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Observations on the loss to Ohio State, 7-42!

1-Ohio State gets big play touchdowns on a 59 yard run by Beanie Wells, 52 yard bomb from Terrell Pryor to Brian Hartline, 49 yard TD by Daniel Herron, 80 yard punt return setting up a red zone TD by Ray Small and outscore Michigan 28-0 in the second half in a 42-7 rout.

2-Michigan ends the year with nine three and outs to lead the NCAA with 60 for the season. Offense gets 11 first downs, 3 of 19 in 3rd and 4th down conversions, and nets 198 offensive yards, 111 rushing and 87 passing. Sheridan was 8 of 25 yards, 3 sacks for minus 18 yards. Odoms had 5 catches for 37 yards. Stonum got a 33 yarder. Offense was forced into 12 punts by the Buckeye defense. Malcolm Jenkins did a great job on cover, and Gary Mathews had zero catches.

3-Brandon Minor had 14 carries for 67 yards and a TD including a 32 yarder that set up the red zone opportunity. Michael Shaw had 12 carries for 41 yards. Net rushing was 111 yards on 41 attempts. Jim Laurinaitis completely throttled our running game, and our offense with 12 tackles including a sack plus a lot of hits.

4-Defense started the game well, and did force the Buckeyes into six three and outs; however, the big plays obviously killed us. In the end, Ohio State piled up 416 net yards on only 59 offensive plays. We did force them into 7 punts and a turnover, but in the end the Buckeyes roll up 42 points with 13 first downs, two of two in the red zone for 14 points. Beanie Wells rolls up 134 yards on 14 carries for a TD, and his backup, Daniel Herron rolls up 80 more yards on 8 carries for 2 TDs. Buckeyes stampeded for 232 net yards of rushing after 3 sacks were deducted. Terrell Pryor mimics Troy Smith eluding our defenders, and completes 5 of 13 for 2 TDs, 120 yards while being sacked 3 times with one interception that their defense negated. The Bucks have now beaten us 5 in a row, and 7 of the last 8; could it be 8 in a row and 10 of the last 11 with Pryor at the helm?

5-Special teams missed an early field goal by Lopata, Odoms muffed another punt, and Cissoko fumbled again on a kickoff resulting in a Buckeye TD. Two Freshman on Special Team Returns, two fumbles in a rivalry game, this is unacceptable and certainly contributes to criticism for poor coaching. Mesko has punted 12 times for a paltry 36.5 yard average, and we allowed an 80 yard punt return that resulted in another Buckeye TD. So, we missed on a field goal, and allowed a big play and a turnover that resulted in 14 Buckeye points; that is minus 17 for the special teams.

6-I was quite interested to see if the Buckeyes had scored another late TD to see if Tressel would have "pulled a Woody Hayes" and gone for two; luckily, he didn't choose to go for it on 4th down in our territory in an effort to further humiliate this team and our program.

7-We certainly had our chances early in the game, and on our first second half drive; however, the Buckeyes stopped our momentum both times. Just like the Toledo and Northwestern games, we blew early scoring chances that resulted in TDs for the opposition resulting in 14 point turnarounds. Like Coach Rod has stated, we aren't good enough to overcome mistakes like that.

8-One thing I'll certainly remember about this game will be the contrasts of each team on the sidelines. Tressel congratulating his players, and great camaraderie on the Buckeye sideline as compared to our players and coaches shouting at each other early in this game with our blown red zone opportunity and unneeded time out with defensive personnel changes in the 1st quarter.

9-We end the season 3-9, the most losses in the 129 years of Michigan football with winnable games against Toledo, Purdue and Northwestern where we could have ended 6-6; yet, we could have also ended up 1-11. Many fans including myself want to support Coach Rod, and we hope recruiting, strength and conditioning, etc. will help turn things around. It will be an interested off season with recruiting, Spring practice, Summer conditioning, player personnel changes, transfers, etc. Hopefully, 2009 will be a better year! Go Blue!!!
Observations on the first half with Ohio State, 7-14!

1-Michigan converts two red zones for 7 points while Ohio State converts two big play TDs for a halftime advantage. Both teams get zero points off the other teams one turnover. Michigan has five three and outs compared to the Buckeye's four three and outs.

2-Sheridan was 6 of 15 for 53 yards, 2 sacks for minus 18 yards. Offense gets 5 first downs, but not their first until 8:25 left in the half. We were 3 of 11 in 3rd and 4th down conversions, 5 first downs and 94 yards in total offense. Odoms has 4 catches for 36 yards.

3-Brandon Minor has 8 carries for 48 yards and a TD including a 32 yarder that set up the red zone opportunity. Net rushing was 41 yards on 18 attempts.

4-Defense started the game well the a turnover on an interception by Stevie Brown giving the offense and early red zone that we couldn't convert. Defense has held the Bucks to 6 first downs, 167 yards in total offense, 4 of 9 in 3rd down conversions. We have 3 sacks: Jamison (now wearing 78 rather than 90), Graham and Harrison. Jamison has 5 tackles and Stevie Brown has 4 to lead the defense. Obi Ezeh and Brandon Harrison give up a 59 yard TD run to well by not plugging the gap, and Brian Hartline catches a 53 yard TD pass over Stevie Brown for the two big play TDs. Pryor is 3 of 8 for 77 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and 3 sacks.

5-Special teams missed an early field goal by Lopata. Odoms muffs another punt that luckily our defense held. Mesko has punted 5 times and Trapasso 4 times. Kickoff and punt coverage have been excellent.

6-Thank God Rodriquez went for it on 4th and goal! That took guts, and this is the type of coach we need. Although to criticize him, what in the hell is he doing with Odoms still on punt returns or any freshman for that matter (ditto McGuffie). In a rivalry game, no Frosh on returns!!!!!

7-We could still win this game. We must take the kickoff and at least re-establish field position. Time of possession only favors the Bucks by 3 minutes after 5 three and outs so we need to gain time of possession advantage by continuing to establish a running game, and converting opportunities. I wouldn't mind seeing Justin Feagin run a few plays. A few Buckeye turnovers wouldn't hurt either. Go Blue!!!
OHIO STATE PREVIEW 2008

The 2008 version of this game features a #10 ranked Buckeye team playing at home with a 9-2 record against a meager 3-8 Michigan team with the worst record in its 129 year history. Ohio State has won 4 in a row, and 6 of the last 7 games against Michigan since Tressel became their coach. Ohio State has never beaten Michigan five years in a row since this series began. This is Coach Rod's first game against Ohio State in this rivalry, and he has never beaten Tressel or Ohio State; his record against Top 25 teams is 12-14 including 4-7 on the road.

On offense, Freshman Terrell Pryor is now engineering the Buckeye offense. He is a dual threat to run and pass just as our old nemesis and Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith; however, he is much larger at 6'6" 235 lbs. and probably faster. Pryor averages 51 yards per game in rushing, and has an passing efficiency rating of 152.16 leading the Big Ten as a Frosh; however, their pass offense is ranked #11 in the Big Ten with only 145 yards per game. Ohio State is averaging 27 points per game including nearly 44% on 3rd down conversions, and has the #1 red zone offense in the Big Ten converting on 94.7% of their opportunities (33 of 35 attempts resulting in 20 TDs). Ohio State is ranked #29 in the nation in rushing offense averaging 188 yards per game with Junior Chris "Beanie" Wells returning; he had 222 yards and both Buckeye TDs in last year's game. Although Wells has been injured much of the season, he'll certainly play today and be at his best in the Bucks final home game; he is a load to tackle at 237 lbs. and very fast. Senior Maurice Wells is his backup. Tight end is manned by Senior Rory Nichol with Junior Jake Ballard as backup; both are predominantly blockers. Their offensive line has returnees from last year Alex Boone at Left Tackle and Steve Rehring at Right Guard; both are 5th year players. Freshman Mike Brewster will be working on Senior Captain Terrence Taylor while Sophomore Right Tackle Bryant Browning and Junior Jim Cordle will start at Right Tackle and Left Guard. Cordle started last year's game at Center. Their offensive line is an excellent, experienced group in run blocking schemes, and do a good job protecting the quarterback. This is a typical solid Buckeye offense with a sound running game that converts on 3rd down and red zone opportunities. To beat them, our defense must play their best game of the season forcing turnovers and limiting 3rd down conversions and red zone chances into field goals rather than TDs; the plan has to be to stop the running game and force the Bucks into more passing that may hopefully result in sacks and turnovers. If Pryor were to get injured, Todd Boeckman only threw for 50 yards in last year's game.

Previous 4 Years of Buckeye Offense=Why Michigan has not won
Year Total Offense Passing Yards TD Throws Completions Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Red Zones First Downs 3rd/4th Down Conversions Time of Possession

2007

2006

279

503

50

316

0

4

7/13

29/41

229

12

2

0

2

3

16

24

7 of 18

6 of 12

37:50:00

29:51:00

2005 418 300 1 27/37 37 1 3 25 6 of 12 31:39:00
2004 448 241 2 13/23 145 1 4 18 8 of 18 34:16:00
Ten Best Game Matchups

Michigan Ohio State
Brandon Graham Bryant Browning
John Ferrara/David Moosman Jim Laurinaitis
Tim Jamison Alex Boone
John Thompson Chris Wells
Greg Mathews Malcolm Jenkins
Obi Ezeh Brandon Smith
Brandon Minor Marcus Freeman
Morgan Trent/Donovan Warren Brian Robiskie/Brian Hartline
Terrence Taylor Mike Brewster
Zoltan Mesko A.J. Trapasso

On defense, the Buckeyes are ranked #2 in total, scoring and pass defense, #3 in rushing defense in the Big Ten. Nationally, they rank #13 in total defense, #7 in scoring defense, #13 in pass defense, #14 in pass efficiency defense and #26 in rushing defense. They are a solid group led by Outland Trophy candidate and Senior MIKE Captain Jim Laurinaitis who has 354 tackles in his Buckeye career. With 24 more tackles in two games, he could tie or surpass Pepper Johnson as the all-time Ohio State tackles leader. Senior WILL Linebacker Marcus Freeman, and SAM Linebacker is Ross Homan give them a solid linebacking crew. 5th Year Senior Nader Abdallah is one Defensive End, Tackles are Sophomores Cameron Heyward and Dexter Latimore, Juniors Doug Worthington and Todd Denlinger while Sophomore Thaddeus Gibson and Robert Rose rotate at the other Defensive End. Senior Thorpe Semi-Finalist Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins mans one corner and the other corner is split between Sophomore Floridian Chimdi Checkwa and Junior Donald Washington, and Juniors Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell at Strong and Free Safeties. Detroiter and Junior, Aaron Gant, backs up at safety. The defensive backfield is pretty much the same group as last year who shut down Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington. Their defense has the challenge of stopping our offense led by backup quarterback Nick Sheridan with a passing efficiency rating of 97.90 ranking him 110th nationally and an offense ranked nationally 105th in total offense, 106th in passing offense, 87th in scoring offense and 60th in rushing offense of 120 NCAA Division I teams.

The intangibles again favor the Bucks, they are ranked #7 nationally in turnover margin while we are ranked 105th; a turnover advantage is huge in this rivalry and may be the "kiss of death" for the team who fails to win this key in the game. Special teams begins with matchups between two of the best punters in the Big Ten and nation with A.J. Trapasso and Zoltan Mesko and two solid placekickers in K.C. Lopata and Ryan Pretorius. We are ranked #2 nationally in net punting while the Bucks are ranked #11. In field goals, Pretorius has hit 19 of 23 while Lopata has hit 10 of 14. The big advantage the Buckeyes have on special teams is on punt returns with Junior Ray Small; he averages 13 yards per return with a TD and is out of Tressel's doghouse for this one. Our punt coverage team will need to be extra good today. We we feature Frosh Martavious Odoms who isn't quite as sure handed. Neither team has much of a threat in kickoff returns although the Buckeyes have a better kickoff coverage team.

Our only chance is to have a dominating defensive performance that creates turnovers, limits Buckeye scoring chances, 3rd down conversions and red zone opportunities while offensively establishing enough of a running game to maintain time of possession and field position advantage. On offense, it is pretty obvious that we must first establish a running game, and balance our attack so we convert 3rd downs to maintain time of possession. We must be able to also establish a passing game, and that is something we haven't been able to do all year. I don't know if we are up to this offensively or defensively based upon what I've observed this year, and I'm not sure Coach Rod will have a game plan and play calls that will foil the Buckeyes. Tressel and the Bucks know what we need to do and will prepare accordingly. I'm sorry I can't be more optimistic, but I'm hoping in this rivalry that I'm wrong. Statistical advantages are usually negated in a rivalry game; however, my prediction is:

Michigan 10 Ohio State 31

This is the greatest rivalry in all of sports in the United States. They have played every year since 1918, and the game was moved to the last Saturday of the season in 1935. Both teams have outstanding football programs and their fans are loyal and passionate in support. As a result of the talent and emphasis on excellence for both schools in football, it is a closely contested rivalry. Even though Michigan holds an advantage with 57 wins in 104 games; since 1918, the advantage is 45 wins and 41 losses with 4 ties. Michigan's record in Ohio Stadium is 21-21-1, and at the Big House is 21-17-3 since 1918. Michigan's overall record in Columbus is 27-22-2. Every game from 1972-1981 determined the Big Ten representative in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes began calling this series the "Gold Pants" which began in 1934 with the series tied at 35-35-4.
Decade Team Record Highlight
2000 Ohio State 6w-2L 2006 #1 vs. #2
1990 Michigan 7w-2L-1T
1980 Michigan 6w-4L
1970 Ohio State 5w-4L-1T Tie and Rose Bowl Vote
1960 Ohio State 7w-3L 50 points in 1968 and 1969 Revenge
1950 Tied 5w-5L Snow Bowl
1940 Michigan 6w-2L-2T
1930 Tied 5w-5L
1920 Michigan 6w-4L 1922 Ohio Stadium dedication game ruined, and 1927 Big House dedication game celebrated
1910 Michigan 3w-1L-1T
1900 Michigan 9w-0L-1T
1890 Michigan 1w-0L

Undefeated Seasons Ruined by Arch-Rival Team Times
1969, 1973, 1993, 1995, 1996 Ohio State 5
1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 2006 Michigan 5
Undefeated Conference Seasoned Ruined by Arch-Rival Team Times
1939, 1964, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1986, 1993, 1995, 1996 Ohio State 11
1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1998, 2004, 2006 Michigan 10
Category Michigan Ohio State
Legend Coach(es) Bo Schembechler, Fielding Yost and Fritz Crisler Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel
Legend Players Tom Harmon, Charles Woodson and Desmond Howard Archie Griffin, Hopalong Cassidy and Troy Smith
Current Record 3 wins-8 losses, 2-5 in Big Ten 9wins-2 loss, 6-1 in the Big Ten
Heisman winners 3 7
All-Americans 150 169
Bowl Record 19 wins-20 losses, 20 Rose Bowls 18 wins-21 losses, 13 Rose Bowls
Big Ten Titles 42 31
NCAA Titles 11 7
Series Record 57w-41l-6t 41w-57l-6t
Overall Record 872-294-36 807-306-53
Fight Song The Victors Fight the Team
Hate Song Liquidate Ohio State Don't give a damn about Michigan
Rally Song Let's Go Blue Hang on Sloopy
Other Song Varsity Buckeye Battle Cry
Other Song Hawaiian War Chant Hey Cheer
Other Song Yellow&Blue Carmen Ohio
Mascot Wolverine Buckeye (Brutus)
Reward Satisfaction Golden Pants

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