Ohio State 56, Michigan 27

Ohio State 56, Michigan 27


November 30, 2019

The seniors played like crap. I said this on Twitter, and someone responded saying they’re looking forward to the seniors moving on. I wouldn’t go that far, but I was very disappointed in their lack of poise. I was reminded of Shawn Crable hitting Troy Smith late out of bounds…and that reminder came numerous times. Why did senior captain Carlo Kemp untie Dobbins’s shoe? 15 yards. Why did senior captain Khaleke Hudson jump offsides on a 4th-and-4 Ohio State punt? 5 yards and a first down. Why did Hudson not keep outside contain when OSU got under center and ran the ball at him? Huge gains, one of which was a touchdown. Why did senior quarterback Shea Patterson keep trying to run outside instead of cutting up to follow his blockers? -3 yards each time. Why did senior Josh Metellus decide not to play his deep half in cover 2? Touchdown. These were major gaffes. It annoys me that Cam McGrone hit Justin Fields out of bounds when Fields was already losing yards, but at least McGrone is just a young guy who’s only been starting for less than a full season. The seniors have no excuse.

Hit the jump for more.

And it hurts when OSU gets the breaks. There are some things that can be 50/50 going into any game. If you want to pull an upset, you need some things to go your way. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins started the game with a fumble when the ball was ripped out of his hands by Aidan Hutchinson; the ball hit the turf and bounced right back into Dobbins’s hands before he kept running for a big gain. Penalties can be 50/50, too. It seemed to me that the officials decided not to call pass interference, even though there could have been numerous picks called against the Buckeyes. Michigan did recover a muffed punt, but that was a result of a poor play by Garrett Wilson, not a pointy-balls-bounce-funny situation.

Misguided criticism of Shea Patterson. I don’t even want to bother with digging into the play-by-play stats right now, but there was criticism on the broadcast of Patterson going something like 2-for-14 at some point in the second half. F*** that. I don’t even care about the INT that came after the game was decided, and the fumble was terrible. But Michigan’s receivers screwed Patterson and the team over in the second half. Patterson was putting the ball where Donovan Peoples-Jones, Ronnie Bell, Sean McKeon, etc. could have an opportunity to catch the ball, and nobody made plays for him. Peoples-Jones dropped the ball in the back of the endzone at the end of the first half, and he seemed to check out mentally after that. It was like his confidence was ruined. I’m pretty sure at one point in the second half, he dropped three consecutive passes – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down. It was like missing a layup causes you to shoot airballs on your next three free throws.

Justin Fields didn’t play that well. This game is going to go down in history as a huge victory for OSU and a giant blowout, but Michigan had Fields looking inconsistent for much of the game. He finished 14/25 for 302 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, but that’s a guy completing almost 70% of his passes who had some wide open deep throws because of blown coverages. Don’t get me wrong – he wasn’t bad. But he wasn’t on fire like Dwayne Haskins was last year. It was a situation where about 10 guys did their job but the 1 guy who didn’t got exposed.

Donovan Jeter MIA for the season. I took criticism – and rightfully so – for placing Jeter at #1 on the 2019 Season Countdown. The thought process was correct; the specific choice was way off the mark. Jeter didn’t play much this year, but you saw his lack of presence in this game. Homer asshole analyst Urban Meyer talked about the size differential between OSU’s OL and Michigan’s DL. He spoke about how much OSU’s OL controlled the line of scrimmage. Michigan finished with 1 sack and let Dobbins run for 211 yards, his highest rushing output of the season. Michigan needs more beef up front, and this needs to be addressed right now. Like, in the 2020 class. Or with grad transfers. Michigan got gashed up front by the two powerful running teams on their schedule, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Converting linebackers and defensive ends and counting on slants to get the job done against Wisky and OSU isn’t going to get the job done.

At least I’m not afraid to be honest. It may not have been the prediction or result any of us wanted, but yours truly saw a blowout loss coming. I predicted a 42-17 (or 25-point) loss. It was 42-16 for a while and ended up being a 29-point differential. As far as I know, I had the widest point spread of anyone I follow. (Of the guys at The Wolverine, Chris Balas had a 14-point OSU win; MGoBlog posted a 33-26 prediction in favor of OSU.) Ohio State happens to be really, really, really good.

Review of predictions:

  • PSU game looks like a blip for OSU’s offense. Check.
  • Buckeyes hold down the Patterson running game and keep M below 90 yards. Patterson ran 7 times for -20 yards and M had 91 yards rushing; I was 2 yards off on the total.
  • Shea Patterson gets rattled and throws 2 picks. Nope. He threw 1 pick and inexplicably fumbled a shotgun snap.

People are going to criticize the coaches, but holy crap, kids gotta make plays. Sorry to those who think this is a Mike Valenti-like take, but Michigan had opportunities. Ohio State’s players are really good, and that talent gap is exacerbated by Michigan’s players just being giant lumps when it comes to big games like this. There’s plenty of blame to go around in a 29-point loss to your biggest rival, but Michigan’s 5-stars and 4-stars aren’t playing on the same level as OSU’s 5-stars and 4-stars – and the Buckeyes have more of those 5-star bullets in the chamber.

But hey, Chase Young had 0 sacks. Small victories are the only ones we get against Ohio State.

25 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 4
    Joined: 11/28/2015
    snowcrash
    Nov 30, 2019 at 7:56 PM

    Do you think Brown could have approached this game in a way that would have given us a better chance to win? I’m seeing a lot of FIRE DON BROWN rabble rabble on other sites but not a lot of specific suggestions of what he could have done differently today.

    • Klctlc
      Comments: 80
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Klctlc
      Nov 30, 2019 at 8:52 PM

      Something has to change on defense. Maybe just for the sake of it. Firing Harbaugh is stupid. He is changing and trying to get better, it just took too long. I am not saying he is blameless I just don’t see a better option unless M wants to get into the weeds and really compete with OSU in recruiting. Even then OSU is still gonna win because they have the cache.

      Magnus your 42 – 17 was a godsend. When I read it it reminded me of the issues. I was blinded by recent progress and was hoping for a lot more. after reading your opinion, I throttled down expectations.

      Your call on Jeter was correct, if he panned out as a third year DT at M, this is a different team. If this team had a hurst or glasgow type this is a different team. The DL was the achilles heel and you called it. C. Hinton and Mazi give a little hope, but no CB depth and no speed to replace Metellus (who was not fast either) M is gonna have to score 70 to beat OSU.

      Next year is at OSU, anybody think M wins there? me neither. So we are playing for 2021 realistically. This is not a rivalry it is a joke. OSU is just too good. I am 55. First 40 years of my life this was a rivalry and was the best in college football. Now it like playing for the little brown Jug and we are the Gophers. It is unreal.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 17
      Joined: 10/31/2016
      snarling
      Dec 01, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      I don’t really know what he could have done but I do wonder if OSU knows his tendencies especially well due to 1) Day going up against his defense every day in practice for two years at Boston College and 2) Mattison/Washington having worked under him.

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 481
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Nov 30, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    The CFP championship game should be OSU vs. LSU. That would be entertaining.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 10
    Joined: 1/16/2019
    Blue83
    Nov 30, 2019 at 8:09 PM

    I’m thinking Don Brown might just retire after this one. He must be totally demoralized. And with the departures and rising talent on D, I don’t see things getting much better next year. Maybe the 2 young D tackles can contribute, but the outside pass rush is likely to decline. And the failure consistently to recruit top talent at cornerback could be a serious problem next season.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2019 at 10:34 PM

      It’s not looking great for next year, but then again, we said that last year when Winovich, Bush, Gary, and Long left. Paye, Hutchinson, McGrone, and Thomas all stepped up to the challenge fairly admirably. Michigan should get virtually everyone back on the defensive line; all they really lose is Hudson, Glasgow, Lavert Hill, and Josh Metellus. Glasgow and Metellus should be replaced fairly capably by Ross and Daxton Hill, respectively, so you’re having a competition to see who plays Viper and who takes Hill’s corner spot.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1609
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Nov 30, 2019 at 10:38 PM

        The Viper position has been a joke since Jabril left (except Minn2017)

        We do need another Corner, and should be knee-deep in the portal

      • UM_1973
        Comments: 95
        Joined: 10/14/2015
        UM_1973
        Dec 01, 2019 at 1:57 AM

        I think Uche is most probably gone too after this year and I think Uche and Lavert Hill are the hardest to replace on defense.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 100
        Joined: 9/28/2015
        PapaBear
        Dec 01, 2019 at 11:05 AM

        I’m not sure if this made me feel good or bad regarding next year’s D. Not sure you’ve done it yet, but could you project for us next year’s 22? In this, guessing who stays!

        Love this site for its usual level headed temperament.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 61
    Joined: 9/18/2016
    Chowman
    Nov 30, 2019 at 8:44 PM

    Hey Thunder,

    I thought the offense played decent to well, especially the OL. For us to win that game, the O was going to have to play perfect cause the D didn’t get many stops. That leads me to my question to you: how tied to Don Brown is Jim Harbaugh? I mean, I think Don’s hit his ceiling. His defenses will look great against bad to average teams, not so much against good to great teams. In the past Jim’s not been afraid to move on from coordinators. From moving on from Baxter after trouble with the snap, to a revolving door at OC. I just don’t ever think Don Brown will out scheme a really good OC!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2019 at 10:30 PM

      I guess I’m probably not fully ready to answer this question objectively on the same day as the game, but I’ll do my best to remain objective:

      No defensive coordinator is going to look good against OSU. It hasn’t happened yet this year. Ohio State is good EVERYWHERE. Yes, Michigan gave up 56 points, but some of those points don’t come if Michigan executes on offense and special teams. Before the game, I think the average score in OSU games was something like OSU 50, Opponents 10. They were outscoring people by 40 points per game.

      Take away the 7 points that shouldn’t have been on the board because Khaleke Hudson shouldn’t have jumped offsides on punt. That puts them at 49 points and Michigan in a 22-point deficit. Add the 3-7 points that Michigan should have had if Patterson didn’t fumble. Now you’re at a 19- or 15-point deficit. What if McGrone didn’t hit Fields out of bounds? That’s not really a defensive scheme thing, and maybe that would have saved you 7 more points, making it a 12- or 8-point deficit.

      There are things that happen in the final score that don’t really have to do with the defensive scheme.

      I think Harbaugh is closely tied to Don Brown. Firing Brown would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. You *might* be able to find a better defensive coordinator than Brown, but it would be a huge gamble. So you might find a guy who can beat OSU, or you might hire a guy who can lose to Michigan State or Indiana.

      Michigan needs to execute better in all phases (O, D, ST), and they need to recruit/retain better. Aubrey Solomon, Benjamin St-Juste, and others might be able to make a difference on defense, even in a small way. Michigan should be able to find a running back with more explosiveness than Haskins/Charbonnet have shown. Michigan should be able to retain more defensive backs to throw out there, rather than relying on Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Vincent Gray, etc. as the #3 cornerback.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 65
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        umfarnn
        Dec 01, 2019 at 2:44 PM

        Also the short fields Michigan gave OSU twice because they were playing to win and went for it on 4th down on their side of the field. The fire Brown talk is largely reactionary and unfounded. No DC will hold this OSU offense to under 30 points, and considering the position the offense put him in, the defense did a fair job.

        Quickly looking over the drive summary, OSU had 14 drives. Throwing out the end of half, the last 2 drives that were just burning clock and the 2 started on Michigan’s side of the field, they had 9 real drives. Of those, they were forced to punt 3 times and were gifted a 1st down on the Hudson off sides so that’s 4 stops. Not sure how much more you can ask for against that level of offense. Looking at match ups of top 10 O vs top 10 D the last few years, getting stops on 50% of the drives is as much as you can ask for, especially without any turnovers.

        Sure, Michigan could fire Brown but who do they get that’s an upgrade? Just like they could fire Harbaugh, but who is going to do better? Not saying Michigan should be content with where things are, but firing people just to shake things up is a dumb move and leads to things like the Hoke and RR years with questionable hires and huge roster gaps due to transfers and restarting recruiting over and over again.

        • gobluetwo
          Comments: 46
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          gobluetwo
          Dec 02, 2019 at 8:33 AM

          I agree with this. As I was watching the game, my thought was less that Michigan was bad and more that osu was just really, really, really, good. Michigan shot themselves in the foot a few times, and Thunder summarized it well – the fumble, the offside, the late hit are three that stick out and could have been at least a 14 point swing in the game. Factor in the drops and poor edge contain and you have the final margin.

          It just seems like osu was going to get their points, Michigan just really helped them get there. Also, just let me go on record and say that I would’ve preferred that Lavert Hill go pro last year and David Long stayed.

          At the end of the day, Michigan couldn’t keep up with osu’s offense. They lost focus, and also gambled on 4th down multiple times and lost. The final score hurts, though. To his credit, my buckeye friend didn’t mention the game at all at church yesterday.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3358
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Dec 02, 2019 at 8:41 AM

            I agree on Lavert Hill vs. David Long. I liked Long better. But then again…maybe the NFL did, too, which is perhaps why Long was gone. I’m not super impressed with Hill. He gets away by grabbing, he’s not super physical, and he’s not super fast.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 1609
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Nov 30, 2019 at 9:22 PM

    Offense started as good as anyone could have hoped, but you’re right on the 4/5stars not showing up. They blew it

    DL killed us, as should be expected. But, Brown isn’t recruiting DTs. Even now, we have none. We should have a full-time guy on the portal, because recruiting isn’t getting it done

    Oh, and the Wildcat in 2019 is a joke

    Finally, Harbaugh needs to match the ohio emphasis on this game. Until then, we’re stuck on the losing end

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 348
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 30, 2019 at 9:23 PM

    I’m reposting this in this thread because this is the thread where it actually belongs:
    “After 5 years of Harbaugh its time for me to completely revamp my opinion of Him, His coaching, recruiting and Michigan football in general. And I don’t mean this negatively. I think Harbaugh has in fact brought Michigan to a place where the Wolverines are as good as they can be. Getting beat a couple times a year by someone and then getting totally waxed by OSU is the moderne era state of Michigan Football that will never be bettered.

    We’ll see if/when Harbaugh gets a contract extension. He has but 2 years left on the current contract. IF an extension doesn’t come soon for recruiting sake alone then assume he’s gone prolly back to the NFL.

    OSU is just that much better than the rest of the B10. Period. Its become the Big 1 and the mediocre 6 and the lil 7………
    Michigan is destined to fight PSU for 2nd place in the East. Once in a while someone will beat OSU butt it will simply be an aberation and just like Bobby “Can’t beat Miami”
    Harbaugh Cant Beat OSU………
    Deal With It Michigan………..INTJohn”

    Yeah, quit whining about coaching, players, schemes, etc. OSU is just plain better – period. Even a rookie HC destroys Michigan in The Big House. Harbaugh is 0-5 agaisnt OSU and the margin of defeat continues to become more & more. Its not improving; Harbaugh – Michigan gets their ass kikt by more & more with each passing season…….

    I am no longer complaining about it – simply stating an obvious reality. This so-called rivalry is in fact dead. – Period. Harbaugh is the first Michigan coach ever to go 0-4 and now 0-5 vs OSU and the defeats continue to worsen……
    For basically 20 years now, Carr, RR, Hoke, Harbaugh – its complete OSU dominance and not improving at all with Harbaugh. The games become more & more onesided. Home or away, Columbus or AA makes no difference. Even The Big House no longer belongs to Michigan – its just another place for OSU to kik Michigan’s ass.
    Michigan Football is simply no longer Championship Football.
    Deal with it and quit whining about it Michigan…………INTJohn

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 180
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Nov 30, 2019 at 9:38 PM

    I wonder what Thunder thinks we should do. Problems have been identified. I wish someone could really tell us how we could fix this god damn mess.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2019 at 10:36 PM

      If I knew the exact answer, I guess I probably wouldn’t be toiling away as a high school varsity coach. But my best suggestions will probably emerge after I calm down from the stupid stupidity that took place in this stupid game.

  8. Avatar
    Comments: 15
    Joined: 11/23/2015
    Burge333
    Nov 30, 2019 at 11:52 PM

    Thanks for following and providing your analysis Thunder.

    A couple of points, Bama’s infamous defence got hung for 48 today, Bama LSU was 46-41. For everyone saying fire Don Brown, college football is about defence until you get to the top. Then you need to be able to hang 70 on a bad team and 50 on a championship level team.

    Ohio State was better than Michigan at every position on offense. You would not take one of our players over any of OSU’s players. You might argue about a couple of neutral lineman. The issue with that is you could take an all star team of the rest of the Big 10 and would still probably lose to OSU. Most of our offense will probably play in the NFL at some point.

    As bad as everyone thinks UM is, we are at best a top 6 team and at worst a top 20 team. That really is pretty good, someone above mentioned how it is the Big 1 and everyone else, we all know that is true.

    I am not sure if it gets fixed to be honest. It isn’t about getting the occassional 5 star. Now you need 5 per class, UM is no where near that. Maybe next year UM will catch a flyer and go to the Playoff and can use that momentum to sign a big class the next year. Michigan has a massive disadvantage of having a small back yard, not a lot of players from Michgan are 5 stars and not a lot turn into really good players.

    There are 5 or 6 teams that are great, 1 in the big 10… So be it.

    Another factor is how good is the Big 10? Iowa and Michigan are the 5th and 6 best teams in the league. Iowa has 3 losses by a total of 14 points all to teams in the at some point ranked in the top ten this year, UM has 3 losses to teams that will likely all be ranked in the top 10 this week. We also have three arch rivals. OSU and MSU both have us as their arch rival.

    Clemson has played one decent team, Texas A&M this year. Not sure if you have looked but Texas A&M has to have had the toughest schedule in college football this year, they lost to LSU, Bama, Georgia, Auburn and Clemson.

    I would like to say that they have to hire a new couch but who? And will they even come? If we didn’t hire Jim it was going to be slim pickings.

    A big fan and would love to catch a flyer and make the playoff. But that doesn’t happen very often.

    • UM_1973
      Comments: 95
      Joined: 10/14/2015
      UM_1973
      Dec 01, 2019 at 2:01 AM

      I get that OSU is in the midst of their golden era. They have a better talent than us (bagman or not). But look at Auburn Alabama. It is clear Bama has more talents, more 5-stars than Auburn. Auburn is not even out-recruiting Michigan but they beat Bama on a pretty consistent basis. And this has to fall on the coaches. Gattis has been a good hire but we need to start hitting the cylinders early on rather than take 6 games to get there.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 15
        Joined: 11/23/2015
        Burge333
        Dec 01, 2019 at 1:43 PM

        That is a good point about Auburn, my only thought is that quarterback play for OSU has been so far superior it has come to roost. Maybe it will change at some point, but Ohio’s unprecedented run has been in large part to qb’s. Even second string guys have played abnormally well. They all go on to not play in the nfl.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3358
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 01, 2019 at 7:49 AM

      Yeah, people who think Don Brown should be fired for giving up 50+ points to OSU haven’t moved on to the new generation. Scoring is up. OSU’s scoring average over the last decade:

      2009: 29
      2010: 39
      2011: 25
      2012: 37
      2013: 45
      2014: 45
      2015: 36
      2016: 39
      2017: 41
      2018: 42
      2019: 49

      • Avatar
        Comments: 17
        Joined: 10/31/2016
        snarling
        Dec 01, 2019 at 11:42 AM

        Though it could be argued that a team like Michigan should be able to hold OSU under its average, since OSU is also playing teams with far less talent, like Rutgers.

        (And then I guess the counterargument is that OSU cares more about Michigan than most/all other opponents so they’re going to throw the kitchen sink at us, so I dunno.)

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3358
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Dec 01, 2019 at 1:12 PM

          I don’t think it’s necessarily that they care more about Michigan. It’s game flow. Chris Chugunov had 14 passing attempts against Rutgers in a 56-21 win. Fourth-string running back Steele Chambers had 9 rushing attempts against Rutgers and didn’t play against Michigan.

          When you’re blowing out a team that you’re not afraid of coming back, you’re going to be more liberal with backups and your play calls are going to change. When you’re playing Michigan with Patterson, Collins, Peoples-Jones, Bell, etc., you have to keep the gas pedal mashed to the floor.

  9. Avatar
    Comments: 2
    Joined: 6/21/2016
    cloudman
    Dec 01, 2019 at 9:46 PM

    Thank you Thunder for your frank assessment. Everyone has such a borderline behavior with this game, that it concerns me about how it affects the character of not just the fans, but also the players and staff. They do live this game 365 days a year, but I wonder how long it takes for players and staff to recover from these losses. At least this year we had 100% participation of senior players, which may help for the Bowl game. Going out with a win would help regardless who they play.
    I feel that having Mattison and Washington on the other side helped OSU in several ways. They could assess the tendencies of the DL and LB, which probably helped OSU’s offensive schemes. Certainly Mattison helped a lot with Michigan’s defensive recruiting, which may a short-medium term effect even after he retires. I think that OSU would love it, if Don Brown departed, since that would mean a turnover of almost half the defensive coaching staff.
    I agree with your opinion that the players carry a large responsibility for the mistakes. Do you really think untying the shoelaces of Dobbin’s shoes is a credible tactic, let alone what it says about the character involved. The players must abandon their fear of losing, if only to prevent the self-defeating mistakes.

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