Loading…
Friday, April 18, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeSportsBGSU
Published: 11/23/2002

How the Buckeyes and Wolverines match up

OSU RUSH OFFENSE vs. UM RUSH DEFENSE

If OSU freshman tailback Maurice Clarett plays today, and plays like he did through the first half of the season, Ohio State's rushing attack will double in proficiency. If Clarett isn't a factor, the Wolverines' defense, though hit hard by injuries at linebacker and defensive back, still has the chance to make a strong stand and force OSU to go to the air. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State with Clarett, EVEN without

UM RUSH OFFENSE vs. OSU RUSH DEFENSE

This should be no contest. Ohio State's defensive unit has given up just 46 points in the last six games, and only one second-half touchdown in that stretch. OSU has been particularly effective against the run, holding each of its last four opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground. UM has a big one-two punch in fullback B.J. Askew and tailback Chris Perry, but Perry runs on a bad ankle until he can't run anymore, and then Askew goes to tailback. That's when the Wolverines lose any semblance of speed. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

OSU PASS OFFENSE vs. UM PASS DEFENSE

UM PASS OFFENSE vs. OSU PASS DEFENSE

Michigan quarterback John Navarre is much more effective this season. He's second in the conference in passing yards per game (212.6), and has very good receivers in Braylon Edwards, Ronald Bellamy, tight end Benny Joppru and Askew. Ohio State's pass defense has been suspect, with unrest at cornerback save for triple-threat Chris Gamble. The Buckeyes rank 10th in the Big Ten in pass defense, giving up 237.8 yards per game. The Wolverines have had to rely on the pass to open up the running game, a large transition from tradition. ADVANTAGE: Michigan

SPECIAL TEAMS

Forget it. Ohio State has arguably the best kicking game in the nation. Mike Nugent is 24-of-26 in field-goal attempts. He has accounted for a team-leading 111 points this season, missing just one of 40 point-after attempts. Punter Andy Groom ranks 12th nationally with a 44.1-yard average. A triad of UM placekickers has made 8 of 20 field-goal attempts. On kick returns, Michigan doesn't have anyone who can match Ohio State's Gamble. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.