Debriefing: Michigan

By Jeff Beck on November 25, 2012 at 9:00a
And it feels so good

Playing in front of a raucous crowd, this team got the job done (even without defensive leader John Simon). The win should help Hoke get this whole "Ohio" thing straightened out. Here it goes: Ohio is the team that beat Michigan basketball in March; Ohio STATE is the team that beat Michigan football in November. Got it? Good.

Hold on tight, this is your Michigan Debriefing.

Water Cooler Prep (Everything You Need to Know…in More Than One Paragraph)

On the first drive of the game the Buckeyes needed only 6 plays to take the pill 75 yards for a score. The drive was punctuated by a 51-yard pass to Devin Smith and a Carlos Hyde rumble stumble for a 4-yard TD.

The Wolverines looked like they were on their way to answering on the ensuing drive, but freshman Adolphus Washington stripped Devin Gardner at the Buckeye 22 and it was recovered by Zach Boren.

Unfortunately the Buckeyes couldn’t capitalize and gave it back in 4 snaps. A 75-yard pass from Gardner to Roy Roundtree later, and the game was knotted at 7.

The next drive seemingly racked up 317 penalties (false starts, holds, false starts, etc.). The miscues were a drive killer and the Scarlet and Gray had to settle for a 41-yard Drew Basil FG.

To start the second, the Bucks had the enemy stopped, but then ran into the kicker and muffed the punt, giving the ball back to Michigan at their own 25.

Again, penalties hurt the Scarlet and Gray and on third down a roughing the passer call put the ball on the Buckeye 15. With a multitude of flags offering loads of help, all Devin Gardner needed to do was sneak it in for 6, making it 14-10, Michigan.

After ANOTHER false start killed a drive, the Buckeyes had to punt it away, but the defense finally woke up and a pair of sacks by Zach Boren and Ryan Shazier gave the ball back to OSU.

What does that say?That's where I'm going to hang that undefeated 2012 banner.

Then the Carlos Hyde train left the station rushing 4 times for 40 yards and setting up a 14-yard pass to Philly Brown for a TD. 17-14, Buckeyes.

Two plays later Travis Howard and Christian Bryant hit Denard Robinson simultaneously, keeping him upright for a 67-yard TD run. The score came with roughly a minute left on the ticker to put the Maize Sun and Blue up, 21-17.

With some nifty clock management, OSU was able to move the ball within field goal range and Drew Basil hit a line-drive 52-yarder for three. Heading into halftime it was 21-20, Michigan.

To start the third, the busy Basil opened up the scoring with a 28-yard field goal to put the Buckeyes ahead, 23-21.

On Michigan’s next possession, Christian Bryant was able to knock the ball out of Robinson’s hands and it was recovered by Nathan Williams at the Michigan 37. Unfortunately Urban’s boys weren’t able to capitalize and gave the ball back after a Basil missed FG.

Something was said to the defense at halftime, because they came out looking like a different unit, giving up absolutely nothing to end the third quarter.

Heading into the fourth, the two teams traded possessions before the D forced another fumble. This time the target was Devin Gardner, who was sacked by Michael Bennett and lost the handle on the Michigan 19.

Unable to punch it into the end zone, the Bucks once again had to settle for three, pushing the lead to five at 26-21.

Playing for the fallen John Simon, the defense decided they had seen enough, picking off Gardner on the next drive and giving the offense the opportunity to kneel on it for the win

That's all she wrote. 12-0. 12-0. 12-0.

Heard at the Tailgate (The talk Before the Game)

“Hard to prepare for Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson on the field together.”

“John Simon is out? Excuse me!?”

“If the Bucks win, is an AP National Title in the cards?”

“Time for Braxton to even out his W-L record against Michigan.”

“Brady Hoke doesn’t wear a headset. It’s cool, I wouldn’t want to coach that team either.”


“This could be the beginning of a Michigan game legacy for Meyer.”

Heard at the Afterparty (The Deets at the End of the Game)

“This team…I can’t even...”

“12-0! 12-0! 12-0! 12-0!”

“Is an AP national title possible?”

“I’m ready for now.”

“Braxton and Carlos could both legitimately be Heisman candidates next year. Hyde is developing into one of the best backs in the country.”

“Hard to believe this is the floor for Urban’s teams moving forward. He doesn’t even have his own guys in the system yet.”

“This team, and those seniors, will be remembered for as long as football is played in Columbus.”

Give That Man a Buckeye Leaf (Player of the Game)

Carlos Hyde certainly took his lumps this season. Projected as the No. 2 back behind Jordan Hall, many overlooked him in favor of the flashy big-play potential of Jeannette, PA’s favorite son (see what I did there?). Fortunately someone forgot to tell Hyde about all of that because 2012 was Carlos’ coming-out party. Despite missing two and a half games, the 6’1’’ 235 pounder rushed for 970 yards and 16 TDs (two fewer than Montee Ball).

In his final game of the season he ran like a man possessed, gashing the Michigan D for 146 yards, 1 TD and a 5.6 per carry average. In the last two contests Hyde’s performance was able to negate defensive schemes focused on shutting down Miller. Simply put, with Hyde performing like this the backfield duo looks unstoppable.

Weekly Snot Knocker 

With roughly seven minutes left in the first half, Zach Boren knocked the stuffing out of Devin Gardner for a sack and loss of nine. The senior FB turned middle linebacker then decided to give Gardner a better look at the plate number on the semi that just blew through.

Did You See That?! (Play of the Game)

I have a feeling this isn’t the last time you’ll hear, “Braxton Miller to Philly Brown for the score.”


When You Sank Into Your Chair (The Moment Buckeye Football Disgraced Your Family)

This looked a little Three Stoogeish.



Jim Tressel’s Least Favorite Moment of the Game

Jim Tressel and the 2002 National Championship team were honored between the first and second quarter yesterday, as 2012 marks the 10-year anniversary of that storybook season.

A better script couldn’t have been written as the presence of OSU’s last undefeated team served as additional motivation for this year’s potential unbeaten squad.

When this whole idea was floated, many wondered if Tressel would be in attendance. After all, he is the one largely responsible for this team’s couch surfing come January.

With that said, JT was invited…and it was the right decision.

As players like Dustin Fox, Cie Grant, Simon Fraser and Matt Wilhelm basked in the glow of highlight film that still induces chills, they lifted their former coach onto their shoulders and carried him off the field a hero. The moment was Jim Tressel’s swan song, and it may be the last time you see the senator in Ohio Stadium. 

Thanks, Tress.


What You Texted Your Friend at the End of Each Quarter

First Quarter: The opportunities are there on offense. WAY too many missed tackles though.
Second Quarter:  If I see that eating motion from Denard one more time I’m going to vom.
Third Quarter: The defense got a talking to in the locker room…and it shows.
Fourth Quarter: 12-0!!!! URBAN MEYER, WORDS CAN’T EXPLAIN!!!

It Was Over When

Devin Gardner’s world was collapsing around him and he was forced to float a pretty terrible ball right into C.J. Barnett’s arms. C.J. celebrated with this little number and champagne bottles started poppin’ in Columbus.





I hope you enjoyed this ride. Undefeated seasons are special. The fact it has only happened five other times in Buckeye history says it all. Welcome to Columbus lore, Urban. 2013 is looking bright.


Comments Show All Comments

Jdadams01's picture

Was it Phil Steele who had us going 12-0?

CO 303 Buckeye's picture

Well it would be him if anybody- he doesn't just say what the men upstairs want, he actually bases his judgements and predictions on college football. Like for real. No jokesies. And he's a smart sumbitch.

gumtape's picture

He said many times he was predicting 10-2 with losses to wisky and sparty. I listen to him on friday mornings on 24-7 sports bill king radio show. He also knows more about college football than anyone. He said that going undefeated was possible since the two games would be close.
At this point i don't care about a fake championship or AP beauty contest. For me 1-11 is good enough as long as we beat TSUN. i hate those guys.

High and tight boo boo

jack's picture

loved Barnett's butt dance.
it was over then

AltaBuck's picture

Love that pic of Boren standing over Gardner. His leadership and play on defense defined this team: Find a way to win.

I am Groot - Groot

jestertcf's picture

I wish we could get that picture across the side of a building, ie Lebron across the Cleveland skyline.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

TNbuckeye91's picture

i need to find a video of carlos hyde eating cereal toward the michigan bench!

I come from a long line high, low, and in-between, the same as you. - TVZ

MediBuck's picture

It's on the win in .gifs article :)

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

A day later, its still glorious.

Any vids of Hole..that's right....truffle-shuffling off to the locker room would be much appreciated.

Basking in the glow of 12-0.....

Numbnuts's picture

I have been going back and forth with John Kincade. He has his panties in a wad over Tressel being at the game, and how dare they lift him up.  Archdeacon not happy with the Tress lift also. I don't see the issue it was a spontaneous moment that last a whole 2 minutes! ESECPN has a bone to pick with OSU and the Big 10.


buckeyedude's picture

Dan Wetzel said that the fact that Ohio State honored Tressel and lifted him up just shows that OSU only cares about winning(paraphrase). They're all appalled that we would still love and appreciate Tressel.



onetwentyeight's picture

Doesn't that mean we're just more honest then? No fake pretenses of "The Grand Experiment"/Child Rape Coverup like some people. No "stir the echoes" quasi-religious Football imagery like some other people. I'll take what Wetzel said as a compliment. Tressel (for all his faults later in his tenure - hi bollrus) DID take down the Greatest College Football Team of Our Lifetime aka 2002 Miami. That is worth something. 

Menexenus's picture

Anyone who wants to bad-mouth Tress can go F themselves, present company included.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

BuckeyeCrew's picture

I expect fans from other schools to bash incessantly with the likes of, "They honored a cheater", or "He's been a crook since Youngstown St.!"

But I expect Buckeyes, especially those who live in and around Columbus, to know the true Coach Tressel.  I don't know why he made the decisions that led to his consequent demise, but I can't imagine that his reasoning was entirely self-serving.  Some of it?  Sure.  Most of it?  Not likely.

There are probably 100 stories about Coach Tressel's good character (e.g. Google "Drushawn Humphrey Tressel"); the sad fact is that most outside of Ohio just don't care.   I DO care.  Character matters to me, a lot, and I am not so brain-dead as to see the world, or an individual, in "black&white".  Furthermore, I don't let one or even five incidents change my mind about an individual who has been an exemplary human being, for his time as head coach of tOSU, and from what I have heard, his entire life.

If people don't want to take it from me, then take it from Maurice Clarett, a man who lashed out and disparaged Coach Tressel during his (self)destructive years, even while Coach stuck by him, regardless of the denigration:

"You can’t be a fraud for 30 years. It’s impossible, you know what I’m saying? People could smell a fraud within the first few months. You’re going to be exposed. But for 30 years that man has been respected by the people who are very respectable throughout the country. It’s not right for that man to get done like that.”
I know it's all about the wins, for most fans.   But for Coach Tressel, his former players, and the people he helped, it was about being a good person, as well.

Dougger's picture

very very good post. agree wholeheartedly. frustrating that people believe whatever talking heads will say.
jeff saying that this may have been one of the last times jt was in the shoe is incredible, and i realize being there was pretty freaking special, besids it being The Game and going 12-0 (for real we just did that?)...
i cant wait to watch this replay tonight.. hopefully the commentators didn't have terrible things to say about the '02 team if at all?

I like football

buckeyedude's picture

I had a real uneasy feeling going into the half, down 21-20. Michelin was averaging what, 8 ypc? And then we start off the 2nd half with a field goal?
I really thought we were in trouble if we had to start trading field goals. Was surprised Borgess kept Velcro out in the second half(for the most part). Michigan fans are blaming Borgess for the lack of offense in the second, and I think they might be right. And why did he run him between the tackles? Oh well.
But remember, we did it without the team leader, Big John. I really think had he played(at 100%), there would have been more penetration on the UM O-line(=more sacks/fumbles).
Great game though. So frickin happy for the Buckeye seniors. The winter is going to be nice, knowing we own Michelin for the next year.



misterbulbous's picture

There was a weird on-the-field segment during the ND-USC game last night.  Basically, ESPN/ABC went to Chris Fowler to have him give an overview of the day's college football action.  The summary was basically this:
-OSU won and went undefeated but there is no way they are a top 5 AP team.
-Johnny Manziel (sp?) should win the heisman trophy.
did anyone else catch this?  Amazing how seemingly nobody in the media can just say "OSU went undefeated"...always have to sprinkle the negativity in there.

el duderino's picture

I saw that segment, too.  It was definitely weird-- my guess is that he actually in the studio and green-screened onto the field.  I've never understood that move: if they're in a studio why awkwardly put them five yards outside of the endzone with weatherman-in-front-of-a-weather-map technology. /rant
But, I agree that ESPN seems bound and determined to downplay this Buckeye team's accomplishment at any cost.  I even saw a graphic earlier in the night showed the day's "big" accomplishments, which included BOB winning his last game of his first meaningless season of many at PSU, and Vanderbilt winning 8 games (I think for the first time ever?).  And there was not a word mentioned of UFM going UNDEFEATED in his FIRST YEAR at OSU.  Unbelievable.

"This is a very complicated case: a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous."

bucknut3011's picture

Now if they had played it up, then BCS formula might be flawed... 

nickma71's picture

Carried off into the he should have been in the first place. My hero, even with his defensive offense philosophy. I heard Bernie say "defensive offense" when talking about bad coaches that don't know how to score or be agressive. (Belicheat).

BuckeyeChris's picture

Yeah... Brad Edwards was on ESPiN this morning saying, basically, that even if OSU were BCS eligible, their schedule was so weak there's no way they would go to the MNC over (wait for it....) a one loss SEC team. Perhaps this is all for the best (the bowl ban this season), because we'd all need blood pressure medication if what the "experts" are saying is true and we would be #3 in the BCS behind ND and a (wait for it...) one loss SEC team. Actually, from what Brad Edwards said this morning the Buckeyes need to hope that every team in the SEC loses at least 2 games for the forseeable future. Edwards inferred that voters are still weary of OSU, given two blowout losses to (sigh....) SEC teams (you know... 5 years ago!?).  Obviously, Mr. Edwards is uanware that OSU has a new coaching staff and now plays "foot-bawl!"
Enjoy 12-0. 

osuforlife's picture

At least Lebrom tweeted Gp Bucks.

Dougger's picture

definitely retweeted that.

I like football

buckeyedude's picture

Just one more thing. I was a fan of El Guapo when it was uncool to be a fan of El Guapo.

Carlos Hyde certainly took his lumps this season. Projected as the No. 2 back behind Jordan Hall, many overlooked him 

Carlos is the player that Rod Smith wants to be when he grows up, but I'm afraid that Rod runs too upright and fumbles too much. I'm think that Rod would make another good player, converted to linebacker, aka Boren. We got Ezekiel Elliot coming on board next year. Along with Dunn and Ball. And don't forget Jordan Hall is back to share carries with El Guapo in 2013.
It's going to be interesting to see if any players leave early...Big Hank, Roby, or Carlos. I think Hankins is gone if he's a 1st round pick, but the others, not so sure. I hope they don't go.



poop's picture

Rod Smith is straight up awesome but has had some ball security issues in the past. His last fumble was, more than not, an awesome play by the defensive player. Even Meyer said as much. If not for that I think Hyde would be backing up Smith. They have different styles for sure but I look at Smith's stats and, when he was playing more, he had a much better YPC than Hyde. Plus he's a much bigger threat out of the backfield. Apparently the coaches like Hyde more so maybe you're right. Still, I would like to see Rod get more chances.

onetwentyeight's picture

Believe it or not Fumbles are correctable and not some death sentence. Urban sees what we see and Rod can CLEARLY play RB. There are things (both mental and physical) that you can do to get a player to correct his fumbling "problem". I still have hope for him I guess. 
Must be the overtly positive afterglow for yesterday. Everything feels better with the world. 

theDuke's picture

BRACARO!!!!! straight thru the South in '13!!!!


KillerNut's picture

Is it possible to force the seniors to play another year? Can we petition the President to give them another year of eligibility?

okiebuck's picture

The talking heads on espn with a few exceptions, are complete morons. That said; we are not going to be #1 in the AP; it's just not going to happen. We knew what the deck held for us at the begining of the year; and we played the hand we were dealt; and won them all 12-0; THAT is our pennance and that is our springboard for 2013 and years to come. In my view the biggest draw back to the bowl ban is the extra practice we would have had in December because now the Bucks don't get to wear the pads until spring; that is a real penalty. But we will deal with it and move on with the Urban Renewal project which is moving on down the tracks headed straight for the chrystal football. Go Bucks!!

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

JLP36's picture

This ESPN bias is no joke.  The Big Ten does suck.  Its especially bad this year, but is there any reason to expect it to get better? 
The scary thing is that ESPN just paid billions of dollars to air this playoff.  They are the primary source of news for voters and writers and opinion shapers.  I don't doubt that they also have some direct say in who makes what game given their financial stake.
They don't even have to worry about Ohio State being involved this year and they are going out of their way to speak of how undeserving the Buckeyes are.  This doesn't shape up well at all.
And playing MD and Rutgers (who just got routed by  friggin Pitt!) to the schedule is NOT going to help the situation.


onetwentyeight's picture

At this point, if we want the AP #1 (don't hold your breath), we should be rooting for Georgia. Out of all 3 teams left above us, they have by far the worst "loss": 35-7 to S. Carolina. Unlike in years past when SEC teams with losses could point to how close these losses were (last year's 9-6 suckfest) or how they were in OT (Les Miles "undefeated in regulation" style), there's no explaning a 35-7 loss. Bama's loss was 1.) much closer and 2.) against a future multi-Heisman winner (sorry, it's true. the man's a folk hero). For MEDIA purposes, that A&M loss is much easier to explain away than a 35-7 loss to S. Carolina. Yes, SC's 10-2 and still had lattimore healthy when they beat UGA. But who said the media was always fair? Perception wise, people have forgotten about SC already and explaining away a 35-7 loss to them is much harder than a close loss to "JOHNNY FOOTBAWLLLLL", etc. 
SO. At this point, it's in OUR best interest to hope for a close UGA victory over bama, and then another close (like OT) but sloppily played NCG between UGA and ND which UGA wins. At that point, you'd be looking at 2 loss bama (out of picture), 1 loss ND ( to the mighty esss ee see, proving that they were 'frauds'), 1 loss UGA (who lost 35-7), and 12-0 Ohio State. IDK how comfortable some of the voters would be crowning a team that lost 35-7 the Nat'l Champion. It's a long shot but that's OUR best hope. 

buckeyedude's picture

The AP #1? It matters not to me.
Time to focus where it needs to be: Urban and the rest of the coaches need to hit the recruiting trail.



theDuke's picture

so much this^ 12-Oh in '12, 2013... THE WORLD!!! 


Menexenus's picture

<<<<  Yeah, in your face, Hoke!!!  Screw Blue!  Muck Fichigan!
I agree with the caption under the first picture: we should start hanging banners for undefeated seasons as well as national championships.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

MediBuck's picture

Jeff, loved what you pulled with the Jim Tressel's favorite moment this game. I'm really gonna miss your debriefings this offseason, as those hilarious little bits made my week. Hope you keep including them in the coming seasons.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Jeff Beck's picture

Thanks so much, it was a blast writing them. I could get used to never writing about a loss.

Go Bucks!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

So glad I was able to attend this game in person!  It was well worth the expense and the freakin cold weather!!!  Is it 2013 yet?

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

osubuckeye4life's picture

Thanks for the debriefings this year Jeff! They have been quite entertaining. 
2012 Leaders Champs
2012 "Real" B1G Champs

BuckeyeCrew's picture

Just curious, Jeff: Why would you fathom this might be the last time Coach Tressel is in the 'Shoe?  It's not like he is banned (obviously), and I am quite sure he will attend games in the future. 
That was just a weird statement.

dtanmango's picture

Bragging rights for a year and a dynasty begins...