Monday, November 26, 2012
Recapping Ohio State
When I was watching the game, the first thing that struck me was how predictable the Michigan offense was. It became pretty clear against Iowa that when Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner are in the game at the same time, it's hard to stop.
But Al Borges played them separately (for the most part) against the Buckeyes, and it obviously gave Urban Meyer the advantage. Both Gardner and Robinson still made plays; there is no way to completely shut them down. But something has to be taken away from this performance. Even a mediocre defense can get around the combination of those two electric players if they aren't in at the same time.
Something else that popped out to me was it looked like Gardner maybe folded under the pressure towards the end. I realize that's when the game is on the line, and he was being asked to do a lot. But he had proven himself worthy of the situation throughout the past couple of weeks.
He was floating balls, throwing behind his receivers. It didn't look like the same Devin Gardner.
Thomas Rawls was forced to step in full time for the injured Fitzgerlad Toussaint, and it honestly would have been the same game if Michigan didn't use a back at all. That's a harsh reality.
Rawls ran the ball 5 times for 2 yards. That's not even half a yard per carry. Vincent Smith made just a little bit more of his opportunities on the ground, taking the same number of carries for 12 yards. Michigan tried forcing the ball up the middle at times, but that never worked.
On the outside, it was all about Roy Roundtree once again. With 92 yards on 3 receptions, it capped off a great late season run for the senior WR, following a less than par performance for most of the season.
Greg Mattison had his defense rolling, as they always do, against Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes. They were mostly able to bottle up the big plays, didn't let a consistent ground attack get going, and got a lot of pressure in the backfield.
Defense was the only reason Michigan still had a shot as the clock was dwindling down. They made stop after stop and allowed Devin Gardner one last chance to get back in it.
Overall, it obviously wasn't the ideal way to end the 2012 regular season, but Michigan will more than likely get a shot to play in the Capital One Bowl and get another big win under Brady Hoke's belt.
Tyler's Prediction Record: 10-2