2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 13 - Ohio State at Michigan
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Nov. 26 at Michigan 40 … Ohio State 34
CFN Analysis: There it is, Michigan, You’re long nightmare is over – at least until Urban Meyer is hired in Columbus. … Denard Robinson came up with the most effective game of his great career, running 26 times for 170 yards and two scores, while completing 14-of-17 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns. … And no interceptions. … The defense couldn’t seem to get a good grip on Braxton Miller, but no one can. Dan Herron was swarmed over every time he touched the ball. … The secondary was fortunate on a few key plays late. The OSU receivers got deep after the Wolverines sold out to get into the backfield, and Miller missed his targets. … An at-large BCS game should be a given now. The Sugar Bowl is the most likely option.
Braxton Miller was tremendous. He kept the offense rolling in a shootout with his legs, and shockingly, with his arm. … DeVier Posey only caught three passes for 58 yards and as score, but he took all the attention away from the other Buckeye receivers. … Dan Herron only ran 15 times for 37 yards and a score. Miller was the only other Buckeye to get a carry. … 31 runs, 26 carries. That’s not how the game was supposed to play out. … The defensive front seven couldn’t contain the speed and quickness of Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint. The linebackers always seemed a step out of place. … Losing to Michigan might stink, but it was a good performance and should set the tone for a big 2011. The pieces are in place for Urban Meyer – potentially - to step in and rock right away.
(AP) ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Denard Robinson accounted for five touchdowns, helping No. 17 Michigan beat Ohio State 40-34 on Saturday and snap a school-record, seven-game losing streak in the rivalry.
The Wolverines (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) were forced to settle for a six-point lead with 1:59 left on Brendan Gibbons' career-long 43-yard field goal after two apparent TDs were negated by a video review and then penalties.
The Buckeyes (6-6, 3-5) had a chance to win the game on their final drive, but freshman Braxton Miller sailed a pass over Deviser Posey's head on what could've been a 76-yard TD and threw a loss-sealing interception to Courtney Avery.
Michigan finally beat its archrival because it had a better quarterback than Ohio State for a change.
Robinson was 14 of 17 -- completing 11 straight passes during one stretch -- for 167 yards with TD passes to Kevin Koger, Junior Hemingway and Martavious Odoms. He ran 26 times for 170 yards and two more scores and lost a fumble.
Miller was 14 of 25 for 235 yards with TD passes to Posey and Corey Brown. He ran 16 times for 100 yards and a score.
The Wolverines also had more success creating holes for their featured running back.
Fitzgerald Toussaint had 120 yards rushing, but didn't score because video review overturned his apparent TD late in the game because he ruled to be down before getting in the end zone. Robinson then had a TD run negated by a holding penalty -- and yet another flag after the play pushed Michigan back to the Ohio State 26, forcing Gibbons to make the longest field goal of his career to force the Buckeyes to score a TD to win.
Ohio State's Dan Herron was held to 37 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries, but the Wolverines had trouble slowing down Miller just as they had previously with Troy Smith, who started Ohio State's winning streak in 2004, and Terrelle Pryor who extended it with last year's win.
Pryor, though, wasn't around to win again in The Game because a cash-for-Buckeyes memorabilia scandal forced him to leave, Jim Tressel to resign and several other players to sit out with suspensions for multiple games in what became the program's worst season on the field since 1999.
Michigan, meanwhile, might be in a BCS bowl game for the first time since 2006 under first-year coach Brady Hoke, who took many of Rich Rodriguez's players and helped them perform much better this season.
The Big House field was filled with maize-and-blue clad fans after the Wolverines finally beat the Buckeyes, ending a drought that lasted more than 2,900 days as the players were reminded each day they stepped into Schembechler Hall.
The public-address announcer tried in vain to get the field cleared for the bands, but they stayed in a cluster around the block `M' at midfield and were sprinkled throughout the rest of the field as they soaked up the moment.
Ohio State (6-5) at Michigan (9-2) Nov. 26, 12:00, ABC
Here’s The Deal … November 22nd, 2003. Michigan beat Ohio State 35-21 to stop a painful two-game losing streak to the hated rival. As it turned out, the win was a brief oasis with losses in nine of the last ten games. And now, Michigan fans, your long, dark, nightmare might finally be over.
Michigan will probably be the most attractive at-large pick for the BCS with a win this week, but even more than a possible 10-2 season under Brady Hoke, this might be when the rivalry swings back the other way for a while. When – okay, if – Urban Meyer decides to take on the Buckeye job, he’ll still have to work his way out of a few sanctions and might need a year or three to make Ohio State into Ohio State again. Meanwhile, Hoke has the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class coming in to build on an already terrific base.
It’s been a long, tough run in the rivalry, but as much as it still means something to the fans and the programs, the game really doesn’t matter that much anymore now that the two teams are in different divisions.
At some point this will be the warm-up act for a rematch in a Big Ten championship game, but that’s hardly a sure thing. When the Big 12 was formed, it seemed like a lock that Oklahoma and Nebraska would meet up on a regular basis for the title, and then they did, it wasn’t the same like it was in the old Big 8.
Florida State and Miami were put in different divisions in the ACC, and they still have yet to play each other in the conference title game.
This game will always matter, but Michigan’s games against Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan State are more important from here on. Ohio State’s main rival over the next several years will be Wisconsin. In the harsh new reality of Leaders and Legends, for the Buckeyes, this is like playing Minnesota, and for Michigan, this game matters as much as hosting Indiana.
Of course, this game and this rivalry goes beyond divisions and a 12-team league called the Big Ten. This is the game that always defines a coaching staff and an era, and starting now, it’ll define two new players in the race.
Luke Fickell might be keeping the office occupied before Meyer takes over, but it might be tough to unceremoniously boot the gut out if he finishes 7-5 with wins over Wisconsin and Michigan after inheriting a hot mess. Meanwhile, Brady Hoke, who won’t even say the words Ohio State, can purge the RichRod era once and for all with a win.
It might not matter to the Big Ten standings, and it might not mean too much for two programs in a rebuilding and reloading mode, but it’s still Ohio State vs. Michigan. It’s one of the few college football rivalries that still matters no matter what.
Why Ohio State Might Win: How, exactly, did a mediocre Iowa team pull off a win over a Michigan team that’s good enough to bounceback and blow Nebraska out of the water? The Hawkeyes pounded away up front, and defensively they forced Denard Robinson into a pocket passer. Ohio State can do both. The Wolverines did a good job against Nebraska’s ground game, but the Husker O line is more of a finesse group than one that powers away – at least against everyone but Ohio State. The Buckeyes have to get mean and nasty from the start, and they have to get their backs in space right away.
Michigan only turned it over once against Nebraska, but OSU can count on at least one pick. The Wolverines have thrown 15 interceptions on the year with nine in the last six games to go along with three fumbles in the last three weeks. The OSU defense doesn’t force fumbles, with only one taken away in the last six games, but the secondary has stepped up with three picks and allowed just one touchdown pass in the last three games.
Why Michigan Might Win: Stop Braxton Miller from running and you stop the Ohio State offense. Even with Miller taking off for 105 yards against Penn State, it wasn’t enough. OSU doesn’t have any chance to get the offense moving unless Miller and Dan Herron combine for at least 200 yards, but that could be a problem. The Buckeyes are 1-4 when they run for under 210 yards, with the one win coming against Toledo before Miller took over the job, and Michigan has only allowed more than 210 rushing yards once this year, giving up 213 in the loss to Michigan State.
The Ohio State passing game is the Ohio State passing game. The Penn State game was right there for the taking, and any team with a competent passer would’ve put it away with ease in the second half. Miller couldn’t do that, completing 7-of-17 passes for 83 yards and a score. While it wasn’t all his fault- there were a few dropped passes – he couldn’t get the job done and the Buckeyes failed to score in the second half. It’s going to take more than 14 points to beat Michigan.
What To Watch Out For: Finally, DeVier Posey was back off of suspension for the Buckeyes, catching four passes for 66 yards and providing the deep threat the offense desperately needs. Now Miller has to get him the ball. The senior has had a decent career against the Wolverines with ten catches for 120 yards and a score over the last two years, and in his final regular season game, he might need to hit those marks against the Wolverine secondary. Meanwhile, tight end Jake Stoneburner continues to be Mr. Goal Line. He has NFL talent and soon he’ll be used a whole lot more. He only has 13 catches for 157 yards on the year, but seven of his grabs have gone for scores including three touchdown catches in his last three plays.
For Denard Robinson, he doesn’t want to be a Chad Henne with loss after loss to Ohio State. While he wasn’t the main man as a freshman, Robinson ran for 31 yards and completed 2-of-4 passes for three years. Last year this was his team, and he ran for 105 yards and completed 8-of-18 passes for 87 yards in the 37-7 loss. For all the good things Robinson has done – being on the verge of another 1,000-yard rushing season to go along with 14 touchdowns – he needs a win over Ohio State. He has fought through bumps and bruises to put together a nice year, but leading the way to 10-2 would be a great season.
What Will Happen: It’ll be a cathartic moment for the Michigan program. The offense will start clicking from the start with Robinson and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint tearing off a few big early runs on the way to early scoring drives. Ohio State will have to try to throw, and Miller will connect with Posey on a home run to make it interesting, but it won’t be nearly enough.
CFN Prediction: Michigan 34 … Ohio State 14
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Michigan -7.5 O/U: 45
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