That just gives me more hope for Saturday!
Isn't this the same Buckeye team....
- That didn't score a TD in 3 games this year(2 games @ home)
- Including Purdue @ home....c'mon seriously???
- Trailed after 3 quarters to Ohio U @ home
- Only led Troy by 4 points after 3 quarters @ home
- Starts a freshmen QB who fumbled away the Penn St game @home
- Passed for 70 yards against Minnesota @ home
- Rushed for only 61 yards against Penn St. @ home
Many columnists, tv personalities, and even people on this blog are eager to point out UM's deficiencies but no one is talking about the fact that OSU also has some issues. Ahhhh how they're all are so quick to gloss over those above points when considering what will happen this Saturday.
Everyone speculates about the manner in which UM is going to lose instead of what UM can do to win. I'm not naive enough to think UM will win by 20 points but I don't think OSU will either. Why is it so hard to believe that UM might actually have a chance to keep this game close and win?
If you take the averages against the 7 common opponents UM & OSU have played the #'s aren't as lopsided as you might think. (Yes I understand there are many variables before you comment). Wouldn't most of you assume that OSU would have a larger advantage over UM in these categories against common opponents?
UM averages 24 points per game, 164 rush yds, 145 pass yds which amounts to 309 yds per game and just over 2 TO per game
OSU averages 28 points per game, 203 rush yds, 128 pass yds which amounts to 331 yds per game and only 1 TO per game
How soon the buckeye fans/media forget about the 90's. Many many times did the bucks come in with better teams only to lose to Michigan. In addition, the buck fans forget about the NC title game they won in which they had no shot at winning...so said the media. I like where this is going... keep talkin up the buckeyes. Not saying UM is going to definately win, but they arent just going to lay down and not play. Thats why they play the game.
In a word: Tressel. I can't put my finger on why. But he knows how to win this game. More importantly, he knows how to win this game when he's supposed to win it.
It's clear that during the 90s, John Cooper had no idea how to win this game. Not only did he lose all of the games in this series that he was supposed to lose, but he lost nearly all the games of this series that he was supposed to win.
These teams have been pretty evenly matched ability-wise since 1969. When both teams had great coaches (Bo and Woody), the series was basically dead even. MO and Lloyd were average-to-above-average coaches with good teams, whereas Cooper had good teams but he was awful at winning this game; snakebitten, pysched out, incompetent, whatever you want to call it. So MO and Lloyd looked awfully great even against the better OSU teams in the 90s.
I liked Lloyd Carr (like anyone I was very frustrated at times, however), but I think it's fair to say he was overmatched by Tressel as a coach in general and especially in this game...
2001 - OSU win as big underdog; full of turnovers by John Navarre et al; maybe not a good example of Tressel ability.
2002 - OSU's NC year. OSU favored slightly; UM's offense completely shut down by great defensive team, but still had plenty of chances to win.
2003 - Lloyd's only win vs. Tressel; UM favored, wins behind potent offense, though we got worried in the second half.
2004 - Michigan favored, takes early lead, can't contain big plays, loses.
2005 - OSU favored; UM takes late lead, can't stop running QB attack on final drive, loses.
2006 - "Game of the Century." OSU favored slightly, UM COMPLETELY CAUGHT WITH ITS PANTS DOWN by OSU five-receiver passing sets that were brand new for this game. By the time UM figured out how to stop it, it was too late, and all the great UM offense was wasted.
2007 - OSU favored; UM loses with entire roster injured, Tressel calls off the dogs early; one good drive by UM would've made this a competitive game.
The glaring one to me was 2006. Michigan lost that game not because of field play, but because of a strategic coaching move. That's what sets Tressel apart. Whereas Michigan coaches have won based on "Execution wins games", Tressel takes it to a new level with lots of different strategic wrinkles that can neutralize perfect execution. Tressel is the exact opposite of Cooper: in this series he wins the games he's supposed to win, and many of the games he's supposed to lose.
I dunno, just my take on things. I'm not an expert, just a fan who longs for John Cooper again.
J.W. well put..... Im simply saying that I hope everone buys into the hype that OSU has already won, and is looking for a PSU loss so they can go to the Rose Bowl. Point being that they are already counting the win and looking to the Rose Bowl. Thats exactly what I want the Bucks to be doing.
It drives me crazy when people act like there is a unique ability that is "the ability to beat OSU". This is a football game, with the same rules as all other games. You need to throw, run, tackle, and block - just like any other game. Yes, there is more emotion. But Tressell doesn't have a "beat Michgan" gene. Does he call asinine 4th down plays like Cooper? No, he does not. But that's called "being a good coach" not "beating Michigan". He hasn't had to deal with something like Shawn Springs inexplicably falling on his ass.
The other dirty little secret we don't like to mention? For the vast majority of the past 7 years, OSU has been a better team. Period.
I agree with all of that. Especially the part about their having a better team. Tressel does not have a unique "beat Michigan" gene. He treats the UM game like every other, and his winning percentage v. UM is comparable to his winning percentage overall. He's a flat-out great coach, and he's a big reason they've had the better team on average the past seven years. Great talent + great coach = you'll probably do better than the team with great talent and a coach that's not as good, no matter who that other team is.
Cooper, however, seemed to have a "lose to Michigan" gene. Sure, Shawn Springs fell down. But it seemed clear from what he said and how he acted that Michigan was in his head. He had squads in 95 and 96 that should have MURDERED Michigan's teams, and both were losses.
I'd agree that a "beat a certain team gene" does not exist, beyond the gene for being a great coach with good schemes and having the gene for beating lots of teams in general. But I'm pretty certain it's possible to be psyched out and have a natural propensity to lose a big rivalry game, or to lose big games in general, whether it's because of poor XO scheming or improperly prepping players for big games.
always hope. Otherwise, why be a fan.
ok, but the 90's were vastly different. then we had a "bad for Michigan" squad. now we have an objectively bad squad. we are not bad for michigan, we are not bad for the big 10, we are bad, bad, bad.
same goes for the other side of the coin- yes, osu is not as good as everyone thought, you're totally right about that. but they are a still a decent team. we are exponentially worse.
They aren't the Buckeyes of the 90's either. Those teams shouldve been National Champs numerous times in the 90's Regardless... Go Blue.
Your numbers are spot on and it's something I've observed all season long in my many conversations about the two teams with my best friend who is an Ohio State fan. While Ohio State's offense is exactly what you said it is, the part that you need to keep in mind is that Ohio State's defense is what won them most of those early games and has been the deciding factor in most of their games this season. It's not that I don't think Michigan's defense can stop Ohio State's offense (which it most definitely can), it's that Michigan's offense probably isn't going to be able to do much against their defense. I'd be curious to see the offensive numbers of the common opponents. If this isn't a very low scoring game I will be shocked.
stats are nice, but Wells and Pryor have gotten stronger as the year has gone on. Also, their stats are misleading because when they get the lead, they run up the middle and drain the clock. Both Purdue and Minnesota were ealy in the Big Ten and Penn State just plain stopped them. Lets talk about their defense; The only team to do anything against them was USC, and that is understandable. They have shutdown everyone else. I just dont see how we score enough to stay in the game unless we get turnovers (Which we have not been getting), special teams (we are inconsistent), or big plays (We cant throw down field, and their run d is tough). Lets keep in mind that we are 1 of 2 wins that Toledo has all year long. That is an amazing fact that I did not know until last night. I would love for us to pull this one out, but I am not naive enough to think this will be close.
That actually isn't true that "the only team do do anything against them was USC". 5 of Ohio State's 7 Big Ten opponents passed for more yards against Ohio State than USC did, and 2 of the 7 rushed for more yards than USC did. Part of that is that USC was up in the second half and didn't throw all that much, but that over-inflates the running numbers. It's too simplistic to just look at it and so that no-one has moved the ball on them, because that just isn't the case. Three teams in the Big Ten have run for over 100 yards on their defense (with one over 200, and one more almost to 200). As long as the game stays close, Michigan can keep running the ball.
Here is the comparison of defenses that I asked about:
Points per game - 13
First downs - 18
Passing yards - 199
Rushing yards - 111
Yards per carry - 3.36
Total yards - 310
Turnovers forced - 2
Points per game - 32
First downs - 18
Passing yards - 237
Rushing yards - 164
Yards per carry - 3.93
Total yards - 401
Turnovers forced - 2
Obviously Ohio State's defense is much better. Everyone knows that. Michigan's best bet is to stack the box and make Pryor beat you with his arm, which he hasn't proven the ability to do yet this year. If he does, so be it and I'll admit it, but until then I'm not sold on Pryor as a passer.
Also, for what it's worth, one of Pryor's worst all around performances this year was against Penn State. Why is that important? Penn State is one of the two programs (with Rodriguez at WVU/Michigan) other than Ohio State who recruited Pryor heavily. The advantage there is that having seen him all along they know his weaknesses (which there are many) better than other coaches.
Over the past 3 conference games UM has averaged 200 yards per game rushing and 136 yards passing. The first 4 conference games they only averaged 140 yards rushing and 150 yards passing
Over the past 3 conference games OSU has allowed an average of 164 yards rushing and 180 yards passing. The first 4 conference games they allowed 98 yards rushing and 188 yards passing.
They're only #'s but it appears the UM rushing attack has gotten better and OSU is giving up 66 yards per game more over their last 3 games.
Northwestern. Purdue. Minnesota.
What are "defenses that are not even close to OSU-caliber"?
You're not alone, comrade! I've been saying since they played Youngstown State that OSU's offensive line is sub-par. And they have remained so the entire season. We have a damn good chance at winning, I vouch. Not the best, but it's not freakin' hopeless ffs. My money is on U-M
OSU does not have a good O-Line. This is true. Will this be nullified by an inability to tackle? Possibly.
The Buckeyes already think they won so they are already getting their shots in. If they lose it hurts way more than if they win and we take it in stride and maintain composure. I won't give them the satisfaction. Go Blue Sat. Suprise the nation!
fans believe UM has NO chance on Saturday and expects an ugly blowout. Almost no one believes RR understands the game, the rivalry or the Tradition. I'll bet Rich surprises many and the players surprise us all, by "playing 60 minutes of football and having a lifetime to remember". I believe in this program. I believe in these players. I believe in RR and what he is building. This game will be the first major building block of the new foundation of Michigan Football. GO BLUE!!!!
P.S. The basketball team is staying with UCLA right now too!
It's a little misleading to look at Michigan's season statistics when most of those have been compiled with Threet at QB, not Sheridan. It's also misleading to look at OSU's stats when 1) they changed QBs a month into the season and he needed time to get his feet wet and 2) their Heisman-caliber RB missed several games. Unfortunately, I think the stats mask a giant talent disparity.