This was a game we honestly could have won. Instead, we try and gather ourselves knowing a nine-win season is nothing to frown on, especially in a coach’s first season.
Let Jim Harbaugh acquire his own recruits for 2-3 years and then see what happens.
We still had a chance today. We moved the ball past midfield our first three possessions, but settled for one field goal. Meanwhile, we checked Ohio State early on, but a miscue roughing their punter in our end zone prevented us from utilizing good field position.
All they had was the same high school Wildcat offense that predicates on misdirection and confusion. Instead of simply dropping their ball carriers to the ground and ending these basic runs, we tried over-aggressively all game to try and strip for the fumble, consistently allowing the runner to gain an extra few yards.
Michigan had the big tight ends, the strong, athletic wide outs. But we also over complicated the offense to the degree that they kept punting early on, despite attaining first downs. It was 14-3 after a few big Buckeye plays, but we kept our heads up as the half waned. Michigan would score to make it 14-10 at halftime.
I was so proud of the position we were in. It could have been a big deficit we faced, but instead, we were within striking distance.
We came out in the second half with a much better formation against the run – we utilized containment and prevented the big play, since they kept running the same shit. Unfortunately, some third down conversions and a penalty kept us from stopping them, and we now trailed 21-10.
From here, porous tackling gave way to any comeback. Once it was 28-10, we actually moved the ball quickly into the red zone thanks to some deep bombs. But, with the 4th quarter starting, we stalled and settled for a field goal.
Trailing two touchdowns, this was our last realistic chance. Again, we allowed them to march right down and score. Finally, Jake Ruddock left the game with a shoulder injury, sealing our fate.
Let it not diminish what a fun year it’s been, Wolverines, especially after losing so much last season. We’re back – and we’ll see you come Bowl Season.