Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ohio State 21, Michigan 10

Brandon Graham was the best player on the field.

Bullet point immediate reactions:
  • Brandon Graham had a great game. He is perhaps the player from the senior class that I will miss most. He dominated his side of the line repeatedly, ending the game with a sack amongst 4 or 5 tackles for loss.
  • I really thought Brandon Minor would play, but he was in street clothes. His inside running was missed in this game, as the running game was forced to play the third- and fourth-string running backs (Michael Shaw and Vincent Smith) with Carlos Brown also limited.
  • Vincent Smith might be Michigan's running back of the future. He doesn't have the speed to be a game-breaker, but he gains yards consistently, runs tough for his size, and makes decisive cuts. I was wrong about him being unready to play this year.
  • The defense played extremely well in this game. For the most part, Michigan didn't allow the big play. They did allow the 29-yard TD by Brandon Saine, but OSU picked on walk-on DE Will Heininger on that play.
  • J.T. Floyd got picked on and was beaten a couple times. Fortunately, OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor was horribly inaccurate on the two deep balls he threw. I still maintain that Floyd's future should be at safety, but I liked the move by the coaches to move Troy Woolfolk back to safety and re-insert Floyd at cornerback. It may not have helped Michigan significantly, but it certainly didn't hurt.
  • Speaking of Pryor, I've been thinking this all season but had no reason to mention OSU sooner - why does a 6'5", 230 pound, speedy guy run like such a pansy? He runs through arm tackles, but anytime someone gets a chance to tackle him solidly, he wusses out. He either stops moving his feet and collapses into the fetal position, or he prances out of bounds. For example, when he scrambled early in the game and Steve Brown came up to pop him near the sideline, both players bounced off each other, Pryor gathered himself and had a chance to gain two more yards, and he . . . side-stepped out of bounds.
  • Tate Forcier had a horrible game. Ohio State didn't do anything too confusing defensively. Forcier just made bad reads and bad throws. And that fumble on the opening offensive series was inexcuseable. Not only did Forcier retreat into his own end zone, but then he didn't tuck the ball away when he scrambled. He's been lucky all year that his lack of ball security didn't cost him more, but it showed up in the biggest game of the year.
  • I liked the wrinkle where Denard Robinson started in the backfield, shifted to wide receiver, and ran a fly pattern. I did not like the facts that a) Forcier underthrew him and b) Denard was interfered with by the cornerback and it wasn't called. Denard was clearly being pushed while the ball was in the air, and it wasn't an instance where both players were jostling each other. That was a textbook interference call and the officials blew it.
  • I did not like the modified pistol formation. Out of shotgun, Shaw lined up as the deep back with a fullback to either side of Forcier. It led the defense to the play each time, and Michigan didn't show a play to complement it.
  • Roy Roundtree looks like he might be the next Michigan wide receiver to wear the #1 jersey.
  • For the love of all that is good, can Michigan please install the sprint counter draw? It worked against Michigan for the thousandth time over the last several years, where the shotgun QB takes the snap and rolls toward the running back, who pretends to block and then takes the handoff going in the opposite direction. Ohio State, Michigan State, Oregon, and Purdue have all torched Michigan with that play, and those are just the times I can think of off the top of my head. I have never seen Michigan run that play, but it works every time against us.
  • I will miss Brandon Minor, Brandon Graham, Greg Mathews, Mark Ortmann, David Moosman, and Steve Brown. All of these players are good to great college players, and it's disappointing that their careers coincided with such a huge reconstruction project for the program. They might have been here during a couple bad years, but they weren't the reasons for these two losing seasons.
  • Go Blue!

No comments:

Post a Comment