You are Greg Mattison for this week. What is your game plan to stop Ohio State?

Submitted by MilkSteak on November 24th, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I really enjoyed reading the serioud responses to the other thread and thought it would be fun to see what everyone thinks the defensive game plan should be.

How do you stop the OSU offense that's averaging something like 48 PPG? They're a spread team that likes to use the run to set up open passes and have a QB in Braxton Miller that has only 4 INT's on the year.

Do you try to stop the run by stacking the box and hoping the corners can handle their receivers man-to-man? Do you make them beat you on the ground by selling out against the pass?

How do you, Greg Mattison, pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year and salvage what's left of our season on one of the largest stages in all of college sports?



November 24th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

I'd kidnap Borges.


Snark free answer:  I think the D is doing enough to win, and will continue to do so against OSU.  But the O's gotta help.  The D can't do it all.  All those 3 and outs will tire any D and make it lose its will in the 4th quarter.



November 24th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

1) Throw Hoke a headset and ask him to care what is going on and,

2) punch Borges in the mouth and tell him to "get a few f-ing first downs you arrogant bastard!"


November 25th, 2013 at 1:40 AM ^

I've had my account for a while. But I don't feel knowledgeable enough to say anything. But Firing Borges and explaining how Devin Gardner is bad feels like a compulsion to me because for some reason people are acting like having a young o-line means there are like 5'4 and prepubescent. 

Our line is huge and more than talented enough to not lay eggs this large.  And Gardner would get sacked by a paper bag. He has no pocket awareness (although greatly exarcerbated by the o-line play).


So long story short.. the reason why I'm talking now is that Borges and the offensive play is SO DAMN BAD even I can see problems with it and comment on it. I follow football very closely yet I can't even begin to predict what play any other offense is going run next. But with Borges I feel like it's painfully obvious. I can't not predict the play. That's a problem. 




November 24th, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

I’m a first time poster but I agree with the fact that Hoke should wear a headset, al be it for different reasons.  First off I think that when Hoke is wearing a headset it disrupts the usual flow his coordinators are used to.  They obviously have a routine when he doesn’t wear a headset so when he does it disrupts that routine.  A second issue is I think it brings into question who is the top coach and who the players are supposed to look at as their leader.  Who are they supposed to view as the leader when Hoke is peeking over Mattison’s shoulder asking him what defense they called?  It does not give the perception to his team that he is in control of all aspects of the game.  The best coaches in the game, college or NFL (Saban, Belichick, Meyer), all have complete control of their teams in all aspects.  Hoke does not just based on the way he goes about game days. 



November 24th, 2013 at 1:31 PM ^

Let's face it, we NEED the defense to have another TD score and get us the ball in Ohio territory. We must gamble a lot, like it or not, because we will get NO MORE than one good offensive drive PER HALF.

If I'm GREG, I decide "screw the offense" - we must win this game for the team. Even if it may lead to 3-4 quick hitting TDs, we can't afford another 21-10 home loss like 2009, when the D kept us in the game but got only one TO. 

Thankfully, GREG is confident enough in his own schemes to gamble and tell Brady to screw-off and fix the offense. Mattison can retire any time he likes. 

Taylor and Countess and others have to play for broke. Hey, maybe Stribling will actually get one of those INTs that he routinely gets off of Gardner in practice (LOL)

Maize and Blue…

November 24th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

The D got us back in the game against PSU with pressure but with the game on the line he backed off and let them march straight down the field. Nebraska jumped out to a 10-0 lead and the D held them scoreless until until their last drive with the game on the line. Yesterday he helped us get ahead with pressure then the D gave 17 in the second half to a bad Iowa O. I got to watch a walk on Dlineman get blown off the ball on first and goal on the game tying TD.
I understand rotating the Dline to keep them fresh but you need your best players in the game with the game on the line. With all the rotating through 3 quarter there is no reason for rotating late in the fourth unless your conditioning program sucks.

swan flu

November 24th, 2013 at 1:51 PM ^

Only way we win this game is if the defense does some crazy shit.


So we play the most aggressive gameplan possible.  Blitz 8 guys every couple plays, go for interceptions, go for strips, try to jump the snap at risk of being offside.  

Playing conservative will guarantee a loss. Our only chance is to play super aggressive and hope that the breaks go our way.



November 24th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

I'm not a huge fan of "spies" but I think Jake Ryan has started to get back to form and wouldn't be averse to seeing him be assigned to Miller. I'd rather see us show a blitz, back out, and come from somewhere else instead. I think our defense is at its best when we play aggressively. While we aren't at an elite level, I think the D is very close to being where we expect Michigan Football to be. I'd like to see us test that by checking in and out of blitzes - are we disciplined enough to do that and stay leveraged where we need to be? Can we disguise our constraints? If so, we ought to be able to confuse the Ohio offense - they wouldn't have seen anything like that out of us on film.


November 24th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

If you want an actual answer, here it is. Press the CBs, don't hesitate to blitz LBs, and keep 2 deep safeties as against northwestern. Keeping 2 deep safeties should help us not get burned by deep passes despite our CBs' press coverage, and it will allow the playside safety to come down hard on any outside run or option. Press coverage with 2 safeties should do enough to disrupt their bubble game and any deep stuff they want to do; from there it's just up to your DL and LBs to keep down their interior running game. Much easier said than done I know, but I feel like it's the best chance you've got.


November 24th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

lasers and some missles, but nothing nuclear.

or, go 1 deep/4 under and send 6 guys all day to stop the run and prevent miller from scrambling.   i still remember from 2 years ago when we beat them and he was a freshman.  i was very impressed. 

Perkis-Size Me

November 24th, 2013 at 2:34 PM ^

If we want to have any shot at winning this game, the defense needs to go all-world and generate at least 2-3 scores. At the very least, keep OSU out of the endzone. Yeah, I know, that's not happening, but Mattison needs to draft up his most aggressive gameplan to date. Do whatever you can to stop Miller and Hyde, stack the box, whatever, because in my opinion, OSU's wideouts are nothing special. I think Countess and Taylor can hang with them.

Blitz early. Blitz often. Do whatever you can to generate some turnovers. We've got nothing to lose at this point.


November 24th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

I suppose you would have to spend the week working on passing defense, as this is where a majority of the problems have been if we're going to talk about defensive gameplans. In sort of a mirror of the Borges version of this thread, it might help to see how better pass defenses have dealt with Braxton trying to go through the air. Benchmarking, folks. 

You're going up against the best rushing offense, but Michigan is pretty stingy on the ground - you'll slow them down if they try to run the ball. If you can do it consistently, they might find themselves in more 2nd or 3rd and long situations than they might be comfortable with. We do have as decent pass defense efficiency rating, which is nice - we just need to find ways not to yield to many throws up the middle or in the flat. 



November 24th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

Michigan has strong corners and finally figured out how to play its biggest weakeness--the option. Our id-line looks good when it isn't tired. I'd never say "I like this matchup," but I'm definitely not sweating it too much. 

But Al will keep the D on the field. And when Ohio scores, he won't be able to keep pace. I honestly think that's why Mattison is in trouble--for reasons beyond his control. 


November 24th, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

Baylor's offense is not really the same as OSU's. Baylor runs a variation of the Air Raid, I believe, while OSU runs more of a run first power spread.

They have similarities, but Baylor wants to typically beat you through the air while OSU wants to beat you with Hyde and Miller.

Maize and Blue…

November 24th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

   Why not do what Penn St did to us this year, and others, such as Minnesota, did to us in 1977 or 78 and again in 1986, when they knew that they could not compete with our talent or speed, they leveled the playing field by watering the field, and making it a quagmire for both teams? Make the Big House a swamp. By doing this, you negate Miller's speed and quickness, as well as their ability to beat you deep,making the game a street fight, stack the box, stop their run, and blitz regularly, own the defensive line of scrimmage, and put nearly constant heat on Miller to beat you with his arm, and if you have the team prepared and in the right cletes, perhaps you can use that advantage to get a lead, then let Miller's frustration lead to mistakes as the game goes on. That might be our only, and best chance.


November 24th, 2013 at 10:22 PM ^

Have one of his linebackers constantly clap his hands to confuse the Ohio State line and make them them have a hard time hearing Miller's hand clap.


November 25th, 2013 at 12:59 AM ^

This season has gone south.  Even the most conservative of game plans won't keep the score down this week.  This team will be lucky to stay within four TD's of Ohio.

What's really sad is that I remember going to games in the Cooper era and was almost sad that Ohio State wasn't able to hold up their end of the rivalry any more.  At least I still have the memory of the Heisman Pose game and watching a stream of scarlet and gray leaving the stadium after the third quarter ended.