Saturday, November 21, 2009

Michigan Game Quick Thoughts

  • Regardles of how it looked, it was another big victory on the road against Michigan.  How many people before the Penn State game thought Ohio State was going to win out to win the outright Big Ten Title???
  • Very nice job by the offensive coaches adjusting.  Michigan put 8-9 guys in the box against our pro style formations.  So OSU goes shotgun, 2 tight, and ran zone read up and down the field against Michigan.   They had a nice wrinkle blocking that play, leaving the backside '5' technique unblocked, while having the backside TE establish the edge on the nickel back.
  • Terrelle Pryor changed that game offensively with the threat of his legs.  Once he started making plays Michigan could not consistently stop Ohio State again.  I guess we counted out 'spread' type plays from OSU too soon.  Pryor's passing statistics might not be huge, but he controlled that game with his feet and that was the difference.  If he hits even one of those two open deep passes down the field that game blows wide open.  He needs to put a little more air under those throws.  
  • I've criticized so I will give props--that was Boom Herron's best game.  He did a nice job being patient while still running hard.  
  • Defensively, there was some bend but don't break.  That is the type of offense Michigan runs, though, they want to take 5 yard horizontal chunks at a time.  But then OSU completely shut down the Michigan running game in the second half, and  it was only a matter of time before they made  plays against Forcier.  The defense, as usual, was opportunistic.
  • Field position really hamstrung OSU this game.  I do not have the statistics in front of me, but I would guess that Michigan's average starting position was about 20 yards better.  The punting game hurt us again today.  This resulted in the offense having to put together some long drives.   OSU also shot themselves in the foot with inopportune penalties, botched snaps and the like. 
  • As usual, the 4th Quarter's conservatism with a lead leaves a 'what if' feeling and masks the good things Ohio State did offensively this game.  They came out throwing, but in essence, Pryor's outside running has become the equivalent of the passing game.  They want to run up the middle and then spring big plays outside with Pryor.  It's similar in that way to what option teams try to do.  Schematically, nice job with the counter runs out of the spread, as well as the 3d down screen pass--and that was a very nice throw by Pryor.  If they hit those plays down field it completely changes the game's complexion.  But when OSU gets a lead Tressel is simply not going to tet Pryor throw the ball is instead content to count on Pryor and the tailbacks to run it (though that was a pass call on 4th and 3 that Pryor did not throw).
  • Another game with over 220 yards rushing--it is very hard for teams to beat you if you can run the ball and play defense like Ohio State is.  It will keep them in any game and give them a good chance to win the Rose Bowl.


  1. I am learning from you and Smart Football. Here is my homework:

    If you add back the 37 yards TP lost (2 sacks, 1 grounding call) in pass attempts to our official rushing numbers and subtract those 3 plays from our 50 rush attempts, we averaged out at 6.2 yards per carry. Pretty impressive.

    BTW, if you add the lost yardage of the interception (assume it is an incompletion and we punt putting them on the 20, which amounts to 31 yards lost on the interception), to the 37 lost in the sacks and grounding, we got MINUSS 1 yards from our passing game, or an average of MINUS 0.05 yards per pass attempt. Since the Purdue game, JT has put TP on a very tight leash — safe passes only.

    Given these two facts, it is clear both why we won and why we didn’t blow them out.


  3. I was ok with tops if we change the font to the current, the bottoms looked nice in photos but pink on tv. Bring in a grey helmat with the buckeye leaves and I would be ok with a uniform change. THier was more Scarlet and Grey and less scarlet and black.