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My postgame thoughts on Michigan-OSU

  • First of all, I think it's obvious that this rivalry is officially back now, as the future looks bright for both programs at this point. Overall, it was a physical, hard-fought game on both sides, which is exactly what you'd like to see when these teams get together.

    Entering the game, I mentioned several times that I thought Michigan's offensive line against Ohio State's defensive line was a bad matchup for the Wolverines. Because of that, I didn't like Michigan's chances of consistently running the ball between the tackles out of the pro style offense with Gardner at quarterback. And I thought that, in turn, could force Michigan to become overly one-dimensional and rely on the pass, which would enable Ohio State's talented defensive line to pin their ears back and make some plays. Michigan dodged a bit of a bullet with Simon not being able to go today, but the Buckeyes were deep enough up front to exploit that mismatch anyway.

    Because of that mismatch, I thought Michigan's best chance of moving the ball on the ground was to run the spread all day long and attack the perimeter with Denard. That would keep Michigan on schedule in terms of down and distance, keep Ohio State's defense on its heels and keep Michigan's defense fresh by chewing up clock. While Gardner is a better passer than Denard, I didn't think this was the game for Michigan to rely on that, considering the mismatch mentioned above, so I thought Gardner should primarily be used at quarterback only in obvious passing situations.

    While Gardner did have some success passing the ball, Ohio State proved to be too good up front for Michigan to consistently buy him enough time, Gardner wasn't as comfortable in the pocket as he was in the previous three games, and the Buckeyes completely shut down the run out of the pro style offense. Michigan was able to move the ball more consistently with Denard at quarterback, and his strengths directly mirror Ohio State's weaknesses. We'll never really know what would have happened, but I think the Wolverines made a mistake with the offensive game plan, particularly in the second half. It would have been interesting to have seen what would have worked had the Wolverines stuck with what was working - with some minor tweaks here and there - in the first half for the entire game. Whether that was ultimately Hoke's call or Borges' call, I'm honestly not sure, but I do think it was the wrong approach to take.

    Defensively, Michigan continues to struggle with its passrush, but the Buckeyes aren't really built to make their opponents pay for that as much as some other offenses might be. I thought Mattison called a pretty good game in dialing up some perfectly-timed blitzes that really kept the Wolverines in the game when things were getting iffy. And you've got to give the Michigan defense credit for turning the Buckeyes back inside the 10 multiple times to either maintain the lead or keep the Wolverines within one score.

    Outside of Jake Ryan, I thought the linebackers struggled a bit against the run. The defensive line did at times as well, but Michigan needed the linebackers to step up and make more plays than they did today.

    Moving forward, the good news is that the cavalry is on the way for Michigan. Hoke should have his system fully in place next year, and as he gets more and more of his guys on the field, this program is definitely trending upward. Today's loss is obviously disappointing, but Michigan can still build some momentum heading into the offseason with a solid victory in the bowl game.

  • My thoughts are that our coaching flat out sucked and gave us no chance to win this game. I really thought we would have more than Denard and Vincent Smith up the middle. Any competency on the sideline and we walk away winners. I'm flat out disappointed and wish there was some excuse for what I saw today. It was the same type of boneheaded playcalling that lost this game every year in the Carr era. I'm having a hard time coming to grips. Our offensive coaching is horrific at best. We lost to every quality opponent we played this year and in the process ran the same boneheaded, unimaginative plays in the process. Anyone who can honestly say that the Buckeyes were clearly the better team today didn't watch this game. They didn't have to be good they just had to line up and wait for Denard or Vincent Smith up the middle on 3rd and one. The o line sucks too and is way over rated.

  • I think both teams had certain matchup advantages entering the game, and Ohio State did a better job of exploiting their advantages.

  • Pretty ironic that our awful defense you guys were bashing all year held you scoreless in the second half.

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  • I think most Michigan fans realized the Wolverine offense was flawed this year. Especially with Denard not being 100%, Michigan wasn't as capable of exploiting OSU's defensive weaknesses, and the play calling also played into OSU's hands. That said, the Buckeye defense deserves a ton of credit for stepping up with the game on the line.

  • Your defense is sub par regardless. Michigan's 2nd string QB and 2nd string RB had to play and they are NOT built for pro-style yet. Michigan's interior OL is still average and the receiving corps outside of Gallon is...well, average. WEEEE you held Michigan's offense with a one-armed Denard and minus their best RB (by far) scoreless primarily because of turnovers.

    Credit Michigan's OC with some very questionable play calling as well.

    This post was edited by Kenetic 20 months ago

  • yet we still could have one if the play calling was better....what a shame

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  • Sure place some blame on play calling, but bottom line all week threads about how laughable our defense was did exist. I even saw one that said Gardner was better than Braxton. That's fine I don't expect our biggest rival to give a ton of praise I get it. We lost a close one last year and no doubt had similar reactions. You can't question the 3rd and short calls. You lost your best RB last week and have the ball to your best player. Just win the damn bowl game and help save some face for the B10. Good luck and much respect until next year.

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  • Yes that sub-par defense that never allowed MI to cross the 50 in the second half - and held you to 59 yards of total offense in the 2nd half... that sub-par defense?

  • We scored almost at will on your defense in the first half. Congrats. Your defense played a good half of football against a team with an average offense playing a backup QB and a backup RB. Let's not oversell it.

    This post was edited by MrWoodson 20 months ago

  • And our defense was without our best player. Injuries affected UM's offense, and OSU defense. Don't think injuries are an excuse.

  • I've seen the game twice now and I still believe that Ohio State is clearly the better team. The turning point that kept this game from being a blowout win for osu was the muffed punt. UM's defense looked worn out and Hyde was gashing them. If osu gets the ball back there they probably score and the game swings big time. Michigan took advantage and denard made one of his signature awesome plays at the end of the half. Meyer And staff are amazing at half time adjustments. There is still a wide talent gap with speed and depth between these two teams.
    I'm interested to see what Michigan looks like without their best Player on offense next year.

  • Lol. I guess you should have "willed" to score more points in the first half, since you scored exactly zero in the second half.

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  • I'm not making an excuse. I'm saying our offense, which is ranked 80th in the country, put up 21 points on your defense in one half of football using a backup QB and a backup RB. And we did it in your house. That doesn't exactly scream elite D to me. But, then again, having watched your D all season, maybe your standards are just lower.

  • I guess you don't get it. No one claimed we had an elite d at all this year. Oh well no sense in wasting more time justifing a great effort and halftime adjustments. By the way, our best defender didnt even dress. I guess its our fault denard go hurt against nebraska since he was such a impressive passer up to that point.

    Good game and see you guys next year. I'm making the trip for the 2nd time and hope for better a experience than the first.

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  • Played "not to lose" in the second half and got a bit conservative. I think that is fine with a two possession lead but we had ohio guessing a bit in the first half with some big plays. I think our D played awesome in the 2nd half considering the situations they were put in and only gave up 6 pts. I give a lot of credit to ohio's defense....they made some huge stops on short yardage situations. I didn't understand running the ball up the middle on about all of those situations since we had such great success on the edge all game. Congrats suckeye fans on a perfect season, and I'm a bit disappointed that people will be saying that the Big 10 is so weak when we would've had a team in the National Championship. It does seem the talent on both rosters have evened out and these are the battles I look forward to for the forseeable future. It was a great and exciting game, but the second half was a let down for both teams I think. Ohio blew opportunities to put us away and we didn't execute on the plays to extend the drives. Both teams got some things to work on and it should be a great 2013 season. I see us both ranked in the top 10 next year in our meeting.

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    "Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"

  • Backup QB? I would not say that. The michigan coaches felt he gave you guys the best chance to win. You act as if Denard R. was out for the game hurt. Gardner started the last three games for you guys and did well. Most Michigan fans seemed to like Gardner at QB over Denard. And the other RB that played have played enough snaps to fill in. These just sound like excuses from you.

    This post was edited by gobucks72 20 months ago

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    Urban 2 Hoke 0

  • I didn't make those threads. I didn't make the comment about Devin being better than Braxton (and he IS a better passer, easily so. And Braxton's a far better runner). So why you're indirectly attributing those to me? I know not.

    Has nothing to do with "not giving a ton of respect." I've seen Michigan vs Ohio State since the 70s. This is a SUB-PAR defense for Ohio State. Sweatervest's defenses were, routinely, quite a bit better. Indiana wouldn't have hung 49 on them.

    Can't question the third and short calls? Michigan averaged 3.8 yards a carry vs **Minnesota**. Why are they trying to run out of the I-formation against Hankins? That's what people questioned.

    And yes, I will ROFL @ anyone crowing about "holding" Michigan to that without their best player at QB (with one arm) and best player at RB. Michigan's best play is THE VEER. The same one that Denard broke the run from. Somehow that wasn't called much in the second half, and Denard was out for a good portion of the 4th I believe. Heh @ that poster talking about some wicked sick half-time adjustments.

    lol Those adjustments didn't have Denard out.

    I see now why people say the things they do about MOST Buckeye posters. Wish SuperStudSteve was on 247Sports.

  • In case you didn't notice, Denard was on the sideline for a gooood portion of the 4th. I'm not sure why. But he was out.

    "Most" Michigan fans don't like Gardner over Denard at QB. Most sensible ones will point out that Devin is markedly better when running the pro-form, and Denard is better at running the spread. Denard ran for 100+ in the first half running...*the spread*. The veer is Michigan's best running play with Denard. They went away from it for some odd reason.

    Please stop acting as if Thomas Rawls is an able substitute for Fitzgerald Toussaint. He isn't. He hasn't been all year.

    Those are facts.

    Good grief, take Braxton's right arm away and take Hyde out and I know I'D tell Michigan fans (yes, Michigan would win that game) hey, a win is a win but Braxton only had one arm and they played their 2nd string RB...might want to cool it.

    But I'm sensible.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Kenetic 20 months ago

  • Toussaint 130 carries 514 yards 4.0 average 5 td
    Rawls 57 carries 242 yards 4.2 average 4td

    They same very similar to me.

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    Urban 2 Hoke 0

  • No doubt in my mind we win with Guiton and Rod Smith/Brionte Dunn..

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^SILVER BULLETS!

  • Why do you say that? You barely won by 5 points with your starting QB and RB, while Michigan had 4 turnovers and an inept 2nd half game plan not utilizing our play makers strengths. You absolutely deserved to win, thats not the debate, but playing the entire game with Guiton would be a completely different game. We played the game without or starting RB due to injury, and significantly hindered our ability for success.

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