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Bank Bag: Ohio State vs Michigan Part-Two

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-Two.

scarletletter: To me the key to this game is the line of scrimmage, but more specifically for OSU, their DL vs the wolverine OL. How do u see this matchup playing out? Can the interior of the OSU DL hold up vs the run? Can the *ichigan OL hold up vs the OSU edge rushers?

BG: I agree with you that one of these offensive lines needs to take control of the game and the side that does will be the winner. For Ohio State, they need to be better than they were last week against MSU. Even though Michigan State was on the seventh different starting O-line lineup and they were using a defensive tackle at guard, Ohio State didn't really pressure much that game. One point to consider is that Ohio State can commit extra bodies to the run if they need to, with guys like Ward, Lattimore, Conley, Hooker and Webb all able to play man coverage. 

mrbigbux: In a game like the last two Sparty games (bad weather) do you think Beck/Warriner have any real input into the plays that are called during the game - or is it all Urban?

BG: Tough to say, but Urban Meyer is on that headset and knows every play that is being called. He either calls the plays, or approves every play call coming from the booth. When the game planning is done during the week, Urban's time will be spent with the offense as well. 

3vfarm: Bill, put the 2006 Ohio State receivers who played the game of the century on this current team and I think JT becomes a much better QB.  Ginn, Robiskie, Gonzalez, Hartline, Hall, not to mention Beanie and Pittman.

BG: I think I would take Zeke, Samuel, Thomas, Braxton, Marshall and Vannett from last year's team. And Barrett had all those guys available to him last year. I just think Barrett is who we think he is. At his best, Ohio State can beat anyone. When he's inconsistent, they struggle to score against Northwestern and Michigan State. 

Encyclopedicbuck: Do you see Braxton Miller playing a long time in the NFL? I know he hasn't gotten the amount of touches he probably should have this season, but he is a rookie and rookies sometimes have to wait their turn to shine. I think he is too dynamic not to have a long career. Injuries usually tell how long someone will play. I haven't seen him play this season. Do you think he is getting better playing WR, a position he only started playing last season?

BG: First off, in terms of pure talent there's no doubt that Braxton Miller has more than enough to make it in the NFL. I haven't watched a lot of Houston's games, but I did watch Monday night and thought Braxton looked pretty good. He is still learning a new position, so I think they will be very patient with him. 

drewsus: That guy who made all those ridiculous touchdown grabs against OU...Brown or something like that? Is he still enrolled at OSU?

BG: Saw his picture on a milk carton yesterday at the grocery store. Would be nice if they find him before this Saturday. 

Todd2854: Who should be the next offensive coordinator at Ohio State?  

BG: No fair trying to trap the host, LOL. When you watch the Maryland and Nebraska games, it's easy to see the full playbook and everything they have at their disposal. And it's good stuff. Then you watch the Michigan State and Northwestern games, and you think Woody Hayes is back running the offense. It's going to be interesting to see where this offense heads for next year. Will Barrett be back? Will the same play callers be back? At the end of the day, Urban Meyer gets the offense he wants because he hires the coaches and recruits the talent. 

dirtysouthbucks: Any thoughts about the new rb offer out of New Jersey? Sounds like they really want two RBs in this year's class. Who would you compare Amir riep to? I feel like he is a bit overlooked in this class.

BG: They really need two runningbacks in this class because depth is not good. Samuel will leave after this year, and Weber will leave next year. There are question marks about Antonio Williams. Depth is an issue. I like Amir Riep, and think he compares favorably to Marshon Lattimore. 

BuckeyePete: Do you think we will see big game JT?  Do you think we can handle the 2 TE with a FB set?  Do you expect ttun to run that formation a lot?  What is OSU’s biggest advantage?  What is UM’s biggest advantage?  Jim Tressel made The Game the focal point of his career at OSU.  Does Coach Meyer feel that same kind of devotion to just this one game on the schedule? 

BG: I think Ohio State NEEDS a big game out of J.T. Barrett, or they can lose this game. I do think Harbaugh is going to try to mash the football and force Ohio State to stop it. If they cannot hold up against the run, Michigan will probably win. Ohio State's advantage is good J.T. over injured Speight or bad O'Korn. Michigan's advantage would be all these seniors that are playing for their collective legacies this Saturday. This game defines their careers, one way or the other. I just think the playoff system has changed things so much, and so does the fact that OSU has flat dominated Michigan for so long now. You have to talk the talk regarding this rivalry, but winning this game is not as important as it was in the past. People want to go to the playoffs now, and that makes every game so important. All of the rivalries have been diminished in the last decade, and that's a by product of having a playoff. The fact that Ohio State and Michigan absolutely NEED this game to get to the playoffs makes this a very relevant game for the first time in a while. But overall, this game is the same as the Wisconsin game or the Northwestern game. It's a game you have to win to get to the ultimate prize, but beating Michigan is not the ultimate prize at all. I think beating Michigan last year was cool for Buckeye fans, but certainly did not take away the sting of the loss to Michigan State. I think they would have rather beaten Michigan State and gotten to the playoffs even with a loss to Michigan. The playoffs are The Goal now. 

mrbigbux: Money being equal and IF Houston was in the Big 12 do you think Herman would be inclined to stay at Houston?

BG: ZERO chance he would stay. Houston can never be Ohio State, Alabama, USC or Michigan. Tom Herman knows that. Houston in the Big-12 would do well, but they would never be a national player on a consistent basis. He needs to go now while people think he's one of the greatest coaches around. A few weeks ago after the loss to SMU he was back to being Tom Herman again. Gotta strike when you're hot. 

rkorch: Who leaves Meyer first, Marotti or Pantoni?

BG: Wow, never thought of that before. I think those three are all joined at the hip, and think they all hang together. Should Urban retire in the next 5-7 years that would present some interesting options for Pantoni and Marotti. As long as Urban is at Ohio State I think those two will be at Ohio State, so Urban would have to be the first to go. 

BuckeyeBK: 1) Do you think Osu goes with run Jt game plan? 2) will Osu get any commits this weekend 3) who wants this more: meyer or harbaugh? 4) is there a new OC that challenges Meyer next year?

BG: If they go with the run J.T. only plan, they will score less than 20 points and be in danger of losing a game 20-17. They definitely need to run him, but if he gets 25 carries I think they can lose. A possible commit this weekend could be junior offensive lineman Juice Scruggs. Other than that, I'm not aware of anyone close. I think Meyer and Harbaugh could not want this game any more than both already do. Nobody challenges Meyer. Let's get that straight. A lot depends on Barrett leaving to see major changes in the offense. If J.T. returns I do not see much changing. 

NoKyBuck: When it's all said and done which team will show up on the 25th, the one that played against Nebraska or MSU?  And most importantly why.

BG: Well I think 17-16 is FAR more likely than 62-3, LOL. I think so much of this game comes down to Barrett being a better player than O'Korn, but will Ohio State let him be better? That is a huge key for me in this game. I believe Ohio State has an edge at the QB spot, if they allow the QB to run the entire playbook. 

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