Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ohio State-Michigan postgame analysis

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- One final look at Ohio State's 42-41 victory over Michigan at Michigan Stadium:

-- Urban Meyer called the game an "instant classic."

We disagree. Sure, there were lots of points and excitement. But neither team played championship-caliber defense.

Plus, two special teams are needed to make a game something ESPN Classic airs more than once. Michigan lost five Big Ten games this season. The Wolverines are mediocre.

-- Ohio State's defense is not impressing anybody, especially voters who determine the BCS title game matchup.

The Buckeyes allowed 603 yards. Their inability to defend screen passes couldn't be fixed during the game, and if Devin Gardner doesn't throw his worst pass on the decisive two-point conversion attempt, anger would be the current mood in Columbus.

Some might point to Alabama's breakdowns against Texas A&M as a sign the Crimson Tide defense has cracks. There's no Johnny Manziel in the Big Ten, so Ohio State's defensive issues are more glaring than those facing Alabama or Florida State.

-- Carlos Hyde gained 226 yards on 27 carries. He's beginning to look like a potential first-round or early second-round NFL draft pick.

Could Browns general manager Michael Lombardi be watching? One of his underlings attended the game.

-- Ohio State linebacker Curtis Grant started and tried playing through an ankle injury. He's a big loss in the middle of the field.

-- The Big Ten title game is next Saturday. Michigan State will provide Ohio State with its biggest Big Ten test in the last two years. The game should have a festive atmosphere, something lacking when Wisconsin hammered Nebraska in Lucas Oil Stadium last year.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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