Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Big Game

Well it is finally upon us. Ohio State. Michigan. Here in Ann Arbor, we've all been thinking about it since that Iowa win about a month ago. I personally have no idea who is going to win the game either. Both teams are sick. Ohio State's offense is a juggernaut, but Michigan's defense is just as insane. Michigan's defense is going to end up being like that Miami team from a few years know the one with like seven first round draft picks. Because last time I checked, the Wolverine defense had like six guys in Mel Kiper's first round projections. CB Leon Hall is listed at No. 4 overall, DT Allen Branch is the No. 1 defensive tackle and listed as a top-10 prospect, Lamarr Woodley is listed as a top-15 prospect, LB David Harris is now listed ahead of Paul Puzlosny as the No. 1 linebacker according to Mel Kiper, and LB Prescott Burgess and DE Rondell Biggs are considered low first round/high second round prospects. But the amount of talent on Michigan's defense is matched by Ohio State's talent on offense.

But to me, this game is going to come down to two players, one on each team. For the Buckeyes, it is Anthony Gonzales, their No. 2 wideout. I'm pretty sure Leon Hall is going to lock down Ted Ginn, because Hall is the real deal. Some around campus are expecting him to have a Charles Woodson '97 type game (you know the one where he cemented himself as maybe the greatest college football player ever). But I don't think that will happen. Troy Smith is too good of a QB to give Hall a chance to have that type of game. Ted Ginn won't have more than 3 catches. The key will be if Gonzales has a big game. He's showed he is a leit threat in that Texas game, and if you've watched Michigan's defense this season, you'll know that their one glaring weak spot is No. 2 corner Morgan Trent. I'm curios whether Michigan has enough confidence in Hall to just leave him out on an island against Ginn. That will allow them to roll the safeties over to Trent's side. I don't think they do, and I think Gonzales will have a huge impact. If he doesn't that defense will dominate.

For the Wolverines, it is Chad Henne. The bottom line is that when he throws the ball less than 20 times in a game, Michigan wins. But usually when he only throws the ball a limited amount of times, he makes the most of each of those throws. We finally saw the return of the big play in Michigan's offense against Indiana yesterday with Breaston's huge grab. Manningham really opens up the offense whether it be catching the ball or serving as a decoy. If you look at the highlights of that throw, Henne was staring down Manningham, and the safety went right to Mario, but Henne then turned and threw to Breaston. Next Saturday, if Chad gets careless and throws some picks, the Wolverines are in trouble. Michigan is not going to be able to simply rely on Mike Hart pounding the ball every play. While they do need to run the ball, and run it a lot, Henne is goign to need to make some big throws and avoid turnovers in order for Michigan to come out on top.

And since the media is hyping this game more than any other college football game in a long time, I will hype it up all this week as well. So basically, Krauss and Brown should look forward to a lot of blogging this week.

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