OSU questions

Submitted by TK on November 20th, 2018 at 3:17 PM

Sorry for the non descriptive title, but I have a few questions on my mind this week. 

1. What did MSU do to OSU’s offense that we can replicate? I watched that game and the potent OSU offense looked stagnant. They got half their points on Sparty No!’s and grinded to 4.2 yards per play. Granted, MSU has a very good defense but obviously so do we. We perform like that and we win the game easily. Did they do anything special? Why did OSU struggle so much?

2. What did Maryland do to OSU’s defense? Maryland was one dimensional and still gouged OSU. Was it brilliant game planning that RPSed OSU to death? Bad tackling? Something else?

3. Has OSU been saving Haskins by not running? All of a sudden they are running Haskins. Did they break it out early vs Maryland because they had to? Did they show it to slow down attacking LBs? 

4. Pressure and emotion. Are they real things or overstated? The national media is trying to say all the pressure is on UM and if we don’t win, we never will. Doesn’t the pressure go out the window when the clock starts? Same thing with emotion. Lots of talk about OSU being fired up by Higdons comment, but does getting really fired up last long into the game? 



November 20th, 2018 at 4:18 PM ^

I don't understand why they'd do that.  OSU has looked shaky this season because of their defense and lack of a running game, but they are still 10-1 because their passing offense (and punting) has been lights-out.  If they bring in Martell to try and kickstart the running game, then they are weakening the strength of their team. I can't imagine Martell is close to Haskins as a passer or else he'd already be starting.  I'm sure they'll find ways to use Martell in some short-yardage and red zone situations, but overall they are undoubtedly better off dancing with the partner that brought them.   

This just kind of reminded me of the Buckeye teams from the mid-90s with Stanley Jackson and Joe Germain.  They were much more dangerous with Germain, but would often play Jackson because of his running ability.  Whenever Jackson would come in, I'd breathe a sigh of relief.  Then Jackson graduated and the Buckeyes won the Big Ten in 1998 with Germain playing full time.


November 20th, 2018 at 9:03 PM ^

We have a poor track record of adapting to Ohio State change-of-pace QBs that get brought into the game.  

When Cardale came in, we didn't realize he was such a truck and he ran all over us and won the game.

When Haskins came in, we weren't expecting the quick accurate passes over the middle as he beat our blitzes time after time.

If Martell comes in we better be ready for a 2017 McSorely performance from him.


snarling wolverine

November 20th, 2018 at 5:02 PM ^

I think their "secret weapon" was not Martell (who hasn't done much in his brief outings the last couple games), but using Haskins as a runner.  Unfortunately for them, they had to break that out against Maryland because their season was on the line.  Haskins rushed 15 times for 59 yards in the game.  Now it's on film.  Thank you Terps.


November 20th, 2018 at 3:42 PM ^

Nothing about Martell scares me. We had Barrett bottled up, and lost the game because we weren't prepared for Haskins. Sideline to sideline, this defense is as fast as it gets. I dont see them scoring on us consistently with anything other than YAC, or establishing a traditional running game (which seems highly unlikely at this point). 


November 20th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

The bigger issue is Martell entering screams QB run and it’s hard to be successful when everyone knows what the play call is.  

Suddently running Haskins was successful because until that point no one expected it. Like Eli Manning pulling on a zone read. 


November 20th, 2018 at 3:25 PM ^

With regard to #4, I think you can look at it two ways.  In terms of the "programs," yes, there is far more pressure on Michigan to win this game than Ohio State.  If you are looking at it in terms of what person has the most pressure on him this weekend, it could very well be Urban Meyer.  Many are assuming that Meyer and OSU are coming to kind of understanding that this is his last year or that he is leaving after this year.  If that is not the case from his perspective, he has enormous pressure on him right now.  Beating Michigan this year could actually = "beating the wrap" for everything that went on this year.  If he beats Michigan and wins the BIG, he completely walks for all of his conduct this off-season and will be there for life, or as long as he wants to be.  If Michigan drills him after his off-season and their general bad play this season, they will be chasing him out with pitchforks.


November 20th, 2018 at 3:32 PM ^

1-OSU has been trying to get the running game going all year to compliment or help their passing game.  They stayed consistent with that in the MSU game and it did not bode well for them.  I actually believe the two QB thing hurts them and makes it more obvious as to what you are going to do when that occurs.  They kept trying to get the running game going because they could MSU's offense was that bad.  If Michigan stops the run early and gets a lead expect an air raid attack in hopes of getting into a shoot out which we don't want.

2-Maryland and Purdue did a lot of misdirection, and once you get your speedsters to the second level on Ohio..Bye Bye.  Michigan does not have this which is what worries me a little.  We might see Thomas in on more offensive plays trying to exploit this, and if Higdon and company can have success on the ground early Shea will pop some big runs late in the game, as their linebacking core just looks really slow if you  get them outside and they miss a tackle.

3-They are running haskins on purpose as this opens up the running game a bit.  RPO/Zone Read does not work if your QB is not a threat to run hence their rushing problems up until about two weeks ago.  I hope he runs and gets popped a few times, he seems to be not as consistent or accurate when pressured and popped a few times. Which is not rocket science but from watching him he goes from being almost perfect in accuracy to just wild if pressured and popped a few times.

4-It is a real thing, but I believe this team is as angry and hungry as you can be, and actually can back it up.  and I am one who believes all the pressure is on Michigan until they win one but don't believe that is how the players feel as much as the fans.



November 20th, 2018 at 4:06 PM ^

Michigan runs plenty of misdirection, but it’s a different type of misdirection.  The Down G run stuff that Brian has been talking about for two months is misdirection.  So are the split zone and arc stuff that has been introduced in the last last few weeks.  On each of these plays, the intention is to get an aggressive player to make one particular type of mistake.  OSU has a number of aggressive players who are prone to making mistakes.


November 20th, 2018 at 9:51 PM ^

I think You’re right. In fact, Evans might end up being our secret weapon if he has some of those big 15-20 yard runs. I have A feeling the passing game will be wide open because we’re  going to wear their Front 7 down. I anticipate That the game will be close or we may even be behind at halftime; adjustments will be made, then the grinding and relentless defense will just cause submission 


November 20th, 2018 at 3:32 PM ^

1) MSU has a really good defense, albeit one that we pretty much crushed.  They can't run the ball and their QB is a 1-trick pony.  He passes short, so MSU moved up and stopped it.

2) Maryland had 4 or 5 big plays of 50 yards, or more.  Which is also how Purdue torched them - by big plays.  They give up big plays like that regularly...

3) I think they had to break out the ZR's for Haskins just to keep up with MD, not because they wanted to.  Thanks, Coach Canada!!

4) They're real.  But I don't think this Michigan team cares about any of that.  I think they're just looking for blood.  I believe we'll see a more focused, more ready team than we've seen all year.


November 20th, 2018 at 3:41 PM ^

4. Michigan has been welcoming pressure all season and overcoming various odds.  The Northwestern deficit or going in to EL and winning. They also inflicted BPoNE on Wisky during that game. osu will feel BPoNE going in to and during this game. Finish the Revenge Tour 😁😏


November 21st, 2018 at 11:01 AM ^

Michigan is msu's biggest game of the year, every year.  Going into east lansing is never an easy out.  Think, oh, I don't know - like when you guys go into west lafayette. 


I'm mildly hopeful michigan can hang with your "better athletes" even if they bring their best - I think of the way the wolverines stomped the psu team that needed incredibly franklin coaching to hand y'all a close win, and try not to panic about your allegedly superior players.


Speaking of those "better athletes", I guess we'll see how the next couple drafts shake out.  No fair counting completely healthy at this point bosa since he quit on your team.


And I'll continue to find entitled buckeye angst about one of the best coaches in cfb hilarious.  You're 10-1 and ranked in the top 10.  Quick, grab the pitchforks - what a disaster of a season!  If and when urban has had enough of unbelievably spoiled buckeye nation, who's on deck?


Unlike many michigan folk, I have no desire to see meyer come back so harbaugh can even some score - I care about winning and I'm in on a secret - you have no one better on deck.  Whoever takes over when urban leaves will be lesser.  Period.




November 20th, 2018 at 3:55 PM ^

1. Brian and Seth mention how MSU crowds the line and dares you to go big or go home.  That's a good way to bog down a short-throw YAC offense.

2. I don't really know, but I liked it.  Kinda.  I liked it better when Purdue did it.

3. Haskins really isn't a terribly mobile quarterback.  They broke it out against Maryland for the same reason we decided we had to let Shea loose against IU a little bit.  Either that or they purposely put it on film for Don Brown to lose a little sleep over.  Maybe a little of both.

4. It's absolutely real.  And being fired up can last the whole damn game, especially if you get some success early to build on.  Pressure can affect your playmakers by causing them to try and go play heroball and skipping assignments.  Emotion can get the subconscious mind in gear.  I believe 100% in the subconscious mind's ability to take over and do things for you, when you really get into the right motivated frame of mind, because I've felt it happen.  The subconscious mind is better than the conscious mind at just about any sports motion or technique you care to mention.


November 20th, 2018 at 4:13 PM ^

1. Winning the point of and making it a slugfest. Forced Ohio State into a lot of short throws and grinding it out. Michigan State is excellent at that. The tackles weren't able to get any traction in the run game/pass game, which forced them to run significantly more inside than they're accustomed to. 

2. Horrible tackling, no gap integrity, and just lackadaisical effort. The linebackers are horrendously coached. 

3. No. He's not a runner, he's a pocket passer that has some mobility. Sometimes in short yardage situations, you need your big bruiser to get a couple yards. Highly doubt they try that against Michigan, just because Devin Bush will make it a rough day for him. 

4. I would say overstated. Nothing Higdon said is changing how hard Michigan or Ohio State will play, but I think it is a testament to the confidence Michigan has, and how it's not a significant mental block for them. Because the mental block is real. It's like quicksand. As soon as something starts to go wrong, it can snowball if a team isn't mentally tough and disciplined because of the "here we go again" feeling. In order to beat a good team, you have to be willing to punch back when you get punched in the mouth. Sounds cliche, but it's a real thing. 


November 21st, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

Imo at least the DB play is improved a bit in my opinion. But it’s ironic that in a year with the Zach Smith scandal, Billy Davis is the assistant coach that could do the most damage for Urban Meyer. Hiring an under qualified coach because he was the best man in your wedding is a major blunder, and imo shows the biggest weakness Urban Meyer has as a coach: replacing quality assistants with assistants who will buy in. At Florida is started to go downhill after Mullen, Charlie Strong, and Greg Mattison left. He’s lost Chris Ash, Warinner, Coombs, Fickell, and Vrabel, and it hasn’t gone as smoothly for them. 

Watching From Afar

November 20th, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

RE: Maryland's offense.

I don't get the hype behind Canada. His offense shifts and motions a bunch, but the most successful play they ran was an orbit motion or jet sweep motion that made OSU shift and ended up with the defense in a numbers disadvantage where the ball was ran, which was just a straight zone or power from where the motion started. OSU's DBs switched like Michigan's do, but their LBs couldn't fill the hole and it was 1 on 1 with their SS who couldn't bring down McFarland and the other RB.

If Michigan can get OSU's LBs moving and not flowing directly to the run, and take care of Jones on the DL, it will be Higdon 1 on 1 with a SS and I'll take that any day.

Brewers Yost

November 20th, 2018 at 4:16 PM ^

4) I think some UM fans feel more pressure to win the the actual team. This team has the desire to win and they want it bad.However, this team is lead by pit bulls and that takes all the pressure off. This team: the revenge tour, stomping sparty at mid field, little brother, Shea wanting PSU blood when he wasn’t even here last year. This team has confidence, swag, BDE, I don’t care what you call it but they have it.

Michigan might not win but it hasn’t crossed the mind of anyone on this team. 


November 20th, 2018 at 4:23 PM ^

One key point is that OSU played on the road against MSU, Purdue, Maryland, and PSU.  All that matters is that they are 10-1.  When we play them on Saturday, we are going to bring the heat and they are gong to bring the heat.

Let the coaches figure this one out.

CRISPed in the DIAG

November 20th, 2018 at 4:24 PM ^

I watched the '86 game replay on Youtube a few years ago. Before the game, the cameras are with Michigan just outside the tunnel. The announcer introduces Michigan to a chorus of boos. Five or six Michigan players instantly yell "yeahhh!!!" and "lets gooooo!!!!' just before charging out on the field. The boos crescendo. Welcome to the shit.

At the time I watched this, I remember longing for the day we could have guys with that attitude again. It was like they ate that animosity for breakfast. Or almost as if they'd rather play this game in Columbus.

I think we have that going again.