Previewing OSU: Former Asst. Rec. Coord. Ouimet
"Okay, The bottom line first. Three things have to happen for Michigan to win. Number one, John Navarre has to have a good game. Number two Michigan cannot have turnovers. And number three, Adam Finley has to have a good game."
"This will be a field position game, a time of possession game. It looks to be a fairly low-scoring game -- I think the team that scores over twenty points will win."
"Let's start with the Michigan offense. How do they find a way to score against this great Ohio State defense that gives up 12.5 points a game."
"Again the bottom line first: The passing has to set up the run in this game."
"Running against the Buckeyes will be tough. Their three linebackers, Cie Grant, Robert Reynolds, and Matt Wilhelm -- they are damn good, probably the best in Big 10. Their defensive linemen are good too -- Michigan recruited most of them."
"And yet, Michigan has to got to have balance on offense, since this will be a field position game. So Chris Perry and BJ Askew have to rush for over 100 yards. The Buckeyes only give up 75 rushing yards a game, so this won't be easy."
"The Buckeyes give up 237 yards passing a game. So Navarre, and the receiving trio of Bennie Joppru, Ronald Bellamy and Braylon Edwards are the key to Chris Perry's success. The passing game has to open things up, to get the linebackers and safeties focused covering the receivers. Joppru especially has to keep the chains moving on 3rd down. Michigan is good on 3rd downs, 46% ... Ohio State is ten percentage points under that."
"The Buckeye defensive backs are good as well. Chris Gamble is the real deal. He's a great player who plays both ways, and as a corner he has four interceptions. I'm not saying he's a Woodson but he's damn good. And we haven't even mentioned safety Mike Doss. "
"However, if Navarre has a good game and the Michigan passing attack is effective, and, if there are no turnovers ... if there are turnovers, that will make things very difficult. But if Navarre has a good game and there are no turnovers, the passing attack will open up the running game and Michigan will be able to score some points."
"As far as stopping Ohio State's offense goes."
"Ohio State averages 30 points a game. They average well over 200 yards a game rushing. Stopping Mo Clarett is the key of course. He will play, you can bet on that. He is a little banged up and Michigan has to hit him hard. But he has six 100 yards game rushing, and he scores 10 points a game. Michigan has to keep Clarett under 100 yards. If Clarett goes out, they have two other good backs as well."
"Ohio State has a good line, which helps them run effectively. They are all juniors -- Ohio State will have a very good team next year."
"Scott McClintock has to step up like he did last week. McClintock and Carl Diggs have to have great games (you don't have to worruy about Victor Hobson), and the Michigan safeties have to tackle well."
"As far as their passing game, the Buckeyes have two good receivers in Gamble and 6-5 Michael Jenkins. And quarterback Craig Krentzel has done a good job scrambling and hitting big passes. But Shantee Orr and Larry Stevens have to get Krentzel scrambling -- he's been good but Michigan can also force him into a mistake. Ohio State has given up 29 sacks (to Michigan's19 given up) and the Michigan defense has 36 -- so Michigan should get to the quarterback."
"Andy Groom is the best punter in Big 10, and it'll be a field position game as I said. Groom'll be an asset to them. So Adam Finley has to have good game. Last week the heavy pressure by Wisconsin affected him. And Ohio State will 'bring it' if Michigan is punting from deep in their own territory."
"Their field kicker Mike Nugent is 24 of 26 ... so it'll be a big game for Finley regarding field goals as well. Finley could make a statement in this game."
"One other Thing. Ohio State is usually in the lead at the half, but after in the second half they have outscored their opponents 117 to 24. So Michigan has to prepare for a different Buckeye team at the half. And the 3rd quarter is the the key to the game -- it's their best quarter. Michigan has not been as good in the second half as the Buckeyes."
"Who wins? I say the score will be 23-19 ... if Michigan has zero turnovers, it'll be The Wolverines."
"One more thing before we're done. Michigan recruited a lot of the Ohio State players that will be in this game. Defensive back Dustin Fox, linebacker Robert Reynolds, defensive linemen Simon Fraser, Will Smith and AJ Hawk, and linebacker subs Mike Kudla and Mike D'Andrea."
"Craig Krenzel (who is from the Detroit suburbs) -- Michigan did not recruit him because we had Henson and Navarre. We were was kind've set there. He was not a national recruit, but they are thankful they have him. He's done a great job this year, completing 61% of his passes."