We’re a little late getting today’s open thread out, but with a game of this magnitude, the Open Thread has to be carefully crafted.
Here we sit, less than 21 hours to go until game time. Even without the allure of a #1 vs. #2, the Ohio State/Michigan game still excites people from around the country. All eyes will be on Ann Arbor. Heck, there will even be SEC fans in the stands. Michael Henne Long the III will be there, in search of that oh-so-elusive victory over the pesky Buckeyes. Will they get it? Then, there’s the issue of Carr’s retirement. Will we finally put a date on the tombstone as well?
Time will tell, but all signs point to Yes.
Buckeyes look statistically superior. But that’s why you play the game. Let’s look at what people are saying.
Keith has the game plan up at Buckeye Commentary. It’s beautiful in its simplicity:
- Remember our Identity.
- Beanie’s Health.
- Playaction and Boots.
- Where’s 86?
Buckeye Planet has their excellent, in-depth look at the game along with all the matchups. One matchup in particular stood out to me. Look at Beanie and Hart’s lines:
Hart: 215/1188 yards, 12 TDs, 5.5 YPC; 7 rec/43 yards, 0 TDs, 6.1 YPR
Beanie: 215/1241 yards, 12 TDs, 5.8 YPC; 5 rec/21 yards, 0 TDs, 4.2 YPR
Very interesting. While comparing Hart to Beanie isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, it’s very close. Like Granny Smith-to-Fuji. Both played with nagging injuries. Both ran against Big Ten defenses. If you are a Michigan fan, how would you feel if Mike Hart was running the ball against your defense? Probably not very good, right? You better start swigging the Pepto now.
One of the questions on Wednesday night’s discussion with Football Outsiders was “Who does Michigan need more against Ohio State: Chad Henne or Mike Hart?” For most of their careers – the first 48 games, to be precise – I would have said Hart, without question. But the answer now is that the Wolverines clearly need both of them. Michigan has beaten good teams this year without Henne (Penn State) and without Hart (Illinois), but last week at Wisconsin was the first time since they stepped on campus Michigan has played with Henne and Hart both on the sideline. And it was, in all phases, a disaster. If Hart is the motor, the juice that makes the offensive pistons go, we saw in Madison that Henne is the brain, and an offense with Ryan Mallett at the helm right now is one running around with its head cut off. Henne has to play for Michigan to not lose – chances of overcoming Ohio State’s defense if Mallett does anything approximating his erratic, mistake-assured horror show in the pocket last week are virtually nil – and Hart has to play for the Wolverines to win. This is, of course, just as it should be.
That’s some patented High quality Blog-2-oh©
And we would be remiss if we didn’t take some time peruse what Sir Brian MGoBlog is thinking about. More of that high quality stuff.
Finally, we will just ask you to predict the score and pray to whatever God you pray to that opher-threes go opher-four. Please keep environmental conditions in mind.
Me? I say OSU 34-23.
sportsMonkey says: OSU 31-20.