Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why Michigan will win on Saturday.

1 - Ohio State is not the best team in the country.
OSU has played a very weak schedule this year.
Let's start with the beginning - Northern Illinois - currently with a record of 5-5.
Texas - currently 9-2 with a devastating loss to lowly Kansas State and two squeakers against Texas Tech and Nebraska and maybe an upcoming loss at A&M.
Cincinnati - currently 5-5
Penn State - 7-4 record - a decent win but at home
Iowa - 6-5 and having lost 4 out of last 5 - and may lose to Minnesota
Bowling Green - 4-7
MSU - also 4-7 soon to be 4-8
Indiana - 5-6
Minnesota - 5-6
Illinois - 2-9
Northwestern - 3-8

So OSU has beaten teams with a combined record of 50-59 or a .458 winning percentage.

This kind of puts in perspective the number 1 scoring defense in the country as well as all of their other stats - it was done against less than mediocre competition. Does it really mean anything to have the number 1 scoring defense against losing teams? In addition, Northern Illinois is not ranked in the top 119 in total offense. Texas does come in at 18. But what about Cincinnati #77; Penn State #56; Iowa #39; BGSU #51; MSU #45; Indiana #80; Minnesota #47; Illinois #55; Northwestern #90. If we assign 120 to Northern Illinois, then OSU has beaten an average of the #60 rated total offensive teams in the country. Big deal!

2 - OSU has the 20th ranked rushing offense in the country. Again, it came against less then mediocre competition. Lesson from the Illinois game - Pittman rushed 32 times for 58 yards against the #53 rushing defense. Ohio State is going to have trouble running the ball against the nation's no.1 rushing defense. Usually, the winner of this game is the one who can run the ball most effectively. Pittman is an average back. His backups are subject to fumbles and inexperience.

3 - Lesson from the Penn State game - OSU gave up 142 yards rushing at home to Penn State. Michigan should be able to run the ball effectively against Ohio State.

4 - All OSU fans and media are claiming that OSU should be able to pass the ball without a problem against Michigan. Troy Smith and his center both have wraps on their right thumbs. In addition, OSU fans and media types fail to calculate how much time Smith will have to pass. If Michigan can pressure him, that Heisman shine may tarnish with several bad decisions and/or sacks. Smith isn't passing against Northern Illinois, BGSU, Cincinnati, NW, Indiana, etc., any more. I'm sure he has had all day to pick out his receiver against those teams. Things may change come Saturday. Look at the pressure Illinois put on him.

5 - OSU fans and media types are so confident in Ginn and the return game that they overlook Michigan's return game. Breaston took one to the house only last Saturday.

6 - OSU fans are confident Michigan can't cover Ginn, Gonzaga, etc., they should be concerned about whether they can protect their QB. Can OSU cover Breaston, Arrington, Manningham, Butler, Ecker, etc.?

7 - Fans and media types claim that Smith is going to run wild against Michigan. Michigan's defensive front is a lot faster than last year as they frequently have caught QB's running for their lives from behind. lllinois had no problem catching up to Smith. Michigan caught IU's QB who is probably faster than Smith. If Smith is running it generally means that the passing and rushing games aren't happening. Can he save OSU by himself?


8 - In the end, Michigan may have the advantage with their offensive and defensive lines and that may prove to be the difference.

3 Comments:

Blogger EEWillison said...

As always, there are several problems with Mr. Ruzicho's "analysis", which comes in 8 sections.

Mr. Ruzicho first derides the quality of OSU's opponents. Timing is everything, and I wonder if he will continue to deride the quality of OSU's opponents after they play Michigan.

A) For some strange reason, no team that OSU has played thusfar remains undefeated. They all seem to have at least one built-in loss.

B) If Mr. Ruzicho can name me one team in the BCS top 10 whose opponents have a combined winning record, then I will concede him this point. The teams we have defeated have a combined record of close to .500, and that record might even be a winning one if they didn't have the disadvantage of playing us.

C) Texas' second loss came at Kansas State only after Colt McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury. Were Michigan to lose Henne or Woodley, I think Big Blue might suffer a bit as well.

Mr. Ruzich secondly derides OSU's rushing attack. I must confess it is surprising to me that we have the 20th ranked rushing offense in the country. I thought it much lower than that. With Troy Smith throwing to the likes of Ginn, Gonzales, Hall, Robiskie, Hartline, Nicol, Ballard, and Small (I limit the list to those who have caught touchdowns this season) it is natural not to feature the offense quite so much.

Mr. Ruzicho thirdly chides OSU for giving up 142 yards rushing to Penn State. We also gave up 6 points to them. That is half of what Michigan averages giving up to its opponents, and about one fourth of what Michigan gave up to Ball State.

Mr. Ruzicho fourthly points out that T. Smith and Doug Datish have "wraps" on their right hands. Datish wears the wrap to keep his wrist from moving during the snap (bad form) and Troy has been torching everyone with his less than 100 percent thumb.

Granted Troy will have less time to throw v. Michigan than other teams, but this season he has been using his feet to buy time to throw rather than to scramble downfield. Michigan has always had trouble with scrambling quarterbacks, and now they will face a fifth year scrambler with some great receivers and a great offensive line.

Mr. Ruzicho fifthly tries to compare Breaston with Ginn. Breaston as one return for a touchdown all season against Indiana. Ginn has only one return for a touchdown (off a punt) v. Michigan State. People have kicked the ball away from Ginn all season long (and Michigan will be no exception) and because OSU only allows 7.4 points per game, teams rarely kick off to Ginn. No one has kicked away from Breaston this season.

Mr. Ruzicho sixthly wonders who will cover Michigan's receivers. I am not altogether convinced that Manningham is that healthy. But most of his spectacular catches come when he outruns the corner and Henne has time to get it to him. OSU's corners are a bit faster than most, and OSU's defensive line has nearly the same amount of QB sacks as Michigan's.

Mr. Ruzicho seventhly argues that Michigan's D Line will be able to catch T. Smith from behind. Troy isn't as fast as the QBs Ruzicho names, but those QBs were slowed by cornerbacks who could cheat forward and support the run defense. Do that against Gonzales and Ginn and Troy won't need to run anywhere.

Mr. Ruzicho lastly argues that Michigan has a slightly better D and O line. Even if that were true, OSU's lines are deeper, allowing regular rotation during The Game. Michigan's top people will be out there all day long, and Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy once told me that nothing wears out D-linemen like running 25 yard wind sprints in pursuit of a scrambling QB.

The fun thing will be reading Mr. Ruzicho post game analysis wherein he shows that despite the fact that all of his points in this posting were correct, Michigan still lost.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

A) For some strange reason, no team that OSU has played thusfar remains undefeated. They all seem to have at least one built-in loss. -

not worth commenting on

B) If Mr. Ruzicho can name me one team in the BCS top 10 whose opponents have a combined winning record, then I will concede him this point. The teams we have defeated have a combined record of close to .500, and that record might even be a winning one if they didn't have the disadvantage of playing us. -

do the math yourself, I won't argue for you

C) Texas' second loss came at Kansas State only after Colt McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury. Were Michigan to lose Henne or Woodley, I think Big Blue might suffer a bit as well. -

KSU's QB went out of the game for a while as well

Mr. Ruzich secondly derides OSU's rushing attack. I must confess it is surprising to me that we have the 20th ranked rushing offense in the country. I thought it much lower than that. With Troy Smith throwing to the likes of Ginn, Gonzales, Hall, Robiskie, Hartline, Nicol, Ballard, and Small (I limit the list to those who have caught touchdowns this season) it is natural not to feature the offense quite so much. -

Pittman just sucks!

Mr. Ruzicho thirdly chides OSU for giving up 142 yards rushing to Penn State. We also gave up 6 points to them. That is half of what Michigan averages giving up to its opponents, and about one fourth of what Michigan gave up to Ball State. -

Nevertheless, Penn State showed that you can move the ball easily against OSU. This total includes sacks as well.

Mr. Ruzicho fourthly points out that T. Smith and Doug Datish have "wraps" on their right hands. Datish wears the wrap to keep his wrist from moving during the snap (bad form) and Troy has been torching everyone with his less than 100 percent thumb. -

I'd hate to see your boy Troy get hit like he's going to get hit, sore thumb and all.

Granted Troy will have less time to throw v. Michigan than other teams, but this season he has been using his feet to buy time to throw rather than to scramble downfield. Michigan has always had trouble with scrambling quarterbacks, and now they will face a fifth year scrambler with some great receivers and a great offensive line. -

We had no trouble with IU's QB, MSU's scrambling QB.


Mr. Ruzicho fifthly tries to compare Breaston with Ginn. Breaston as one return for a touchdown all season against Indiana. Ginn has only one return for a touchdown (off a punt) v. Michigan State. People have kicked the ball away from Ginn all season long (and Michigan will be no exception) and because OSU only allows 7.4 points per game, teams rarely kick off to Ginn. No one has kicked away from Breaston this season.

Ball State kicked away from him all game as have others - you are simply wrong here as well. Is this Donchatz or Willison writing this?

Mr. Ruzicho sixthly wonders who will cover Michigan's receivers. I am not altogether convinced that Manningham is that healthy. But most of his spectacular catches come when he outruns the corner and Henne has time to get it to him. OSU's corners are a bit faster than most, and OSU's defensive line has nearly the same amount of QB sacks as Michigan's.

Again - my point was we have more than Manningham.

Mr. Ruzicho seventhly argues that Michigan's D Line will be able to catch T. Smith from behind. Troy isn't as fast as the QBs Ruzicho names, but those QBs were slowed by cornerbacks who could cheat forward and support the run defense. Do that against Gonzales and Ginn and Troy won't need to run anywhere.

Smith is going down and he is going down hard!

Mr. Ruzicho lastly argues that Michigan has a slightly better D and O line. Even if that were true, OSU's lines are deeper, allowing regular rotation during The Game. Michigan's top people will be out there all day long, and Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy once told me that nothing wears out D-linemen like running 25 yard wind sprints in pursuit of a scrambling QB.

Wrong again - Michigan's D rotates more personnel than OSU's.

The fun thing will be reading Mr. Ruzicho post game analysis wherein he shows that despite the fact that all of his points in this posting were correct, Michigan still lost.

Time will reveal all.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

You can reach Eric for commenting at

eric@osufootballsucks.com

3:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home