Even the guys who made Detroit Rock City know what’s up
The morning of The Game and for the third time Dick Rod brings his rag tag bunch of rats with herpes into the annual matchup against the Buckeyes. This year The Game has a slightly different complexion to it. No longer is TSUN completely dysfunctional with an offense lead by an explosive talent. Also for the Buckeyes the game is not just about tradition and rivalry – we need to win out to insure that a share of a sixth straight conference title is secured.
– Offensively the story is really all about sophomore #16 Denard Robinson. No real outlandish insight here. As he goes the offense goes. He can and has racked up video game like stats against bad and good defenses alike. The idea that he doesn’t get yards or score in some fashion today is probably unrealistic. Buckeyes need to focus on containing him and making sure to hit him hard and tackle well. Should the slightly framed Shoelace get knocked out (so awesome) of the game turnover machine #5 Forcier comes in.
– Other offensive skill positions are filled by #2 Smith at RB who only gets opportunities due to all the focus on Nard-dog. Receivers are #22 Stonum, #21 Hemmingway and Trotwood, Ohio turncoat #12 Roundtree – they are a quality group with speed, skill and experience that will definitely look to test the Buckeye injury riddled secondary that has been exposed from time to time by other opponents. At TE is another traitor from Toledo #86 Koger who is primarily a blocker.
– The offensive line is led by senior #52 Schilling. Overall the unit is still in the process of changing to the sleeker, quicker linemen used in Dick Rod’s spread instead of big physical specimens that most Big Ten teams have. The interior three have started all season and the unit has played well this season as shown by the eye popping numbers of Robinson.
– Allegedly Michigan has a defense. But considering they are ranked #112 of #120 (even lower than Eastern Michigan that we hung 63 on) it makes it difficult to take this unit seriously. D Coordinator Greg Robinson is likely coaching for his job today. The standouts on this side of the ball are #68 Martin at nose tackle, #8 Mouton and #45 Ezeh at linebackers, and #32 Kovacs at strong safety. Despite what Nard Dog says – this unit will get worked today by a running game that has found new life with Boom and a pretty sensational talent of their own at QB for the Buckeyes.
For the Buckeyes this game represents the opportunity for a share of a sixth straight Big Ten title as well as a seventh straight win against TSUN – both records. It also represents the last time we will see the 24 seniors in the Shoe again – among them Heyward, Rolle, Homan, Chekwa, Larimore, Sanzenbacher, Saine, Justin Boren, Barclay, Browning, and Torrence – so emotion will be high with the Buckeyes looking to send another class of seniors out with the distinction of never losing to TSUN. The cold temperatures will make the running game all that more important so I would look for Boom and Saine to get a lot of work, especially to the left with Justin Boren looking to make his final appearance in The Game one to remember. If any player gets this rivalry it is him. I would also look for Pryor to come out show the world that when it comes to dual threat QB’s size does matter and 6’6”/235 is better than 6’/193. The Shoe is his house. On defense I look for the Bullets to show everyone just how tired they are of hearing how awesome Nard Dog is. Rolle was on the news the other night and said that he doesn’t think anyone can run away from him sideline to sideline, Hines showed us last week that he can come up to the line looking for blood, Heyward made plays against Massoli in the backfield during the Rose Bowl – these are the Silver Bullets are they are locked and loaded. As long as the secondary can stay focused and make TSUN one dimensional (which they basically already are) they should be able to keep the explosive Michigan offense on the sidelines. Motivation and attitude will not be an issue – Tressel knows exactly what his team is capable of and knows exactly what this rivalry is about – he will have the team ready to play.
You remember that feeling you got on Christmas morning as a kid where you can hardly wait for the time to come when you can open packages? Multiply that by 1000 and you get what a Buckeye fan feels like today about kickoff.
Buckeyes – 35
TSUN – 21