Friday, November 16, 2007

Game of the Week

It's a matchup of the best teams from this season's worst conference. We're talking Ohio State and Michigan and strangeness always seems to follow. Some examples:

—In 2004, the Wolverines were subjected to drug and bomb-sniffing dogs upon their arrival at Ohio Stadium.

—In 2002, the Buckeyes intercepted a pass near the goal line on the final play to secure a 14-9 victory. Ohio State fans went nuts and stormed the field, with police using pepper spray to keep the crowd away from the goalposts.

—In 1968, Woody Hayes elected to go for two with his Buckeyes clinging to a 50-14 lead.

You get the idea. Now throw in the likelihood that this is Lloyd Carr's final game as Michigan coach in the Big House and anything can happen. That's more than enough to make it our Game of the Week.

We've invited two of the best bloggers around to break it down: Jason of Eleven Warriors, representing the visiting Buckeyes, and Brian of M Go Blog, representing the Wolverines.

Let's get the Ohio State perspective from Jason:
"There are so many reasons to like the Buckeyes. They have better personnel and Tressel, quite simply, owns Carr and the Wolverines. Homerism be damned, but Ohio State soundly defeated every opponent it faced but one and I still like its chances against any team.

“You can cry about the Buckeyes’ schedule, but it's only one year. Last season they finished a home-and-home with Texas, next season they begin another one with USC. The Miami Hurricanes are on the schedule in 2010.

“Last week, Ohio State slipped when it lost the turnover battle, 3-0, couldn't catch a break and still nearly beat a good Illinois team playing a perfect game. There's a lot to like about this squad.

“Still, something is spooking me about Saturday — the Carr rumors, the game is in Ann Arbor, the fact that Michigan will eventually beat the Buckeyes again. It's the first game all season I've legitimately been worried about.

“Ohio State has to come out and play its best, but be sure the Vest will have something special ready for the Wolverines. And you have to like the fact that the guys will be coming in angry.

“A hobbled Hart and Henne never hurts your cause either.”

A vote of confidence for the Buckeyes. Let's get the Wolverine perspective from Brian:
"There are at least two matchups in this game Ohio State figures to dominate: terror defensive end Vernon Gholston versus freshman right tackle Steve Schilling, who has regularly struggled in pass protection, and terror bowling ball running back Chris Wells versus freshman middle linebacker Obi Ezeh, who's just struggled period.

"Maybe Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington can offset that. Maybe Mike Hart can work some magic. Maybe Chad Henne will continue his quietly brilliant performances against Ohio State. But Hart's just as likely to limp off the field after six carries as blow up for 200 yards and Henne's shoulder won't be fully healed on Saturday. Heroic fireworks from senior heroes are unlikely.

"It's not like Michigan can't win this game, but they probably won't unless Todd Boeckman gives it away; to do that they'll have to make him throw. I don't see that happening. Ohio State 28, Michigan 20."

1 comment:

We Are..Penn State email list said...

In 1968, Woody Hayes elected to go for two with his Buckeyes clinging to a 50-14 lead.

According to Lou Holtz (a The Ohio State assistant at the time), they asked Woody after the game why he went for two with such a big lead. Woody growled, "Because they wouldn't let me go for three!"