Real quick now:
I think these are both bend-but-don’t-break defenses, with the Michigan offense being more about big plays and Ohio State being more of a consistent play-to-play offense.
Urban Meyer would prefer that weren’t the case, but for at least one more game it is.
There is no doubt that Michigan’s offense is dangerous, whether or not Denard Robinson plays. They will probably miss Fitzgerald Toussaint, but Robinson’s wild-card ability could make up for that or even make them more dangerous. It remains to be seen.
The number one key today will be the Ohio State coaching staff’s ability to get Braxton Miller to just to play ball. Ohio State’s scintillating sophomore quarterback can be the most dangerous player on the field, but he has a tendency to think a little too much sometimes. When he just lets it go, he’s just about impossible to stop. Michigan saw that last year, when the only thing that prevented him from leading the Buckeyes to an upset victory was a couple of misfires by Miller. He still had a huge day. And we saw last week how Miller sometimes stop himself when he doesn’t trust his own ability and instincts.
Ohio State should be able to move the ball regularly on the ground as the Buckeyes seem to have a clear advantage with their offensive line against a suspect Michigan defensive line. But Michigan is going to try to take away the big play, so it’s up to Ohio State to be patient and take what they give them. I think this is a smart coaching staff that will learn from its mistakes of last week and do that.
Nobody ever accused the Ohio State-Michigan game of being predictable, but that’s what I’ve got this morning.