My look at the personnel the Spartans will bring to the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State.
Ohio State’s 42-41 win over Michigan was certainly worth a second full viewing.
The No. 1 takeaway? The Wolverines played pretty well, but Buckeye mistakes were mostly why it was a close game.
Credit goes to much-maligned Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges, who called a great game all the way down to the final touchdown. His uninspired two-point conversion call, however, might have cost the Wolverines the win… (read more).
As for Ohio State, Herman always strives for balance, but Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison practically dared him not to be, and that failed miserably.
I mean, yeah, the Wolverines avoided getting dinked and dunked to death by screens, and they forced Miller to pull the ball down in some passing situations, but why Mattison aside from a handful of field linebacker blitzes never put an extra hat in the box to help against a running game that gained nearly 400 yards is beyond my comprehension.
Read more: Scout.com: Ohio State-Michigan Second Thoughts.
If we needed a reminder – and apparently, we did – you can never take a rivalry game for granted.
That and more are covered in my weekly BuckeyeSports.com Ohio State football column, which is up now: Scout.com: Cus Words: Big Ten Championship Week.
By now you’ve probably seen the official All-Big Ten teams. They included 10 Ohio State players and a few head-scratching selections by the coaches or the media (especially the former).
I posted my first-team choices at FoxSportsOhio.com, a group that includes a couple of Ohio State players snubbed by the coaches or media and one who made their list but not mine.
You know who is next on the schedule when these types of things are happening:
This headline might be true, but more to the point it’s probably a poor way to decide if Baylor is better than Ohio State this season.
This shouldn’t need to be pointed out, but just in case: former NFL personnel man Gil Brandt writes Ohio State doesn’t have speed because 230-pound running back Carlos Hyde was caught from behind once. Meanwhile, he either ignores or forgets the Buckeyes had three breakaway touchdown runs of 50-yards plus, including two by Hyde and one by quarterback Braxton Miller. Continue reading
Are the computers Ohio State’s biggest threat? We look at that and more in this week’s column.
The Buckeyes took care of business eventually at windy Memorial Stadium and now turn their focus to Indiana, a similar team that figures to provide a bigger challenge.
This column from Jason Whitlock about the present and future of the Michigan football program is really interesting.
Maybe I shouldn’t have led with “Jason Whitlock” because I’m sure he is a divisive figure to some, but he often has an interesting perspective on a variety of sports topics whether you or I agree with him much. This piece on the Wolverines is unique because while Whitlock repeats something he’s never tried to hide – he loves Hoke and they have a personal relationship – he then proceeds to rip apart the state of the current Michigan team.
I agree with his observations about what is wrong with these Wolverines, though you probably won’t be surprised to learn I am far more skeptical about his ability to turn the program around than Whitlock. The author’s main justification is, “He’s Hoke,” which I guess could turn out to be all it takes but isn’t really based on what I’d call facts. Continue reading
I’m among those who thought hiring Hazell, who was the epitome of class when dealing with the media as an Ohio State assistant who regularly turned out NFL-quality receivers for six seasons in Columbus, was a good move by the Boilermaker brass, and that could still turn out to be the case. It’s early yet in his tenure, and I’m sure there was a lot to work on after the dysfunctional Danny Hope era.
But the offense has been, to put it mildly, a disaster this season, and perhaps this is why:
Yeah, I guess using only 10 guys is a good way to get to 90th in the nation in passing yards and 118th or worse in pretty much every other major statistical category.
How does this happen? That’s a good question. There are plenty of options to fill out that last spot. While Wisconsin would probably go with another tackle, Purdue could list a third receiver or a second tight end – maybe even a fullback since Hazell seems to want to move toward more of a pro-style attack.
Did they forget about fullbacks after all those years of pass-happy spread offenses under the Joe Tiller? There are a few guys listed on the roster as fullbacks, so that can’t be it.
Is this depth chart is a simple protest from a spread offense loyalist in the sports information department, or are they just waiting for the next donation check from Mike Alstott to clear?
Of course there are plenty of other things for Hazell to worry about when it comes to restoring the Purdue program, but hopefully we can get to the bottom of this sooner or later.