Day of big plays allowed
Next to turnovers, the thing Coach Carr hates most is giving up a big play on defense. Well the offense did not turn the ball over against OSU but Coach Carr was less than pleased that the defense yielded so many big plays to the Buckeyes' offense. Ohio State scored rushing touchdowns on plays of 56 yards and 52 yards. It also scored a touchdown on a 39-yard pass play from Troy Smith to Ted Ginn, Jr.. On the day, the Buckeyes' amassed 503 yards of total offense and 42 points against Michigan's defense.
Michigan entered the game with the nation's #1 ranked rushing defense having only yielded an average of 29.9 yards/game through eleven games. However, OSU was able to rush for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns. Michigan's defense had problems with missed assignments and poor tackling on several plays throughout the afternoon including the two long touchdown runs. The biggest problem the Michigan defense had, however, was getting pressure on OSU QB Troy Smith. The lone sack of Smith occurred on the OSU offense's first drive when Rondell Biggs pulled him down with one hand. For much of the first-half, Smith had enough time to pick apart the Michigan secondary. Michigan changed things up in the second-half and forced three turnovers (an interception and two fumble recoveries on bad snaps) but OSU still scored two second-half touchdowns.
Although the Michigan defense came up with three turnovers, the defense did make two key errors in the second-half. First, at one point while OSU was driving, Michigan only had ten (10) men on the field forcing it to burn one of its timeouts which it desperately needed at the end of the game to stop the clock. Secondly, on 3rd and 15 with just under seven minutes to go in the game, a personal foul penalty gave OSU a first down and the Buckeyes scored a TD three plays later. Defensive Coordinator Ron English needs to sit down with his players and review the film to correct the plethora of problems the Buckeyes exposed during the game so that Michigan will be ready for the Bowl game wherever the Wolverines end up playing. Go Blue!
*Note: Photo of Head Coach Carr(left) and Def. Coordinator Ron English by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News