School in the News: Ohio State

Tag: Ohio State

4Dec 2018
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School in the News: Ohio State

Zach Harrison

It was announced today that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is “retiring” after the Rose Bowl. (Afterward, he will probably take off a year, let people forget how he housed a domestic abuser, and then take a job as the head coach at Penn State or Florida State.)

Regardless, OSU will be led by 39-year-old offensive coordinator Ryan Day going forward. Day was 3-0 as the interim head coach during the beginning of the 2018 season, when Meyer was suspended for being a big jerk.

On the recruiting front, I doubt many committed prospects will start to jump ship, because the continuity is going to be there. I would imagine Day will keep most of the staff, even if the ax falls on defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. But since this is a site so heavily centered on recruiting, it’s worth taking a look at the Buckeye commits with Michigan offers:

  • 4-star S Jordan Battle
  • 3-star LB Steele Chambers
  • 4-star ATH Ronnie Hickman
  • 3-star OT Ryan Jacoby
  • 4-star C Harry Miller
  • 4-star DE Noah Potter
  • 4-star LB Cade Stover
  • 4-star WR Jameson Williams

Of those prospects, Michigan was only highly involved with Chambers. For a while it looked like Chambers, a Georgia native, might be a Michigan lean. I really like Cade Stover (a Ben Gedeon clone) and Ronnie Hickman, too, but Stover is a native Ohioan and Hickman never paid Michigan a ton of attention.

Most significantly, the departure of Meyer may push defensive end Zach Harrison harder toward Michigan. There have been varying rumors in the past couple weeks, some that he was leaning toward Michigan and some that he was leaning toward the home-state Buckeyes. Harrison is a 5-star prospect and a top-notch athlete. Of course, the possibility has been out there for a while that Meyer might be on his last legs at Ohio State, but the slight uncertainty of a first-time head coach might be enough to settle the issue once and for all in Harrison’s mind that he wants to pick Michigan.

24Nov 2018
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Ohio State 62, Michigan 39

Jim Harbaugh (image via Wolverines Wire)

That wasn’t close. Las Vegas picked Michigan. Virtually all the experts picked Michigan. I picked Michigan. We were all wrong, and it wasn’t close. That was an extremely disappointing performance in all three phases of the game. I’m sure I won’t cover every disappointment, but I’ll get it started.

Hit the jump for the rest of the preview.

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23Nov 2018
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The Game Preview: Final Thoughts


  • Ohio State players recruited by Michigan include: OL Joshua Alabi, WR Kamryn Babb, LB Dante Booker, LB Baron Browning, DE Jashon Cornell, OL Wyatt Davis, TE Luke Farrell, DE Tyler Friday, S Jordan Fuller, LB Dallas Gant, RB Jaelen Gill, WR Jaylen Harris, QB Dwayne Haskins, TE Jake Hausmann, LB Justin Hilliard, CB Tyreke Johnson, DT Dre’Mont Jones, LB Keandre Jones, OL Matt Jones, OL Michael Jordan, OL Demetrius Knox, WR Austin Mack, QB Tate Martell, RB Demario McCall, LB Teradja Mitchell, CB Jeffrey Okuda, WR Chris Olave, OL Nick Petit-Frere, OL Isaiah Prince, S Josh Proctor, S Isaiah Pryor, S Amir Riep, TE Jeremy Ruckert, CB Kendall Sheffield, WR L’Christian Smith, RB Brian Snead, DT Tommy Togiai, WR Binjimen Victor, DT Taron Vincent, CB Shaun Wade, RB Mike Weber, LB Pete Werner, CB Marcus Williamson, OL Max Wray
  • Ohio State players from the State of Michigan include: Detroit Cass Tech OL Joshua Alabi, Plymouth OL Michael Jordan, Troy Athens LS Bradley Robinson, Detroit Cass Tech RB Mike Weber
  • Michigan players from the State of Ohio include: FB Matt Brown, LS Cameron Cheeseman, LB Noah Furbush, P Will Hart, S Tyree Kinnel, WR Jake McCurry, S Ryan McCurry, P Brad Robbins, OL Greg Robinson, LB Adam Shibley, OL Nolan Ulizio
  • Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner is a former Ohio State offensive line coach and offensive coordinator


  • On November 25, 2017, Ohio State beat Michigan, 31-20
  • Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins was 6/7 for 94 yards after starter J.T. Barrett was injured
  • Michigan QB John O’Korn was 17/32 for 195 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception
  • Michigan WR Kekoa Crawford led the Wolverines with 2 catches for 57 yards
  • Michigan RBs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans combined for 22 carries, 122 yards, and 1 touchdown


  • Michigan 38, Ohio State 34
23Nov 2018
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The Game Preview: Michigan Pass Defense vs. Ohio State Pass Offense

Dwayne Haskins (image via SB Nation)

Previously: M Rush Offense vs. OSU Rush Defense, M Pass Offense vs. OSU Pass Defense, M Rush Defense vs. OSU Rush Offense


Michigan is the #1 passing defense in the country (123 yards allowed/game) by a wide margin (#2 is Miami at 142 yards allowed/game). The Wolverines are #1 in opponent completing percentage (47.1), #1 in yards per attempt (4.9), and #1 in passer rating defense. Only one time this season has Michigan allowed more than one touchdown pass in a game, and that was an anomaly against SMU in the non-conference season.

It starts up front for Michigan, where the Wolverines have several effective pass rushers. One of the best pass rushers is hurt, though, in the form of Chase Winovich (4 sacks); it’s unclear if he will play this weekend or not. The leading sacker is pass rush specialist Josh Uche (8 sacks), and linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. has 5. If Winovich doesn’t play, Michigan will need a big day from Rashan Gary, who has 3.5 sacks but has been underwhelming at times. Michigan is #3 in overall Sack Rate, including #1 overall on passing downs.

The secondary has improved since last year, and starting cornerbacks David Long and Lavert Hill have been two of the toughest guys to throw against in the whole country. Long was beaten for a TD for the first time against Indiana, and Hill has been called for several pass interference penalties. Third corner Brandon Watson has been very good but got burned last week by Indiana when he missed a jam at the line of scrimmage, but that’s nitpicking. Overall, it’s been a very good group. The safeties have improved their coverage on wheel routes and slot fades, but they will be tested against the Buckeyes.

Hit the jump for the rest.

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22Nov 2018
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The Game Preview: Michigan Rush Defense vs. Ohio State Rush Offense

Previously: M Rush Offense vs. OSU Rush Defense, M Pass Offense vs. OSU Pass Defense


Michigan is #14 in rushing defense (111.6 yards allowed/game), and the 3.28 yards allowed per rush ranks at #14 also. Despite having the #1 passing defense in the country, teams have still only run for 11 touchdowns this season, which is tied for #20 overall.

Michigan runs mostly a 4-man front, but defensive end Chase Winovich – the team’s third-leading tackler with 58 – is questionable after suffering an injury against Indiana. Devin Bush, Jr. is a sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker, and his 73 tackles lead the team. Safety Tyree Kinnel (62 tackles) has improved his tackling this year and frequently pokes his nose up into the box to help in the run game. Winovich’s 13.5 tackles for loss will be greatly missed if he’s unable to play, and Bush is second with 9.0.

As for the defensive line overall, Michigan is #10 in Line Yards, #3 in Opportunity Rate, and #15 in Stuff Rate; where they struggle is in Power Success Rate (#80), which is the result of a lack of a powerful nose tackle. Michigan has not had great production from the interior line, which makes Michigan’s defensive success so impressive: the top three defensive tackles (Lawrence Marshall, Bryan Mone, Auburey Solomon) have combined for just 26 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. For a comparison, Maurice Hurst, Jr. had 61 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss by himself last year.


Ohio State is #53 in rushing offense (182 yards/game) and #66 in yards per carry (4.4). Their 20 rushing touchdowns come in tied at #61.

Ohio State’s line is as follows:

  • LT: Thayer Munford (So., 6’6″, 325)
  • LG: Malcolm Pridgeon (RS Sr., 6’7″, 315)
  • C: Michael Jordan (Jr., 6’7″, 310)
  • RG: Demetrius Knox (RS Sr., 6’4″, 311)
  • RT: Isaiah Prince (Sr., 6’6″, 306)

Munford was not heavily recruited, Pridgeon is a JUCO transfer, and Jordan was thought to be a tackle or guard coming out of high school. As a group, they are #34 in Opportunity Rate, #67 in Line Yards, #67 in Stuff Rate, and #101 in Power Success Rate. It’s not a great group, but it is Ohio State: they’re still not bad, because of the talent and the coaching.

The Buckeyes have a good 1-2 punch with sophomore J.K. Dobbins (5’10”, 214) and senior Mike Weber (also 5’10”, 214). They have combined for 1,626 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Weber missed last week with an injury, leading to Dobbins’s 37 carries for 203 yards against the Maryland Terrapins. Dobbins has generally been held in check by solid defenses (28 yards against Michigan State, 57 against Penn State), but Weber went for 102 against MSU two weeks ago. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins (6’3″, 220) is decently mobile, but he’s not really a runner like J.T. Barrett, Braxton Miller, and other past OSU quarterbacks; Haskins has 93 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year and is more in the mode of Cardale Jones.


The fact that Haskins isn’t a great runner should help Michigan out here, because Urban Meyer used J.T. Barrett to great effectiveness over the past several years. Even in their worst rushing game against Michigan over Meyer’s tenure (the 2016 game), Barrett ran the ball 30 times for 125 yards and 1 score. Michigan should do well, but the absence of Chase Winovich would be a big blow. Backup Josh Uche isn’t a run-stopper, and Aidan Hutchinson can be taken advantage of because of his inexperience. Michigan’s best defensive end combo, sans Winovich, would be Rashan Gary on the strong side and Kwity Paye on the weak side, but that leaves the backup situation in flux.

It will also be important for Michigan to control the ball on offense. Michigan can get worn out on defense, like they did against Indiana last week, and that has also hurt them in the past. Several players went down with cramps last week. No Barrett probably means a lesser chance of getting worn down on extended drives, but it will still be something to watch for in the fourth quarter.

Advantage: Michigan

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