The 2009 version of this game features a #9 ranked Buckeye team that has already clinched a trip to the Rose Bowl with a 9-2 record against a meager 5-6 Michigan team that has been outscored by its opponents in the last 4 Big Ten games by 99-19 in the second half. Ohio State has won 5 in a row, and 7 of the last 8 games against Michigan since Tressel became their coach. Michigan must have a win to be bowl eligible, and is a 12 point underdog at home. Ohio State will be wearing their 1954 National Championship tribute uniforms at the Big House.

On offense, Terrell Pryor has gained 633 yards to lead the Buckeye rushing attack, and has 7 rushing TDs. He has thrown for another 15 TDs and has a completion percentage of 56%; he has been about as efficient as Tate Forcier in passing, but certainly superior in running. Their pass offense is ranked #11 in the Big Ten with only 175 yards per game which is about as bad as our passing attack. Ohio State is averaging 31 points per game including nearly 42% on 3rd down conversions, but has only the #10 red zone offense in the Big Ten. Their offense is similar to ours in scoring, passing and red zone efficiency. The tailbacks are Junior Brandon Saine and Sophomore Dan Heron; they average only 55 and 58 yards per game respectively. This is again similar to Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor. The Boren boys will debut at the Big House with Fullback Zac Boren and Left Guard and former Wolverine Junior Justin Boren; both are sons of former Michigan great linebacker, Mike Boren who played from 1980-83. Boren left the program accusing the Rodriquez staff of a lack of family values. The Buckeye offensive line also features Senior Left Tackle Jim Cordle, Sophomore Center Mike Brewster, Junior Right Guard Bryant Browning and either Sophomore J.B. Shugarts or Freshman Marcus Hall at Right Tackle. VanBergen is outweighed by at least 30 lbs. by Shugarts or Hall, and we may need to insert Will Campbell for more 4-3 schemes against their runs. Browning, Brewster and Cordle all started last year's game. They also utilize Tight End Jake Ballard as another blocker along with Fullback Boren to aid their ground game. The Buckeye offensive line has been inconsistent like ours. When they throw, look for Sophomore DeVier Posey; he leads the Bucks with 4 receptions and 63 yards per game and has 7 TD receptions. Junior Dane Sanzenbacker is their other starter, but our corners, Warren and Woolfolk, should be up to the challenge for this game. Flanker Ray Small will also be available for reverses and quick passes challenging Stevie Brown on pass coverage, and decoying him from run coverage.

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




























6 of 15

7 of 18

6 of 12




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 Jim Cordle with help from Jake Ballard, Zac Boren and Brandon Saine
David Moosman Brian Rolle
Ryan VanBergen J.B. Shugarts
Tate Forcier Terrell Pryor
Greg Mathews and Junior Hemingway Chimdi Checkwa and Devon Torrence
Obi Ezeh Justin Boren
Brandon Minor Marcus Freeman
Donovan Warren DeVier Posey
Mike Martin Mike Brewster
Stevie Brown Ray Small
On defense, the Buckeyes are ranked #1 in rushing and total defense, #2 in scoring, pass and pass efficiency defense in the Big Ten. Nationally, they rank #4 in rushing defense, #5 in total defense, #6 in scoring defense, #16 in pass defense, #8 in pass efficiency defense. Defense is why the Buckeyes have won the Big Ten title for the last five Big Ten titles in a row. They emphasize and prioritize defense 24/7/365, and that includes in recruiting defensive standouts. They are led by Senior Co-Captain WILL Linebacker Austin Spitler, Junior SAM Linebacker Ross Homan and Junior MIKE Linebacker Brian Rolle. Homan leads the team in tackles, and has 8 pass break ups and 4 interceptions so his is excellent on cover. Jermale Hines is the top backup at linebacker. The Defensive Line is led by Defensive End Juniors Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson and Senior Co-Captain Doug Worthington and Senior Todd Denlinger; they are physical and usually dominate the line of scrimmage. The corners are Junior Floridian Chimdi Checkwa and converted Junior Wide Receiver Devon Torrence. Senior Co-Captain Kurt Coleman and Senior Anderson Russell man the Strong and Free Safety positions. They are a tough defense, but we have show we have the capability of scoring on anyone so we need to have a solid day against this group.

On special teams, the Buckeyes are ranked #7 nationally and #1 in the Big Ten in turnover margin. They intimidate and bully their opponents into mistakes. Zoltan Mesko and our net punting is ranked #2 nationally while their kickoff coverage is ranked #1 in the Big Ten. Stonum, the kickoff and punt returns team must have a solid game to establish field position advantage throughout this game; we must not be starting drives from inside our 20. Senior punt return specialist and backup receiver Ray Small; he averages 9 yards per return to lead the Big Ten. Our punt coverage team will need to be extra good today because he is dangerous; he broke an 80 yarder in 2008 for a TD against us. Our flyers, Zach Johnson and James Rogers, need to be especially good for this one. Hemingway must be sure handed on punt returns, and our punt rush must not give up running into the punter penalties like we did against Wisconsin last week; however, we do need to pressure their punter. Jon Thoma is their punter, and he is only averaging 37.4 yards per punt so we definitely have an advantage in this phase of the game if we execute. Both placekickers are untested in this big rivalry and Seniors; Aaron Pettry is 13 of 19 in field goals. Small also returns kickoffs along with Sophomore Lamar Thomas.

Our game plan is simple, but difficult to execute: First, we must stop Terrell Pryor and the Buckeye offense from "big plays." We stop Terrell Pryor by stopping their running game. They do not have a great offense so we must contain this offense from breaking 20+ yard plays. This may be hard to do with our current defense, but we must "execute" this game plan. Stopping Terrell Pryor and the Buckeye offense will take Brandon Graham's best game as a Wolverine including hurries and sacks from our entire defensive front. We must play 4 quarters including limiting and/or stopping any Buckeye big plays; the only team we have done that against was our first game against Western Michigan. Also, if we can knock Pryor out of the game, their backup, Sophomore Joe Bauserman, is untested. Terrell Pryor is no Troy Smith. Second, we must win the turnover battle, force turnovers and win the turnover battle by +2 or more; this gives us time of possession advantage, and the best defense is an offense that controls the football and keeps the other team's offense on the bench. Third, we must convert our red zone opportunities into touchdowns, and this is something we haven't done well at all since we rank below the Buckeyes at #11 in the Big Ten. Fourth, we must establish a running game which is something we haven't done in the past 5 years against the Buckeyes; we had 111 net yards of rushing last year and 15 net yards in 2007, 130 in 2006, 32 in 2005 and 71 in 2003. We must establish a running game, control the ball and time of possession to have a chance. Purdue beat the Buckeyes by limiting them to 12 first downs, 5 of 15 on 3rd and 4th down conversions, 66 net rushing and 287 yards in total offense. They forced the Buckeyes into 6 punts, 5 turnovers (3 fumbles and 2 interceptions) with 5 sacks and Ohio State only converted 2 of 3 red zone opportunities. Purdue held a 12 minute time of possession advantage that resulted in an additional 24 offensive plays. We need to have the same kind of effort at home as the Boilermakers did against them. USC limited Ohio State to 10 first downs, 88 yards in net rushing and 267 total yards of offense, 4 of 14 in 3rd down conversions, 6 punts, no turnovers, but only 2 field goals and one TD in 3 red zone visits.

Many Michigan fans feel that we have as close to a zero chance of winning this game. Since I've been watching Michigan football, I have to go back to the 1961 and 1962 games where we were humbled 0-28 and 20-50 to think of a similar time when we had such a small chance of winning this game and where we are a two touchdown underdog to the Bucks at home. Ohio State defeated Michigan four years in a row from 1960-63 in that era when I was 8-11 years old. This is a time when Woody Hayes was "bullying" Michigan and the Big Ten. I think this game will be closer than most people think. I wonder if Rodriquez and staff prepare every week for this game like Tressel and his staff promised they'd do.

Game Prediction:

Michigan 17 Ohio State 20

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. Even though Michigan holds an advantage with 57 wins in 105 games; since 1918, the advantage is 45 wins and 42 losses with 4 ties. Michigan's record at the Big House is 22-17-3 since 1918. The Buckeyes began calling this series the "Gold Pants" which began in 1934, and hold a 36-35-4 advantage. This is the final game of this decade, 2000-2009, and the Buckeyes are going for win #8; if they get it, it will be the first time since the decade of 1900-1909 that either team has had more than 7 wins.

Decade Team Record Highlight
2000-2009 Ohio State 7W-2L 2006 #1 vs. #2
1990-1999 Michigan 7W-2L-1T
1980-1989 Michigan 6W-4L
1970-1979 Ohio State 5W-4L-1T Tie and Rose Bowl Vote in 1973
1960-1969 Ohio State 7W-3L 50 points in 1968, Woody goes for 2 and 1969 Revenge
1950-1959 Tied 5W-5L Snow Bowl 9-3, no first downs
1940-1949 Michigan 6W-2L-2T
1930-1939 Tied 5W-5L
1920-1929 Michigan 6W-4L 1922 Ohio Stadium dedication game ruined, and 1927 Big House dedication game celebrated
1910-1919 Michigan 3W-1L-1T
1900-1909 Michigan 9W-0L-1T
1890-1899 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 5 wins-6 losses, 1-6 in Big Ten 9 wins-2 losses, 6-1 in the Big Ten
Heisman winners 3 7
All-Americans 150 177
Bowl Record 19 wins-20 losses, 20 Rose Bowls 18 wins-22 losses, 13 Rose Bowls
Big Ten Titles 42 33
NCAA Titles 11 7
Series Record 57W-42L-6T 42W-57L-6T
Overall Record 877-301-36 817-308-53
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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