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#3 Michigan vs. #2 Ohio State

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#3 Michigan Wolverines (10-1)  vs.  #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1)

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Saturday, November 26th @ 12PM EST

Live from Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

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Very nervy.  If Speight were the starter and this were at home I'd feel marginally better, but as it stands I just don't see how we're going to put up enough points to contend.  Hoping for a miracle at best and a little frightened of a blowout again.

Someone remind me why we might win this game? 

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Very nervy.  If Speight were the starter and this were at home I'd feel marginally better, but as it stands I just don't see how we're going to put up enough points to contend.  Hoping for a miracle at best and a little frightened of a blowout again.

Someone remind me why we might win this game? 

If I was forced to make a homer argument for why Michigan will win it would be this.

Okorn was a victim of bad weather on Saturday and in reality is capable of hitting his open receivers. But speight might play. So just ignore the potential QB issues.

Ohio state has not looked unstoppable any more than Michigan has. Yes, Michigan lost to a mediocre Iowa team, but that was a weird game and it's one that they probably win if they make one more play at a lot of different times. But Ohio state lost to PSU in a weird game of their own. Michigan made their game against osu a laugher at halftime. MSU is a similar story. Michigan had that game under control early on, while osu was very close to losing. Both teams blew out Rutgers and Maryland. Both teams let Indiana keep it interesting before pulling away. Osu struggled to beat northwestern.

Barrett does not appear to be a very good passer, and the Michigan d line should be able to pressure him into some port decisions.

Both teams have a similar number of wins against good teams.

Michigan - Colorado, Wisconsin, PSU

Ohio state - Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska

So whether or not you think Michigan stands a chance falls solely on how worried you are about okorn in the event he needs to play. Personally, I'm worried, but it's still possible he could be just fine. So just assume he will be just fine, and you can see a very reasonable situation for the #3 team to beat the #2 team.

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16 minutes ago, Shelton said:

If I was forced to make a homer argument for why Michigan will win it would be this.

Okorn was a victim of bad weather on Saturday and in reality is capable of hitting his open receivers. But speight might play. So just ignore the potential QB issues.

Ohio state has not looked unstoppable any more than Michigan has. Yes, Michigan lost to a mediocre Iowa team, but that was a weird game and it's one that they probably win if they make one more play at a lot of different times. But Ohio state lost to PSU in a weird game of their own. Michigan made their game against osu a laugher at halftime. MSU is a similar story. Michigan had that game under control early on, while osu was very close to losing. Both teams blew out Rutgers and Maryland. Both teams let Indiana keep it interesting before pulling away. Osu struggled to beat northwestern.

Barrett does not appear to be a very good passer, and the Michigan d line should be able to pressure him into some port decisions.

Both teams have a similar number of wins against good teams.

Michigan - Colorado, Wisconsin, PSU

Ohio state - Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska

So whether or not you think Michigan stands a chance falls solely on how worried you are about okorn in the event he needs to play. Personally, I'm worried, but it's still possible he could be just fine. So just assume he will be just fine, and you can see a very reasonable situation for the #3 team to beat the #2 team.

I haven't paid too much attention to OSU, but my guess on Michigan's best bet is for the OL to dominate and force Barrett into throwing and hope that he's not on. That could lead to some turnovers.

I think it will be tough sledding offensively. I have a hard time seeing UM establish the run, but you never know.

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The defense has to focus on the run. Make Barrett one dimensional where he's been very shaky throwing downfield this season. They will run with Barrett a lot, so they have to punish him for it. I trust the secondary enough for them to bring heat, which is what I'm sure Don Brown will bring. You just can't let Barrett, Samuel, and Weber gash you on the ground all day. If so, it's a repeat of last year.

Offensively, it's on the O-line. It's been pretty brutal lately. O'Korn wasn't good against Indiana, but he had no time to do anything with the ball. The weather also didn't help, so I'm hopeful he is capable of playing much better. I'm assuming Speight won't play, but who knows. If he does, I won't expect him to be lights out with the injury. 

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I am not confident at all about the offense, but defensively, this is what Ohio State has done against a bunch of the same teams Michigan pounded on:

Penn State - 21 points

Wisconsin - 30 points (but in overtime, they were outgained in the game)

Michigan State - 17 points (outgained in the game)

Indiana - 38 points, but Barrett was 9-21 for 93 yards passing and had to carry the ball 26 times to put it away

Their offensive line is pretty sketchy, it's not implausible at all that Michigan could shut them down. The common theme in the PSU, Wisconsin, and Indiana games was the O-Line giving up pressure and Barrett not being good at handling it.

Michigan made some interesting defensive adjustments vs Indiana that will probably carry over to OSU. Just off the top of my head watching it live:

#1 - On a few RB passes they had a DE hit the guy and then Peppers covering him instead of McCray.

#2 - When they anticipated a spread run they had a DE lining up way outside or standing up as the contain guy, allowing Peppers or McCray to just attack the ball

Will that work as well vs a much better running team? I don't know, but it's certainly possible. And then you get one big play from the offense or special teams and anything can happen

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On 11/21/2016 at 2:59 PM, thefunk said:

Very nervy.  If Speight were the starter and this were at home I'd feel marginally better, but as it stands I just don't see how we're going to put up enough points to contend.  Hoping for a miracle at best and a little frightened of a blowout again.

Someone remind me why we might win this game? 

Football is played in the now, and not to the talent you had last season--this is why Michigan is a coinflip to win this game.  

Why are you fearful of a blowout when Michigan's defense is giving up south of 11 points per contest?  Why are you hoping for a miricle when OSU has already been defeated by a team with an ofense as bad as PSU?

This is arguably the weakest and youngest team OSU has fielded in a long time, so don't let the disappointments of the past dictate your feelings for Saturday's game.  OSU had some ugly games against teams we handled better.  

Peppers should be used as a cop on Barnett Saturday, which should greatly decrease the likelihood he will beat us with his legs.  Can he beat the best pair of corners in CFB enough times to win?  I have my doubts.

The Michigan offense should look better Saturday regardless if Speight or O'Korn is starting.  Another week of increased reps with the 1's should help O'Korn, and hopefully the OL can improve pass pro enough to help him upright.   For all their struggles last week, the offense didn't turn the ball over once.  

Finally, the playbook was hardly wide-open Saturday.  Harbaugh will pull out all the stops to win Saturday.  My greatest fear is that it includes playing a kid with a broken collarbone.  Pretty far down on my list of fears is a blowout loss.

 

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3 hours ago, Shelton said:

I think it's safe to say speight does not have a broken collarbone.

If he doesn't, he starts.  Speight finishes the game, Michigan wins.

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12 hours ago, Shelton said:

I think it's safe to say speight does not have a broken collarbone.

Definitely not, but he was still awkwardly holding his non throwing arm while warming up last Saturday. Just put a fullback at QB and line up with 3 fullbacks and 3 tight ends. Peak Harbaugh

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Definitely not, but he was still awkwardly holding his non throwing arm while warming up last Saturday. Just put a fullback at QB and line up with 3 fullbacks and 3 tight ends. Peak Harbaugh

Well yeah. He's definitely hurting in that area. But the reports from a week ago were obviously overblown. I believe the report was effectively retracted.

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2 hours ago, Shelton said:

Well yeah. He's definitely hurting in that area. But the reports from a week ago were obviously overblown. I believe the report was effectively retracted.

 

I'm thinking that someone connected to the team leaked that it was a broken collarbone before the test results came back showing it was something less severe. But he still looks pretty hurt to me.

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I'm thinking that someone connected to the team leaked that it was a broken collarbone before the test results came back showing it was something less severe. But he still looks pretty hurt to me.

We are in lockstep on this.

I'm focusing my mental energy more on convincing myself okorn can be good enough rather than looking for reasons that speight might recover from whatever ails him enough to rescue or season.

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Assuming O'Korn is the starter, I'm hoping his first start last week worked out some kinks & he's more comfortable.  I know the wind was a factor in the passing game, but he didn't look comfortable in the pocket to me either.  That's going to have to be better on Saturday.

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Everything I've seen, including the effort against similar opponents, tells me UM is every bit the team OSU is. Recent history tells me otherwise.  I'm not confident, but I am hopeful.

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I'm thinking Saturday is going to turn into Taco Tuesday.  The big guy is going to play a role in containment against Barrett, and I bet he comes up big.

cbowl35116cbowl36116

 

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