I am seeing a lot of counting on true freshman in the comments. Have we not learned anything from Dymonte Thomas...and Green really. These are a top 1 RB and a top 100 player and both have limited contributions.
I hope Drake Harris and Peppers contribute next year but thinking difference makers for an entire unit will come from a freshman - whatever the ranking - is a big leap of faith. I expect these kids to be decent contributors but not the difference makers as freshman as some of you guys are already penciling them in.
To that end I think Stribling - from the snippets I have seen - is going to be an excellent senior and junior at UM. I think Blake was an excellent freshmen. But were these 'difference makers' as freshmen who changed the complexion of a unit? Same for Thomas, same for Green. Just be reasonable people...when you assess the team assess the sophomores thru seniors as a unit and then you throw on freshman contributing as icing. Like Butt - he is icing, coming into his own very late in the season after sporadic but solid contributions all year.
Also Black has been a major contributor this year and will be a loss. Henry is coming on. Pipkins still the jury is out. Cam Gordon - while above average and not great is a loss. We saw that today when we trotted out Furman + Avery. Next year you will have Wilson + I guess Dymonte who has nearly zero playing experience now. These are not things to gloss over. The LBs should be stout - love the early returns of Gedeon.
As for the matchups - OSU takes a step back at OL and RB, and I expect their defense to be better even if they lose Shazier since they are very young in the unit. But does it matter - we see today it doesnt matter much head to head. If will mean they are more apt to be upset somewhere along the line. I just hope we can count on a day when UM is favored on the road at Columbus. Playing at home vs the road means a lot at this age of player, as we see with UM almost every week.