Urban likes to turn games into track meets but only at certain times because he knows that a team that runs nothing but smashmouth football cannot keep up. It's a mathematical impossibility.
It's not a mathematical impossibility. Improbable? Sure. But not impossible.
Minnesota patiently kept playing their style of play (smashmouth, field position, take care of the ball, try to force the other team to make mistakes) and they kept pace with us despite our quick 14 point lead and 17 point 4th quarter lead. If Minnesota scores on their first position of the 4th instead of throwing a pick (which set up our final score of the game), all else being equal, they may have been able to pull off a mammoth upset.
Also, Michigan State stuck to their style of play despite trailing by a ton to Baylor, and they were able to come back and win that one.
In the Outback Bowl, after Auburn scored 14 unanswered to take the lead (and looked effortless in doing so), Barry Alvarez doubled down on the smashmouth game to control the tempo and grind down Auburn. And it worked beautifully.
So while it is unlikely, it is not impossible. The thing is, you have to change your style of coaching. You can stick with your play calling and style of play, but you have to slightly alter your style of coaching and take some more calculate risks. Like going for it on 4th and 1 or 4th and 2 when you would usually punt, because you need to keep your offense on the field and allow the defense to rest (Alvarez did this in the Outback Bowl, and Dantonio did that to us in the 2013 BTCG... went for it on 4th and 1 or 2 when he would usually punt).