For the sixth straight year, Ohio State has taken down the Wolverines. It has seemed very one-sided for this rivalry as Ohio State has won seven of the last eight meetings these teams have had.
But for Michigan, there were both big positives, and major negatives in the game. The Wolverines showed some positives in hopes to carry into next year, and things that they need to improve on majorly come spring training.
The biggest negative for the Wolverines were their turnovers. Tate fumbled once, and threw four interceptions for a total of five turnovers in the game.
On the very first drive of the game, Tate fumbled in his own end-zone, giving the Buckeye defense an easy 7 points.
Another negative on the day was, they were without Brandon Minor, their biggest running threat. With out his speed and power, and with a slightly injured Brown, the Wolverines had to look towards freshman Vincent Smith and sophomore Mike Shaw.
Michigan had 31 rushing attempts, only averaging just over two yards a carry, and ended with 80 total yards, while Ohio State dominated us, ending with 251 total rushing yards.
Another thing that killed the Wolverines, like every game this season, the Wolverines were in it in the first half. Going into the half 14-3, then immediately after halftime making it a four-point ball game after a touchdown from Vincent Smith.
Then the Buckeyes buckled down on defense, and shut down Tate Forcier, making him throw four interceptions, one of which while they were in the red-zone threatening to make it a 21-17 ball game.
The positives for the Wolverines, was mainly on the defense. Where everyone thought that Michigan would only stay in this game was with a lot of offense, the defense surprised everyone.
The defense fought hard, and kept Michigan in this game most of the way. Sure in the second half they still got dominated on the ground, but the kept Ohio State to only 67 passing yards in the game.
The Wolverines shut down their passing game, but the small defensive line could not contain Heron who rushed for 96 yards, Saine for 84, and Pryor for 74.
So what is next for the Maize and Blue coming off another disappointing season and not making it to a bowl game for the second straight year?
Well, Rich Rod has to go out and get some better recruits to fill the holes in this system. As many say he should be fired, fact of the matter is, he needs to stay at least one or two more seasons. (Also, considering he has a 6 year contract with the Wolverines)
Rich Rod has commitments from good defensive players next year, and a couple good offensive linemen, which is exactly what the Wolverines need.
The Defensive Line needs to bulk up, and get bigger, faster guys on that line to be able to stop the run game, which they were not able to do all season long.
The offensive line needs to get bigger and faster to give their QB more time to throw. Almost every time Forcier took a snap, he had to run out of the pocket in order to make a play.
The Wolverines also need to use Robinson other than a run threat. Every college team that has faced Michigan has figured out, when Robinson comes in as QB, it is a guaranteed run.
Change it up, bring Robinson in on a first down, run a play action, and chuck it down field to Roundtree or Koger for a big gain.
Rich Rod needs to help Forcier keep his focus in the game, and not struggle under pressure. Forcier needs to put better hands on the ball, hold it closer to his body when he runs, and learn to throw it away rather than take a big sack.
The Wolverines also need to keep up their game in the second half. Each game, they seem to be in it in the first half every single game, but once they go into halftime, it all seems to go away.
Defenses seem to figure out what Michigan does on Offense and is able to stop them. Rich Rod needs to draw up a few more plays, and run them to perfection and confuse those defenses.
So after another disappointing season, the Wolverines go a second straight year without making it to a bowl game, which means no more football until next September. Keep your heads up high, and hopes alive and look forward to next season.
We saw a lot of improvement from Rich Rod and his Wolverines this year, and we just need to make a few critical adjustments to make the Wolverines contenders once again, but patience is a virtue.
Next year should be a better year for the Wolverines. Michigan has a fairly easy schedule their first four games to get things going on their offense and defense before they open their first Big Ten game against Indiana.
Keep your hopes up, next year could be a great year for the Maize and Blue.
Put faith in Rich Rodriguez. Sure he hasn't brought many wins to the Big House just yet, but it takes more than 2 seasons to rebuild a whole new program.
Give Michigan players your support and look forward to opening day next season on Sept. 4 against UCONN.
And of course, count down the days on your calendar for next year, Nov. 27, where the Wolverines go marching into the Horseshoe to take on Ohio State seeking revenge, and try to end their six-game slump against the Buckeyes!