Saturday, November 17, 2007

OSU/Michigan liveblogging second installment

By Rick Morris

Ohio State just dodged a huge bullet right before halftime. Todd Boeckman, who is inexplicably not wearing gloves in the freezing drizzle of Ann Arbor and who is throwing wobbling ducks left and right, airmailed one to the Michigan secondary during an implementation of the "wishy-washy, sorta-two-minute offense." A 48-yard K.C. Lopata field goal attempt missed, leaving Ohio State on top 7-3 at halftime.

Earlier, the Bucks took the lead with an 8-play, 44-yard TD drive culminating in a Beanie Wells 1-year touchdown run. They executed a nice blend of rushing and short passing on that drive.

The trend mentioned in the previous post of settling into a ball-control game continues. The Ohio State defense has risen up on a number of occasions, first by holding Michigan to a field goal in the first quarter when they were on a drive with a lot of momentum, then by keeping the Wolverines from advancing late in the first half when they took over on a punt return at midfield, then by forcing the Maize and Blue to attempt a long field goal attempt after the interception at the end of the half. Michigan had taken over at the 50 on that punt attempt because of a previous Zoltan Mesko punt to the Ohio State 4. The Buckeyes ran three plays right into the line and punted from their own end zone, setting up the field position that Michigan could not exploit.

Unlike last year's epic battle, this has been a game of almost no big plays, almost no turnovers, very little controversy to this point and not much to identify it so far as a huge rivalry game except the nonstop mouth and gesturing of Mike Hart. At 42 yards on 11 carries and no impact aside from Michigan's field goal drive in the first quarter, he hasn't yet earned the right to his irritating actions today.

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