Michigan Gameplan a Blueprint to Beat OSU?

ScarletGray43157's picture
December 1, 2013 at 12:43p

So after watching Michigan create mismatches and coverage issues for Ohio State's defense, I am wondering if they have given a clue to future opponents as to how to beat OSU.

I know that the Good Guys got the win in the end, but somehow ttun made our defense look as bad as anyone has made them look all season.  Yes, our tackling was extra poor in The Game this year, although tackling has been a problem all year.  I more concerned about the apparent weaknesses that showed up on the field at AA yesterday.  We were unable to adjust for the well-timed screen passes, and even on only one good leg the Michigan QB was able to move around enough to get the job done, although missed tackles helped him have a second chance on several plays.  Our coverage was not good, our tackling was downright poor, and our defensive schemes left a lot to be desired (or maybe our guys weren't able to execute the defenses that were called - I can't tell from the outside looking in).

It would seem that a team with a mobile QB who can stay alive long enough to make plays would be a matchup problem.  It definitely seems like a team with receivers who run good routes and are strong YAC guys would create headaches for Ohio State as well.  Someone like this year's Florida State team would fit that description, possibly. 

This is the first year that Ohio State has had a game the week following Michigan.  There is a physical toll that a rivalry game takes, and over the years the players on both sides have stated that it is the hardest hitting game that they have ever been in.  The Buckeyes will need to recover physically and strategically by next Saturday night in order to defeat Michigan State in the B1G CG.  Here's hoping that Michigan's game plan doesn't give MSU a blueprint that they can use to defeat the Buckeyes.

Ohio State coaches and players, here is your chance.  Time to put up or shut up.

Go Bucks!


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Maestro's picture

Of course it's a script. But you have to be able to reproduce it.  

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeVet's picture

You're right. Like they say, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth".

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

sivaDavis's picture

Exactly. Hopefully the DC learned something from this past week. Fickell kind of pissed me off with the whole, "Did we win, did we win?" statement. Yes you did win, you were bailed out by the offense and also Kerry Coombs, Mr Fickell but yes, you did win.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

CptBuckeye24's picture

One thing works in our favor: Weather.
We are indoors this week and in a warm weather climate for the bowl.  That really benefits our passing game and Braxton.  I like that and our offense will open.  It is not a secret that our passing game has slowed down with the cold weather. 

Joeyfbank's picture

Fickle has got to go! Yeah they are 24-0 blah blah blah. 603 yards to that team! Huh? That D is gonna kill us and OSU has been poor against the pass the past few years. I have never seen an OSU defense this bad. Do we really want to play FSU???


Exhortera's picture


We still have to play MSU. One game at a time.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Yeah they are 24-0 blah blah blah.

Stop downplaying 24 straight wins.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

You still need the talent -- receivers to get open, offensive linemen to keep your QB upright, a QB who doesn't make mistakes (the biggest surprise about yesterday -- that Gardner could throw that much and make so few bad passes). 
Plus, I'm still not seeing the blueprint for stopping our offense. The drives yesterday where we were forced to punt, and the interception that served as a virtual punt, all started with losses on first down (two sacks of Miller plus the first play of the second half, where Hyde was stuffed in the backfield), except for the one where we had a hold on third down to make it third-and-long. That's pretty effective, to know that if you just gain yardage on first down and don't commit a penalty, you're not going to be stopped. We only ran one third down in the entire second half yesterday.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

ScarletGray43157's picture

Agreed on the offense.  It has too many weapons to be shut down by an opponent completely.  The only team that can shut down OSU's offense is OSU by mistakes or playing flat or sloppy.  An opponent could play ball control enough to keep our offense off the field.  Our defense is the area that was exposed against UM, and Coach Meyer said as much.  They have to get right in a hurry right now.  I expect future opponents to try what worked for Michigan against us, because, well, it worked for Michigan against us.  I know if I was an opposing coach I would look at what has worked and how it worked and go from there.  It is up to our guys to change that situation as far as our defense goes. 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

toledo_buckeye's picture

My biggest issue, and I'm sure the ciaches have their reasons, is cushion at the line on receivers. That is why screens are so effective. You play close to the line and it negates screen plays,but the question then is can they play well enough on the back end to nit give up the big play.

dsmith2959's picture

One thing I have observed from years of watching college football is most teams have one great game in them each season, and you never know when that game is going to come. That's not a particularly scientific analysis but it was a rivalry game and they are often close regardless of previous records.

D Smith

AZVO's picture

Look at all of our opponents this year - and most of them treated the game with us as their bowl game for the year - and they brought their best stuff just to try to knock us off (FAIL). 
Then look at the rest of their games/performances after we beat them, sad.  Unfortunately it makes our SOS look worse.  But they do come packing a game and we just always have to be ready for their best shot.  That is called being a Buckeye. 
So if you want to see any team's best game, just tune in to an OSU game.  Fortunately OUR TEAM also shows up with their best game every week.  For example where the heck did TTUN come up with a game plan and over the top performances from a program that looked dead a week ago.  Playing Ohio State = putting on the top game you have.  And we love it.
TOTUN will be loaded for bear next week, and they are capable of throwing a really great game at us.  We had better be on our very best, hitting on all skills - TACKLING included.

Of Course Its Hard.  It;s Supposed to be Hard.  If it was easy everyone would do it.

Hard is what makes it Great.

southbay's picture

I wish I knew the answers regarding the defense, but I don't feel like I know that much about football.  So I'm inclined to leave it to Urban.  But I do sometimes wonder if there will be changes.  Gotta come up with something to stop those screens...

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Every team in the B1G knows their best chance to move the ball against the buckeyes is to throw screen passes as Iowa did so well in the first half against us and TTUN did the entire game and also the speed option.  It's tough to defend, you don't want to over pursue yet you don't want to give the receivers too much of a cushion.  But, takes good timing and touch to pull off screen passes all day long also.  As MAESTRO put it ... yeah, there's a plan ... question is can you execute it well enough to win.  So far no team has been able to do so consistently enough to get the W, but MSU will be our toughest opponent for sure, I'm definitely nervous.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

AZVO's picture

Screens, Screens, Screens.  We do a miserable job of defending them.  BUT they are always a grand opportunity to also grab a Pick 6 - IF we are on top of our game.  Lets hope TOTUN wants to throw a few and we are (finally!) ready to pick some of them off for D Scores.

Of Course Its Hard.  It;s Supposed to be Hard.  If it was easy everyone would do it.

Hard is what makes it Great.

buckguyfan1's picture

Someone someday will get it right... But not today, not tomorrow, not on Tuesday... 
24  different Teams in a row have tried and did not pull it off...
We are not perfect, but we have a special thing going here...
One thing that I am very proud of is that with any of the limitations this Team has shown over the last 2 years lack if effort is not one of them...
I LOVE the Underdog/Lack of Respect treatment that WE receive, until we are beaten the Hell with what the media and others say.
On any given day, I BELIEVE we can beat anyone.  Next Saturday we will show up in Indianapolis and go to War.  I BELIEVE we will win...
I will worry what happens after that when the time comes.
Go Buckeyes!

Hovenaut's picture

I give Borges credit for what he dialed up yesterday.

I refuse to acknowledge he is the author of the scheme that beats this Ohio State team.

ScarletGray43157's picture

Borges didn't come up with anything new under the sun, for sure.  The more games you play then the more film that coaches can study in order to try to figure out what matchups work in order to try to beat OSU, or any opponent.  In Borges' case, innovation is not a huge issue, yes...

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I think we will see more of this in the next two games.  I also think that our D is going to focus on the screen passes like there is no tomorrow.  Yes, we do not have some of the talent on D like we have had in past years.  Luckily we have a great O that score points with the best of them.  Hopefully that will be enough.  Right now just need to focus on MSU and not worry about what lies ahead. 
Go Bucks!  Beat the Spartans!!

Toilrt Paper's picture

Blueprint ONLY if Ohio State coaches emloy the same defensive statagy. The chances of that happening is slim to none. Most likely none.

locko48's picture

Agree, look how Iowa seemed to create a blueprint to attack OSU - D.  Has it worked for anyone else?  Urb and Co. will spend the week coaching up the D to defend what "Big Sister" ran.  If "little brother" pulls the same...they will get shutdown.

sivaDavis's picture

My personal opinion on the defensive woes, it seemed like Borges knew what Fickell/Wither's whole plan was. It was weird. Some drives he would go empty, some drives under center, he mixed in screens very well and also draws with Gardner to go against our blitz packages. I'm not calling for Fickell's head. Do I think someone could do a better job? Yes, but our Buckeyes are 24-0 so I can't really say #FireFickell. Plus Withers would need to catch some blame as well. 
If it was me, from watching Michigan State, the offense isn't anything special, I haven't seen much explosiveness or trickeration. If I was the D Coordinator, I would believe in my defense backs and leave them on an island against those WR's. If Roby thinks he can go pro, he better develop some sort of Roby island quickly. Lately, it seems to be D Grant is the NFL ready DB the way they avoid him.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

Bubba 81's picture

I thought Michigan's O-line played much better than expected which caused the defensive planning to go out the window. It looked like our blitzes actually hurt us, we telegraphed out blitzes before the snap ( we have to work on that ) while TTUN used that aggressiveness against us with screens. We just let our best pass rushing D-Line play without exposing our blitz packages and we will be fine. Our DB's should play closer to the line and if you can't do that with the speed of Roby / Grant then we can't ever do it. I understand the strategy of keeping the ball in front of us but in college football we next to tighten up on 3rd downs...anyway 24-0 great problems with great players, and great coaches. Go bucks 

wojodta's picture

I'm thinking Sparty will run a bunch of screens and I guarantee you at some point they will run a fake FG or punt. Dantonio is known for running trick plays in big games. Hopefully the Bucks keep an eye out for that BS.

Patriot4098's picture

I dont think Sparty can match the offensive game plan scUM used, and I would be shocked if they follow anyone elses defensive roadmap to success. Notes maybe, but the best defense in the country probably writes their own.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

ScarletGray43157's picture

Ohio State has been taking everyone's best shot since last season.  When you are undefeated each team you want to play is motivated to be the one who breaks the winning streak.  
All that matters is that you win.  
The defense needs to tackle better.  It is simple, but crucial.  A 2 yard gain needs to be a 2 yard gain, not a 4 or 5 yard gain.  If a player can get his hands on an opponents pass, it needs to be intercepted even if it means laying out for it.  Little things will make a big difference, and on both sides of the ball.  Receivers need to be seen and thrown to if open, and they need to lay out on that side of the ball too.  Blocks need to be carried out.  Hyde can carry the mail.  Ball security is also crucial over this stretch.  
The coaches need to coach, but more importantly the players need to play.  I know that OSU can win these next two and I believe that they will.  For sure, we will get the best shot of two very good football teams over these next two games.  If we can find a way to go 2 and 0 then we will be B1G champs and hoist the crystal football, simple as that.  It has been a fun ride so far, but as long as we're here we might as well win it.  Win the next one and we have a shot at two championships in two games.  It is a nice position to be in.  
All season long people all across the country have been talking Ohio State down.  I know if it was me that I would be motivated to prove them all wrong, and while I don't know anyone on the team I am sure that is how they feel as well.  They see and hear the same garbage that the rest of us do.  It is the kind of stuff that should light a fire in each one of them, an angry intense fire. 
Go Bucks!  Beat MSU!!!

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

Drgee's picture

I agree to some extent that the game could be a blue print, but some of the issues that the game revealed are not new.  The trouble with the screen plays dates to last year's Cal game or earlier, for example. 
I had to listen to the second half on the radio, but I don't believe C. Grant played much, if at all.  While he may not be the player we all hoped he would be, I can't help but wonder if his diminished role had ripple effects on the defense.   
What do you think about this?

southbay's picture

What happened with Curtis Grant, anyone know?  I thought he would be able to get to Gardner...not possible from the sideline.

Maestro's picture

He basically only plays on run downs now. I don't think he is fully healthy either.

vacuuming sucks

Zimmy07's picture

I wouldn't want to base an entire game plan on screen plays against a team that got hurt by them the previous week.