It's officially "Beat Michigan Week" in Columbus, Ohio, and Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier has lobbed the first of what should be many potshots to come.
According to Ben Axelrod of BuckeyeSports.com, Shazier made a not-so-subtle reference to Michigan's...um, propensity for incurring negative gains:
Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier on Michigan: “I know they’ve probably given up a thousand tackles for loss this season.”— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) November 25, 2013
It's not exactly slander for Shazier to make such a statement. He's simply relaying a fact, and an important one at that.
According to cfbstats.com, Michigan has been tackled for a loss 102 times this season, second-worst in all of the FBS. The Wolverines lead just Idaho in the category, trailing even historically bad teams like Florida International.
It's been getting worse as the season progresses, too. In the last four games against Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa, Michigan has allowed 11, 15, 10 and 11 respective tackles for loss.
Will Ohio State Record 10-or-More Tackles For Loss Against Michigan?
Those are eye-popping numbers.
Shazier and the Buckeyes defense are salivating at the thought of taking on this offense, relishing the chance to kick a rival when it's down. The team ranks No. 26 nationally with 75 tackles for loss on the season, and Shazier himself is tied for second with 20.5.
As far as trash talk goes, the linebacker's comments are par for the course. Shazier said nothing personal nor asinine, he merely shed light on the cold, hard numbers.
Michigan's offense has no defense.