Stadium: Michigan Stadium (106,201)
2009 Record: 5-7
2010 Record: 7-4
Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez (third year at UM, 15-20; 17th year overall, 120-82-2; vs. OSU, 0-2).
Lettermen Returning: 53 (24 lost)
Returning Starters: Offense - 7; Defense - 8; Specialists - 0
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)
Base Defense: 3-3-5
Returning Stars: QB Denard Robinson, WR Roy Roundtree & LB Jonas Mouton
Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States
Charlie Gehringer, Baseball Hall of Famer
Tony Fadell, Inventor of the iPod
Lucy Liu, Actress
Tom Brady, NFL quarterback (two time Super Bowl MVP)
Desmond Howard, Heisman Trophy Winner; sporstcaster
James Earl Jones, Actor
William Mayo, Co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
Madonna, Singer & Actress
Cheerleading Scouting Report:
That School Up North invades Ohio Stadium on Senior Day 2010, and the stakes are huge. For Michigan, this game may decide the fate of embattled third year coach, Rich Rodriguez. For Ohio State, the contest provides the opportunity for the Buckeyes to win their record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten title, and secure another BCS Bowl. The weather should be cold, as two high powered offenses take the field to renew one of the greatest rivalries in sports. After a couple of seasons when "The Game" was pretty much a foregone conclusion for Ohio State, this one should be competitive. Buckle up and get ready for a hard-hitting game that may not be decided until late.
On offense, Michigan averages 514.5 yards and 36.8 points per game. It all starts and ends with slippery sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson, the first player in NCAA history to throw and run for over 1,500 yards in the same seaon. Though small (6'0" 193) he has proved to be tough, and is very difficult to tackle due to his speed and shiftiness. Robinson is most effective as a runner (1538 yards, 6.8 ypc, 14 td's) but has progressed as a passer (147-232, 2229,16-10) and is difficult to defend. He has shown a propensity for turning the ball over in big games, and Ohio State will try and keep him in hemmed in and make him throw the ball. Last year's starter Tate Forcier has played quite a bit down the stretch and may be used off the bench. He isn't the runner Robinson is, though Forcier can scramble, but he is more or a pure passer who has thrown for 515 yards, hitting on 66.7% of his passes.
UM's receivers are skilled, with solid size and speed. Trotwood, Ohio native Roy Roundtree leads the way (58, 839, 6) and he and Robinson have excellent chemistry. The speedy Darryl Stonum (35, 493, 4) and physical Junior Hemingway (28, 544, 4) are also nice options, with depth provided by Kelvin Grady. This group is made up mostly of juniors, and has experience to go with their ability.
Tight end Kevin Koger is another Ohio high school product and is talented but seldom used in the passing game (11, 154, 2). He has decent size (6'4", 255) and is an adequate blocker.
The Wolverines are improved on the offensive line with this unit starting to play Rodriguez-style football. Not as big and physical as in the past, they are quicker than usual UM lines. This group is strongest on the interior led by senior left guard Steve Schilling, who has started 47 games in his career, and center David Molk, who is a Rimington finalist. The right guard, Patrick Omameh is no slouch, either. I am not as sold on tackles Taylor Lewan, a red-shirt freshman, and Mark Huyge. Overall, however, it is a solid unit, and though not as big as in the past, they still average 299 pounds per player.
Defense has been the Achilles heel for Michigan in 2010, surrendering 445.2 yard and 33.5 points per game. They are especially green in the secondary, and Terrelle Pryor has to be anxiously awaiting this contest. Up front, the Wolverines, who employ a 3-3-5, are fairly talented, led by big junior Mike Martin at nose tackle. He has 30 tackles, including 6 for loss, with 2.5 sacks. End Craig Roh (39 tackles, 5.5 for loss) and tackle Ryan Van Bergen (25 tackles, 3 sacks) are the other starters, but senior Greg Banks also plays a great deal and has 32 tackles, 6 for loss, and 3 sacks. The numbers aren't bad, as the defense has spent a lot of time on the field, but when you are giving up 181 yards per game on the ground, the d-line has to accept much of the responsibility.
The linebackers are an experienced unit, and feature senior Jonas Mouton on the outside, who leads the team with 102 tackles, with 7.5 from behind the line of scrimmage. He also has 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. Also on the outside is senior Obi Ezeh (56 tackles) who looked like he might be a star early in his career but has not developed as hoped. In the middle is Kenny Demens (61 tackles), who has nice size (6'1" 244) and good potential for the future. This is not an overwhelming unit, to say the least.
However, the real problem with UM's defense is their young, porous secondary which has been hurt by injuries and defections. The best player here is sophomore Jordan Kovacs who gives his all at strong safety, but has limited skills. He has 95 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, and 1 interception. Senior corner James Rogers is the only other veteran in the secondary, and leads the team with 3 interceptions. The other three starters are all freshmen: Spur (like OSU's Star) Cameron Gordon (68 tackles, 2 picks); FS Ray Vinopal (26 tackles, 1 interception); and CB Courtney Avery (27 tackles). The depth is also provided by freshmen, and the youth has been exploited to the tune of 264 yards per game through the air.
Special teams has not been Michigan's forte either. Punter Will Hagerup is good (43.6 ypp, with 1 block), but kickers Brenden Gibbons and Seth Broekhuizen are a combined 4-13 on field goals with a long of 37. Kick returner Darryl Stonum is dangerous and is joined by Jeremy Gallon who also brings back punts. The coverage units have been pretty solid, and they have not surrendered any touchdowns.
This one should be fun to watch, with two talented quarterbacks leading high octane offenses. Michigan will try and ride the legs and arm of Denard Robinson, spreading out the OSU defense, and allowing the sophomore quarterback to create havoc. Without doubt he will orchestrate some big plays, and I look for him to have a lot of success early in the game. Ohio State will look to be physcial and wear down both Robinson and the entire Michigan offense as the contest wears on. Look for OSU to try and play contain defense, and force Robinson to throw the ball, hoping to pick off a pass or two. If the Silver Bullets execute with all eleven players being sound with their assigments they should stop UM enough to get the job done.
On offense, Tressel loves to pound the ball in November and has he line to do it. Against a shaky defense, Boom Herron should have a big day, but that doesn't mean that Pryor will be a forgotten man. The Buckeyes will look for Terrelle to make some big plays with his arm and legs, and if he can avoid turnovers, he should have an excellent game and move to 3-0 in the rivalry.
This game may be tougher than some think, but in the end Ohio State is too physical for the young Wolverines and should secure the victory.
Father vs. Son Predicition Battle:
Drew: OSU 33-17
Dave: OSU 38-24