Football The Rivalry

Ten Things We Learned From Ohio State’s 62-39 Win Over Michigan

Ohio State Buckeyes football Horseshoe Ohio Stadium

The Michigan game may have taken place on Saturday, but it still feels like we’re in postgame mode.

Or maybe it’s just me.

This game was one for the ages, albeit for only one side of the battle, which may make things even better for Buckeye fans.

Ohio State not only demolished the Wolverines, they ended their title hopes and put them back in their place, one step below the Buckeyes.

If OSU has a say, good things are not allowed for Michigan, and they had four quarters of say on Saturday and it was all a very stern, one-sided conversation.

What did we learn from that conversation? Namely, that Ohio State is still Ohio State and Michigan is still Michigan.

But also some other things as well.

1. Chris Olave is a natural.

When a true freshman looks this smooth and game-ready, it’s easy to project great things for him. The way he adjusted to the football on his second touchdown is something that you don’t see some veterans do. He was aware of everything around him and didn’t make his move until he knew his man wouldn’t be able to recover. The punt block was tremendous as well, and it was designed specifically for him. More than all of this, however, is his willingness to do whatever he is asked to do, and then his ability to come through and make an impact. This is not typical, even if he makes it look like it is.

2. Davon Hamilton deserves some love.

As the Buckeyes’ No. 2 nose tackle, there isn’t always an opportunity to talk about Davon Hamilton, but he was instrumental in keeping Michigan’s offensive line off balance. He finished with four tackles and made some key plays. He created more havoc than his four tackles, and his presence in the backfield kept Michigan’s interior busy. The pocket got popped several times on Saturday and it starts up front and inside. Hamilton and Robert Landers were a constant nuisance for Michigan’s offense and ruined their timing throughout the game.

3. Amazingly, Michigan came in cocky.

The Revenge Tour was a great way to bring unity throughout the Michigan football program, but if another (better) band is already playing in the venue on that date, things might not go so great for you. Great teams aren’t supposed to come into a game expecting to lose, but they should come into every game expecting that things won’t be given to them. Michigan came into Ohio Stadium expecting an easy time. They thought OSU was going to offer up some charity, and they also then expected to be thanked for accepting it. The Buckeyes figured they had been charitable enough this season, I suppose.

4. The offensive line dominated Michigan.

Dwayne Haskins was protected so well on Saturday and stayed upright so often that teachers in the 1950s will use him as the example of perfect posture. Ohio State’s entire offensive game plan relied on the offensive line giving Haskins time, and they did it better than anybody had the right to expect. They kept Haskins so clean that this game has been cleared by the FDA to be used as hand sanitizer.

5. This was the final home game for a lot of people.

Even aside from the seniors, there were people who were on the field or the sidelines for the final time as Buckeyes. That includes some underclassmen who have decisions to make, as well as members of the coaching staff who will have announcements forthcoming. Change is coming, and no matter what you think of this 2018 team, they put the hammer down on Michigan and then put another hammer down on top of it. For that they should always have a special place in your heart.

6. Michigan played right into Ohio State’s hands.

I mentioned this on one of our six episodes of the Buckeye Weekly Podcast last week, but any time Michigan kept the ball between the tackles, it was a win for the Ohio State defense. Even if the play gained yardage, it was still a play that the Buckeyes were comfortable dealing with. Michigan’s offense kept things simple, which is exactly what this Ohio State defense can excel against. There was very little confusion by the Buckeye defense, and every formation with multiple tight ends and a fullback for Michigan was automatically a win for Ohio State because that was not a lineup that was going to go the distance. Defensively, the Wolverines also helped out the Buckeyes. Granted, the OSU offensive line was key, but Michigan’s man coverage couldn’t handle OSU’s slot receivers. The east-west action was too much for them to follow. Ryan Day, Kevin Wilson, and Urban Meyer came up with an offensive game plan that every team moving forward should use against Michigan. Those teams won’t have OSU’s talent, but it will at least give them a fighting chance.

7. Teams are now looking for pass interference against the Buckeyes.

“Hey, it’s third and long, what should we do?”

“Let’s just throw it deep, but a little short and off line and see what happens.”

This is apparently a growing and effective plan of attack against Ohio State’s cornerbacks. It’s not a good idea when there are safeties hanging around, but when there is no deep help, it’s as effective as a back-shoulder fade. In fact, it’s probably more effective because the pass doesn’t have to be close for the Buckeye corners to get flagged.

8. There are always players waiting to be discovered.

Where would this defense be right now without Brendon White being thrust into action due to an injury and a suspension? Austin Mack’s injury opened the door for Chris Olave to get into the rotation as well. Do the Buckeyes beat Michigan without these two players? Yes, easily, but let’s not gloss over the impact that both players had on Saturday. And now with right guard Demetrius Knox out with a foot injury, it is time for redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis to do what both White and Olave have done.

9. Demario McCall is just getting started.

You know how I know the Ohio State staff wants Demario McCall on the field? Because when he muffed a kickoff in the biggest game of the year, he was right back out there after that to field another kickoff. The ball was being thrown to him as well. It would be impossible for anybody to get serious minutes when you’re stuck behind Parris Campbell and KJ Hill at one position and JK Dobbins and Mike Weber at another. Eventually, however, McCall’s time is going to come and you are going to love it.

10. This was a good season for the Buckeyes.

Regardless of what happens from here on out, Ohio State got a win against Michigan that will never be forgotten. Most years, a season is remembered by what happens in The Game. It paints the ultimate portrait that fans see in their mind’s eye. This portrait is admittedly a bit bloody, but the smiles make it seem less violent.

12 Responses

  1. This was a great victory for the ages, no doubt, but That Team Up North still put 39 points on the board. The defense played better, but still needs to improve if the Buckeyes want to be considered in the same class as Alabama and Clemson. They also need to annihilate NW to have any chance to make the playoffs because they still need to jump two teams to make it.

  2. Surprised no one has mentioned how well the D shut down Scum’s excellent TE’s. Credit to the safeties and Werner’s TD breakup.

  3. Good thoughts, Ten Things;
    1. Our OL dominated, didn’t believe a MI DL put a finger on DH.
    2. MI was a fine tuned Buick, OSU was a Porsche that finally got its transmission fixed. This is more than JH adjusting, his talent level, schematics and coaching are more for the 70’s-90’s, than today’s high octane O’s, and until he does that expect him to get scorched by upper tier teams. OSU’s talent, even new talent shined bright and right now MI can’t come close to touching that, the transfer Patterson accounted for 70% of their O.
    3. Final scores mean little, too bad MI bought into them fully, hence the false arrogance. We saw some basic improvements following OSU’s loss at PUR, even as OSU outgained them. MI pulled away late from WI, PSU and even MSU, and needed the fourth to put NW on ice. While MI looked tremendous and OSU looked poorly, the reality was that OSU was just a few small adjustments to being very good and made those strides a reality Saturday. Don’t down play that OSU had scrapes and had to pass through fires, that MI in their comfortable wins never had to endure.
    4. D’s look good when they don’t play a top 30 pass O all year. We saw what happened when they did. We heard all about MI’s DL, and we didn’t hear their names much during ‘The Game.’ OSU’s DL was real and deep, and that’s w/o their best player, and MI can’t sniff our DL. That DL made sure that Patterson wasn’t going to be the MVP. Our LB’s, especially Harrision finally played up to their potential.
    5. As preached all year, OSU did what it had NOT done all year. OSU dominated the middle stretch against PUR, NE, MSU, MD and MI. What OSU did this time was score pts. We went on a 20-0 tear that could of easily been a 28-0 tear from :46 left in the first half through the 3rd quarter. It turned a 21-19 nail biter into a 41-19, route.
    6. Our DB’s need better focus and play. MI interfered to stop TD’s and large gains, we interfered due to poor positioning and fundamentals. That can hurt us down the road, beginning in INDY as NW will be more difficult to defend.
    7. Haskins ability to run and OSU’s ability to run for 3-5 yards was a key to the pass explosion. That little wrinkle adds fear and did wonders to our O schematics. I didn’t mind having Tate play, but have him roll out or complete a few passes, this is where OSU’s earlier poor play hurt them, by not having Tate on film doing that. .
    8. Shame on the refs. The late hit on DH’s slide was inexcusable and penalizing Urban was horrendous. This isn’t the first time the refs were incompetent in ‘The Game.’ Remember, Wilson being 360 face mask spun, while MI players taunted him and no flag. Gene Smith should of made a few phone calls to review the refs incompetency, especially in a day and age where one seeks to avoid injuries.
    9. Field Goals, OSU held MI to two Field goals, then adding two to expand the lead to 27-19, kept Mi from ever gaining the lead and having an 8 point lead hang over their head. MI kicked FG’s because that’s all they had, Urban kicked FG’s, because I’ll take the points and there’s plenty more where that came from.
    10. A Statement. ESPN College game day argued who in the nation had a better statement game? When DH hit Dixon III wide open, I knew MI was outclassed and this game could be a route. AND THIS WAS THE BEST D in the nation!! We could of put at least 15 more on them. True, AL dominated LSU there, GA has some nice wins as well. BUT, TX beat OK in a close game, ND squeaked by MI at home, Clemson struggled to beat SYR and TX A and M., OK squeaked by WVU and OK ST. Saturday’s joyous butt kicking won’t mean much unless NW feels the same pain or worse! Then there’s a louder statement!

  4. #3… a given! Arrogance 101 is a freshman requirement.

  5. NW will come up with schemes on both sides of the ball that will challenge the Buckeyes. How the Buckeyes respond will determine if we jump Oklahoma. If the coaches and players still show the inability to adjust to the gameplan, we will squeak out of victory with our superior athletes and Haskins and head out to the rose bowl. Harbaugh seems to come into The Game with a Woody Hayes gameplan from the 70s.

  6. Only taking away 1 negative from The Game, aside from the unfortunate injury to Knox. B1G officials on the field and especially in the replay booth still show a blatant disregard for the safety and health of Ohio State players while being, if anything, overly protective of their opponents.

    Refusing to even look at the obvious targeting, with the crown of the helmet to the head, of a sliding QB should be grounds for immediate firing of a replay official. Last year against Nebraska, an even worse targeting of Parris Campbell was ignored while the play was being reviewed to confirm the catch. Contrast these and others with the number of times OSU defenders have been ejected for calls that were questionable at best.

    Gene Smith needs to grow at least one and demand publicly that Bill Carollo deal with these officials or step down as supervisor.

  7. Look, I am completely ecstatic for what they were able to accomplish this past Saturday, but at the same time I’m not going to apologize for the criticism and act like the 11 weeks before that didn’t happen. Where the hell was this performance at least HALF the time this season? How can you only get your team prepared for ONE game? What are we going to see against Northwestern? I started asking myself which team is for real, and the answer more than ever seems to be “all of the above.” I don’t know what to expect against Northwestern. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

    1. OSU improved as the season went on..This is a process that takes time. See my previous post.

  8. If you think about it for a bit, TTUN calling their season a revenge tour implies they assumed they were going to beat all of the teams that beat them previously/last year. Quite arrogant if you ask me.

    By the way, who was suspended that allowed White to get into the lineup? I thought it was injuries. As someone from Detroit and who overlapped with his father at OSU for 3 years, I have always been a huge fan of William White. After the Lions drafted him and Chris Spielman in 1988, I always have always believed in the notion of them drafting the best Buckeye available regardless of need.

  9. I just want to say I am 65 yrs old and a fan of the Buckeyes all my life.I ridiculed this team and coaching staff.I want to apologize to them!The Buckeyes put up so I will shut up!Thankyou Buckeyes for beating the dogcrap out of that TTUN and spoiling their so called revenge tour!I am so proud to be a Buckeye fan!Beat Northwestern and bring the championship home!??

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