Bank Bag: Ohio State vs Michigan Part-One

As the Buckeyes prepare to face Michigan at home with national title hopes on the line, Bill Greene is here to answer question from BSB subscribers on all things Ohio State and more. Here is Part-One.

rollymolly2: When was the last time you attended a OSU/Mich game?

BG: It actually was the 2006 game at Ohio State, and what a game it was to view in person. I don't go to many college games at all because my primary job is to cover high school players. I also like gathering with friends and family at a sports bar to watch all the action unfolding across the country. But that game in 2006 was one I will never forget. My funny story about that game is leaving the stadium with my son, who was 15 at the time. The people in front of us were headed to the 7-11 to buy Pick-4 lottery tickets with the numbers 4-2-3-9 as the score of the game. My son said "dad why don't we go do this and put $10 on it?" My answer: "That will never happen and it's too far out of our way." Of course the number came in straight, and it only cost me $50,000. 

JohnCarrollBuckeye: I really liked what I saw from Morgan Ellison in his game against Wayne. Not sure he is OSU good (He very well could be) but what do you think the odds are that Ohio State will revisit Ellison? Do you know of any players who chose Michigan over Ohio State and vice versa but later regretted the the decision beside Boren. Speight any chance he plays or is this Harbaugh's attempt at mind games?

BG: I like Morgan Ellison as well, and he's too good to be a MAC recruit. Even though he's committed to Ohio U, I think he ends up at a Power-Five school on Signing Day. Not sure if that is Ohio State or not, but it would not shock me. I don't know anyone that regrets that choice, but I could name guys on both sides of that fence that I "THINK" are sorry today. If Wilton Speight can be cleared by the medical staff to play, then Michigan needs to play him. There was a huge dropoff to O'Korn from what I saw last week. 

success: Bill do you see OSU having an offensive game plan that avoids long developing pass plays and 7 step QB drops. The constant blitzing by UM is troubling and I fear a lot of long distance and downs. 

BG: Every week Ohio State has a game plan that avoids long pass plays and 7-step drops by the quarterback. That's not what they do offensively. Michigan might not blitz as much this week, because they might prefer to have J.T. Barrett stay in the pocket and beat them throwing the football. When you blitz, that puts the defensive back with their back to the QB in man coverage, and it opens up scrambling lanes for Barrett. I would want him throwing from the pocket all day long, with a spy to keep him from scrambling for yardage. 

ScarletAndGray02: Bill imo no way does Akers go anywhere but Ole Miss. I can't imagine a recruit who was truly undecided choosing to go watch two losing teams in the Egg Bowl over The Game unless one of those losers was "his" team. So does tOSU add another RB and if so who are the candidates? Secondly, this game scares me because Harbaugh NEEDS to win this game. The way OSU is recruiting it may be a couple of years before he has another team with a realistic shot at winning the game.....I can't imagine JH's ego handling 0-4/0-5 against OSU well. He is also a great coach, and a great desperate coach scares me. Your thoughts?

BG: I'm not so sure Cam Akers is going to Ole Miss, but he's probably not coming to Ohio State. If you live in Mississippi the Egg Bowl is an amazing game. Akers would know all the players and it's his home state, so it's totally understandable. I do think Ohio State needs a second runningback in this class, but they haven't really shown any interest there yet. I disagree about the talent level for both teams. Michigan has recruited really well the past few years, and they will be young next year, but very talented. Same as Ohio State. He will have a realistic shot at winning this game every year going forward. I think these games will be great games every year from here on out. As long as you're putting together top-15 recruiting classes, you will have enough talent to line up with anyone. Michigan will do that and more every year the way they're recruiting. 

tforaker2: Thanks for doing these Bill. What specifically is it about MSU that Urban and the Bucks struggle with? It's almost as if Urban becomes a different coach and becomes ultra conservative. Does Dino get in Urban's head? I know you have layed out the formula to beat tOSU, other teams seem to know it, but what is it about MSU that always gives the Buckeyes the most trouble? Also, I was interested in your thoughts about the future of football. I had a conversation with my wife about this. With the recent research that has surfaced from the health issues of concussions and the lower pro football ratings this year, do you see this as a trend? Or is this year an anomaly? I believe your kids are older, but I am curious, would you let them play football today with all the information about health effects of repetitive head trauma?

BG: I just think from a mental standpoint, Dantonio can get his kids to realistically believe they are going to win every year, plus his style of play gives Urban and Ohio State the most trouble. So Dantonio doesn't have to change a thing the week he plays Ohio State. He points to the past few games and tells his players they are going to take the game to the wire, and they're going to be in a position to win it at the end. He will slow the game down offensively, make it a slug-fest, not a track meet, and that's the Michigan State way anyway. Now, when he goes up against Alabama, it's tough to beat them that way because that's their game too. And they have better players. But the Michigan State style is the way to play Meyer. This is the best way I can explain it from my point of view, and understand I'm a football guy. I was thrilled that my son, now 26, played youth and high school football. Thrilled. Fast forward 10 years, and I'm also glad my 9-year old grandson will probably not be playing football going forward. He has played flag football the past three years, but it's full pads next year and I think he's sticking with basketball. That does not bother me at all. Would I want my daughter to stop him if he wanted to continue to play? No, I wouldn't. It's a tough call, and I totally get parents being concerned. 

ntaylornut: Do I have scarlet colored glasses on in thinking that this might be Michigan's best chance to be us for a few years? They lose 20 senior starters and have been recruiting 3 and 4 stars, while we only have 1 senior starter and have been recruiting 4 and 5 stars. This is setting up to be their one chance in my opinion. Also, do you think Harbaugh would leave for the NFL to a ready made team for $10 million per year (the Bengals?) 

BG: I would disagree with that totally, but you could be right. Michigan's recruiting is really impressive to me, and I think the talent will be even this Saturday, and even going forward. With two great coaches at the helm for both schools. I think these two will be dead even programs going forward. I think Harbaugh seems really content at Michigan, and think he's going to be there a long time. But who knows with these guys? 

bucknutsinurface: How does the offense gameplan against this aggressive defense of Michigan? Also, will our oline be able to control the los?

BG: I think the Ohio State offense will need to throw the football on early downs, get the ball to Samuel on the edge, keep pounding Weber at the teeth of the Michigan defense, and open up the playbook to use everything you have to attack Michigan. Play to win, and not win 17-16, because there's always the chance you end up with the 16 doing that. I would want a high scoring shootout, and would press the tempo all game long. The Ohio State offensive line BETTER CONTROL THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, or they won't score many points at all. 

binarusniperbuckeye: Bill i don't see Michigan winning this game because I just don't see Okorn beating this defense in Columbus. He was terrible against Indiana. Agreed? Michigan is playing bad on offense at the wrong time. 31-17 osu is how im seeing it

BG: It's hard to argue with you even though I've had Michigan winning this game for months. O'Korn was beyond awful last week, and if he repeats that performance it's going to be impossible for Michigan to win. He was terrible. For Ohio State to score 31 it might take two interceptions run back for scores, because I don't think the Buckeye offense is putting up 31 on this defense. 

dplaw: Who is the starting QB next season?

BG: There is a lot of talk about Dwayne Haskins right now, and I don't think it's just talk either. But I think a lot of Joey Burrow, and I'm certainly not giving up on him just yet. I think it will be a great battle that goes on all spring and through the fall. This of course assumes that Barrett is not coming back. I think it's probably foolish for him to leave, but I believe that's what he wants to do. And I don't think he gets any better as a pro prospect by coming back, so maybe it's like Tyvis Powell where J.T. just wants to move on to the next phase of his life? 


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