michigan every year
- Michigan clearly misses Fitz on offense
This is one of those head and heart games for me. I have watched both teams enough to make a pretty good educated decision and I hate my conclusion. Here is my frame of reference: Michigan does not play well on the road against good teams, Big Al has not come up with a good game plan to beat a solid defense in his 2 years at Michigan, the game is in C-Bus and Greg Mattison's unit has struggled against two very good mobile QB's this year. Braxton Miller is the best one they have seen (outside of practice).
With Denard not 100% (I know what they said this week, he is not 100%) this could be a long day without a potential game breaker like Fitz in the backfield. Biakabutuka won't be in uniform on Saturday. I hope there is some Michigan Magic on Saturday. It has been a long time since we have had an upset in this series.
Wolverines to Watch: Big Games are for Big Time Players!
Offense: Denard "Running" Robinson and Devin "Air Raid" Gardner. Does Rountree have another big game in him? The answer is Yes!
Defense: The Ohio Boys: Kovacs and Ryan.
Michigan 14 Ohio 27