Observations on the loss to the Buckeyes, 9-14!

1-Red zone opportunities: Ohio State had two for 14 points; Michigan had 4 for 9 points. Obviously, one must capitalize to win. We didn't so we lost. The last red zone opportunities carried only 7 seconds (two plays) with it.

2-Let's give credit to the Buckeyes. They outplayed us in the second half; they outscored us 7-0 and made plays when they had to for the W. Their coaches made adjustments defensively, and shut us down in the second half. These adjustments created opportunities for their offense, and their offense wasn't spectacular, but good enough to win. We had six second half possessions: 4 punts, a fumble and a pick with one late red zone opportunity.

3-Clarett was tougher than I thought, I was hoping we'd knock him out of the game. He did a great job, and they couldn't have won without him. He had 119 yards on 20 carries and caught 2 passes for 35 yards including the 26 yard pass that put them into their last red zone opportunity.

4-Navarre did a great job, keeping his cool and poise; unfortunately, he didn't win it for us. We had 26 first downs, but only 9 points in three red zone opportunities. We dominated time of possession by almost 10 minutes, and kept the Buckeye offense off the field while resting our defense (but it wasn't enough). He was 23 of 46 for 247 yards, 1 pick, no TDs, two sacks and a fumble (two turnovers). Navarre had 12 third down conversions and 2 fourth down conversions with 368 yards of team offense. We had 89 offensive plays compared to their 48; they scored 2 TDs to our none.

5-Edwards had 10 catches for 107 yards, but two possibilities for TD catches with one as a drop and the other with offensive pass interference (questionable); he was named our ABC Player of the Game. Bellamy had 8 catches for 101 yards, Askew had 3 catches for 10 yards and Joppru 2 for 29 yards. They allowed us the short ones, no big plays per their game plan; it worked.

6-Perry had 76 yards on 28 carries while Askew had 45 yards on 10 carries. It was decent, but not enough to carry us to a win. The Buckeyes had 140 yards net rushing compared to our 121 yards of net rushing. I didn't see Sanderson today once, I wonder if he played or even made the trip.

7-Defensively, we stopped them most of the game, but not in the red zone. McClintock got the start over Sarantos, but with the injury to Diggs showed our weakness at linebacker. Our defense had two sacks or 5 tackles for loss, but most TFL came at the end on the last drive after they took the lead. McClintock led our defense with 8 tackles. Hobson had 7 tackles including 3 for loss and 1 sack. We really need some players here for next year.

8-Doss had 13 tackles and Wilhelm had 15 to lead the Bucks. Their defense won the game for them, they were really tough. We didn't wear out or cave in. They wore out our offense. They created two turnovers which was the difference with two sacks on Navarre.

9-Stenavich starts at Left Tackle and has done a decent job, but Pape is struggled with Smith. Overall, Navarre had enough time, but he was hurried in critical situations, and their pass coverage was strong. Towards the end, they interfered on every pass play and dared the referees to call it. They did sometimes, but they got the advantage on other plays.

10-Ohio State had 13 first downs and 264 net yards of offense. Krenzel was 10 of14 for 124 yards. Jenkins had 4 catches for 51 yards. He did a nice job on some scrambles, but only converted one third down and one fourth down conversion in the game.

11-I thought it would take 20 points for us to win; obviously it would have taken 15. We didn't capitalize on a TD in any red zone situation. The halftime score of 13-7 would have been much better, and could have set up a 13-14 game where we only needed a field goal for the win.

12-Special teams and the kicking game was good for both sides. We did a nice job on punt returns with the return of Julius Curry, 4 returns for 46 yards. Finley did a nice job with 3 field goals in 3 attempts, and 4 punts for a 42.5 yard average. We had one halo call and one opportunity for an inside the five, but Brandon Williams blew both of those.

13-Another area where we really blew things were on penalties. We took 7 penalties for 53 yards, well above our season average. Two critical pass interference calls on LeSueur and Edwards that cost us TDs on both sides of the ball.

14-One thing that sticks in my mind about the game is when Navarre had the nice run to the 8 just before the half and Carr called a time-out. I think this was bad timing. We had them back on their heals, and we should have continued with another play. As it turned out, we then took an illegal procedure penalty after the time out. We did this again right at the end of the 3rd quarter, we called a time out followed by a procedure call. This is not good coaching nor good team discipline.

15-If we are to beat this Buckeye team next year in Ann Arbor, we will need to have two players step up big time: John Navarre and Braylon Edwards. We will also need a defense with solid linebacking, and the type of line play that can put heat on a quarterback. We only lose Hobson, June, Drake and Lazarus. I see Watson and Manning starting in their places with Shazor and Shaw ready at the safeties. Our linebacking and tackling overall needs to be much better if we are to contend. Krenzel has beat Navarre twice, and next year must be different.

Observations on the first half with the Buckeyes, 9-7!

1-The running game is looking good so far. Perry has 57 yards on 20 carries; Askew is 26 yards on 6 carries and 8 first downs by rushing. We have 85 yards rushing, but losses of 12 for a net of 73. Our reverses or fake reverses haven't worked, and we fumbled on one and almost fumbled on the other. Perhaps, we tried these too early in the game.

2-Navarre is keeping his cool and very poised. He is not making mistakes. So far, we have 14 first downs, but only 9 points in three red zone opportunities. We have dominated time of possession by 10 minutes, and kept the Buckeye offense off the field and rested our defense. He is 10 of 17 for 126 yards, no picks, no TDs and one sack; 6 first downs by the pass.

3-Edwards had 5 catches for 55 yards, but two possibilities for TD catches with one as a drop and the other with offensive pass interference (questionable). Bellamy has 3 catches for 42 yards and Joppru 2 for 29 yards.

4-Defensively, we stopped them twice for punts, but let them come back on that long drive after our first score. McClintock got the start over Sarantos, but with the injury to Diggs he'll have to step-up along with Spytek and Casseus. Our defensive stops in the second half will be the key to our winning. Our defense has no sacks or tackles for loss, but hasn't been out there that much either. Shazor has seen some playing time with 2 tackles.

5-Doss has 10 tackles and Wilhelm 8 to lead the Bucks. I think we have started to wear them out, but they'll have a chance to re-group at the half. A strong drive to start the 3rd quarter might really deflate them; on the other hand, a three and out may supercharge them.

6-Stenavich starts at Left Tackle and has done a decent job, but Pape is struggling with Smith.

7-Ohio State has 5 first downs and 7 points in one red zone opportunity and 104 net yards in less than 10 minutes of possession. Krenzel is 6 of 7 for 61 yards. Jenkins has 3 catches for 35 yards. Clarett has 37 yards on 5 carries. We need some turnovers in the second half against their offense. They will self-destruct if we get the turnovers. Jackson and LeSueur must come up big against Jenkins and Gamble.

8-First team to 20 should win! I'm a little worried about the halftime adjustments especially defensively turning the scales towards the Bucks. We need them to self-destruct with turnovers offensively, and a couple more red zone opportunities. I don't think we'll break any "big" plays against their defense (40+ yard plays).