Thursday, November 16, 2006

How Michigan Might Beat OSU

Since, as a rational person, I must acknowledge the possibility that OSU could lose The Game (bringing Coach Carr back to 4-2), I have put together an analysis of how Michigan might win The Game.

In the interest of honest circumspection, I thought it best to write about this. I doubt any Michigan fans will do the same before The Game.

1) Getting to T. Smith. OSU's offensive line has done a stellar job of protecting Troy this year, and many of his best plays have come when he has had a great deal of time to pass the ball. I'm not sold on Alex Boone being all the way back to perfect health after his knee problems over on the left side of the line, and we saw how much that hurt us during the second half of the Illinois game. When you have less than your best offensive linemen on your QB's blind side, you are open to turnovers and injury.

Troy's internal clock for throwing the ball into the stands has not been calibrated much this year. It will need to be working well against Michigan, and if it isn't, this is one way for Michigan to win.

2) The Holdback Factor. If Michigan has been scoring as few points as they have recently because they are hiding the playbook from OSU, then OSU may be in for a long day. I don't know if they hid the playbook from Notre Dame, or if Notre Dame's secondary just sucked, or perhaps both.

3) Bad Weather. If the game is played in cold steady rain with a lot of wind, this will hamper OSU's passing and catching efforts, negate their speed advantage at WR, and turn it into a running game. Teams that can't pass against Michigan haven't done well this season.

4) Turnoverconfidence. One of the reasons that teams don't score on OSU's defense is that we recover so many turnovers. Nothing quite stops a drive like a turnover. Michigan is noted for not fumbling, though they have thrown a few interceptions. I don't think that the OSU defense can count on their normal diet of 2-3 turnovers during The Game.

5) Tressel's only flaw as a coach (and I have seen no evidence of it this year) is his tendency to go for long field goals rather than punting and pinning the opposition back. He needs to keep all of the playbook open and use Trapasso's ability to drop a ball on the five yard line or Michigan will be in the game until the end.


Blogger Andy said...

The Buckeyes' only signature victory (and only top-25 victory) is over a two-loss Texas team.

"They played a soft Big Ten schedule, avoiding Wisconsin, in a mediocre year for teams four through 11 in the Big Ten. So if they lose the biggest game of the year at home, they plummet in my top-25 ballot - as does Smith on my Heisman ballot.

10:44 PM  

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