In order to beat Ohio State:


1-We must rush for over 100 yards, but 200 would be our goal! Perry and Askew need to have big days; Sanderson will need to log more playing time. Our offensive line has improved and they must wear out the Buck defense. Wilhelm is the key guy to block along with Doss. The Bucks lead the Big Ten in rushing defense only allowing 75 yards per game (we are 4th with 116).

2-We must win the turnover battle, we must be plus in turnovers! Gamble, Doss, Wilhelm, Smith and Nickie cause a lot of turnovers so we'll have to be poised and make good decisions including being ready for some awfully hard hits. Then, we'll need to look to our turnover specialists: Jackson, Heuer, LeSueur and Hobson to create some turnovers. We must get solid play from our WILL linebacker: Sarantos and McClintock.

3-We must convert on 3rd down! We are 8th in the nation in this category (Ohio State is 65th), and we need to keep drives alive and put our offense in red zone opportunities to convert. Time of possession will be a key factor along with field position; last year, the Bucks had an advantage of nearly 8 minutes.

4-We must get points in our red zone opportunities: touchdowns and field goals. The Bucks are third in the Big Ten in red zone conversions (we are 10th), and defensively limiting red zone points from opposing offenses; they are first and we are 7th. We must get in more red zone position opportunities than the Bucks, and convert these into points.


1-We must limit the Buckeye rushing attack to under 100 yards! The Bucks are hurting at running back! Maurice Clarett, Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall must be halted and contained much better than we did with Anthony Davis.

2-We must force turnovers! We must win this battle, and be plus here!

3-We must not allow "big plays" to Gamble, Jenkins or Vance! They beat Illinois, Purdue, Penn State and others with big passing plays to these excellent receivers. Jackson, LeSueur and Markus Curry must be solid and our safeties, June and Drake (Shaw and Shazor) must not give us the deep pass.

4-We must limit their 3rd downs conversions! Krenzel must not be allowed to scramble for 1st downs like he did with the Illini; we must contain him with our ends and outside linebackers: Stevens, Orr, Hobson, Sarantos and McClintock. We must also get some sacks and put the heat on with the blitz package.

5-We must limit points in red zone opportunities: field goals rather than touchdowns (or better yet, turnovers)!

Special Teams

1-We must not have any blocked punts! They have a great punter, Groom, and so do we, but our net punting and field position as a result of punts needs to put our defense and offense in a strong positions. I don't see why we are using Jermaine Gonzalez in punts when we have Marlin Jackson; I'd rather see LeSueur or Calvin Bell rather than Markus Curry or Gonzalez. I don't think we can afford to put Markus Curry back there after the fumble on the punt that changed momentum in the Iowa game.

2-We must not have any punt returns for points, and we must limit yards in punt returns (Gamble)! Last year, Manning blocked one of their punts; this year Woods looks like our best chance for a block; Avant is also working here. We must not give up a block to them (I don't think we've had one blocked all year).

3-We must not allow any kickoff returns over 35 yards! Neither team is too much of a threat here, but anything can happen especially if they put Gamble back on returns.

4-If we can block a punt, extra-point or field goal, it is a bonus and equivalent to a turnover! Nugent is one of the better kickers in the nation along with Groom being one of the best punters; Finley and Brabbs must step up this week. Hopefully, we can avoid having Brabbs run the football.


We will be the best team that Ohio State will play this year, and we must play like the best team they'll play!

They are a solid second half team so we must be even better in the second half. They have outscored every opponent in the second half until Illinois, and they still won in overtime.

Common Opponents: Wisconsin 21-14 (home) vs. 19-14 (road); Penn State 27-24 OT (home) vs. 13-7 (home); Minnesota 41-24 (road) vs. 34-3 (home) and Purdue 23-21 (road) vs. 10-6 (road)

Our seniors vs. their seniors: Askew, Hobson, Drake, Lazarus, Rumishek, June, Julius Curry, Williams, Joppru, Bellamy, Petruziello, Casseus, Denay, Sgroi, Nasif, Dubuc, etc. vs. Doss, Wilhelm, Peterson, Nickey, Grant, Vance, Groom, Stafford, Kuhnlein, Thompson, etc.


1-B.J. Askew & Scott Sanderson vs. Matt Wilhelm; Brandon Joe vs. Carl Diggs-blocking down on the middle linebacker is usually the responsibility of the fullback and this will decide whether either team will establish dominance in the running game. This will also be a marquise matchup for blitz situations. Wilhem is cut from the same mold as Tom Cousineau, Randy Gradishar, Pepper Johnson and Chris Spielman; he'll be tough to block.

2-Tony Pape vs. Will Smith and Courtney Morgan (Demetrius Solomon) vs. Darrion Scott; Shane Olivea and Ivan Douglas vs. Shantee Orr and Larry Stevens (Dan Rumishek)-How each team is able to handle the pass rush will be a key. Smith had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in last year's game; he must be neutralized by Pape. Each team is looking to establish the run so this is a key area.

3-David Baas and Dave Petruziello (Matt Lentz) vs. Kenny Peterson and Tim Anderson; Adrien Clarke and Bryce Bishop vs. Shawn Lazarus and Grant Bowman (Norm Heuer)-Good matchups here, fairly similar to last year with one huge exception: All-American LeCharles Bentley graduated for the Bucks. We must win the battle inside for running the ball and stopping the pass rush.

4-Braylon Edwards vs. Chris Gamble and Ron Bellamy vs. Dustin Fox; Chris Gamble vs. Marlin Jackson (Brandon Williams) and Michael Jenkins vs. Jeremy LeSueur (Markus Curry)-Last year, Jenkins and Gamble only had one catch each against us. We cannot give up a big play on a deep pass! Last year, Jackson was injured and didn't play so this is his first Ohio State game; hopefully, he'll respond with great cover like he's done on Charles Rogers and Reggie Williams. Edwards and Bellamy must find a way to get separation from Gamble and Fox, and we must certainly limit drops.

5-Ben Joppru vs. Cie Grant; Ben Hartsock vs. Victor Hobson-Hartsock only had one catch in last year's game. Grant started at corner last year, and has now grown into a linebacker so he'll be good on cover. Still, I like the matchups on both sides of the ball. I don't see Joppru being stopped, and I don't see Hartsock as a threat.

6-Chris Perry vs. Michael Doss; Maurice Clarett (Lydell/Ross/Maurice Hall) vs. Charles Drake-Last year, Perry and Askew combined for 99 yard in 23 attempts and our rushing attack sputtered for 117 yards; we must get 200 or more to win. Also, last year Jonathan Wells rushed for 129 yards in 25 carries (almost everything in the first half) with 3 TDs led by blocking fullback Jamar Martin; both are gone. The strong safety will be in the box in most running situations.

7-John Navarre vs. Donnie Nickey; Craig Krenzel vs. Cato June (Jon Shaw)-Last year, Navarre threw 4 interceptions and was sacked 3 times; in order to have a chance, he'll have to have zero interceptions or at least a plus TD passes to picks. Last year, we were only 6 of 17 on 3rd down conversions; this must be much better if we are to be in red zone situations and given a chance to win. The Bucks were only 5 of 19 last year in 3rd down and forced to punt 11 times, but didn't need to worry with a 23-0 halftime lead hanging on for a 26-20 win. Krenzel was only picked once last year by Todd Howard after they were up 21-0 shortly before the end of the first half. The free safety is the quarterback of the defense, and they'll be battling both quarterbacks so they don't complete long plays.

8-Adam Finley vs. Andy Groom; Adam Finley vs. Mike Nugent-We know that we are weak in field goals compared to the Bucks, but we must improve our net punting and hit the field goals we attempt. Our net punting is only one yard per punt behind the Bucks, but our field goal attempts are 40% (last in the Big Ten) while they didn't miss an attempt all season until last week when they missed two. We can't predict the weather and the wind's affect on the kicking game, but in November it usually is a factor.

9-Dave Pearson vs. Robert Reynolds; Alex Stepanovich vs. Joey Sarantos (Scott McClintock)-Someone must clear the way up the middle and that's usually the center. I'm guessing McClintock will log most of the playing time because of his size.

I really like our chances in this game; I think we execute and come up with a win, 24-16!

Michigan finishes 10-2 and goes to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando against Florida, Arkansas or LSU (Penn State to the Outback against one of these; Colorado goes to the Cotton against the other); Ohio State goes to the Orange Bowl against Notre Dame, Florida State and Georgia tangle in the Sugar Bowl, Washington State or UCLA plays Iowa in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma plays Miami-Florida in the Fiesta Bowl