Ohio State-Michigan Position Preview: Defense

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst INovember 21, 2008


The defense was supposed to be what each team hung its hat on throughout the year. Defense was supposed to keep the Wolverines from being awful, and defense was supposed to lead the Buckeyes to a National Championship. Missions unaccomplished.

Ohio State wasn’t able to stop USC, a common theme for Big Ten teams, and Michigan hasn’t been able to stop, uh, anyone not named Minnesota.

Defensive Line

If there’s one place the Wolverines could have the edge, it’s the D-line. I think they are good—that’s what I’ve been told, at least. The Buckeye defensive line has actually turned up the tempo and started to affect games, rather than watching like the rest of us.

During last year’s dreary game, Michigan’s defensive line caused Todd Boeckman to have a dreary day passing the ball while seemingly forgetting about Beanie Wells. For all the hype, Ohio State’s defensive line has the numbers on their side.


Ohio State has the star power...and production. While you may feel the Ohio State defense has performed below expectations, Michigan should be in the negative.

James Laurinaitis has turned in a good season leading the Buckeyes, maybe not OMG!? A.J.HAWK-good, but good enough. Marcus Freeman has been playing at less than 100 percent, which has shown by his awesomeness in one game and his lost puppy dog look in others. Ross Homan has stepped up admirably, while he probably will always excel more against the Wisconsins than the Floridas of the world.

To be honest, all I know about Michigan is Obi Ezeh. Then again, all I know about him is his name.


Let’s face it: The Big Ten isn’t the Big 12 in terms of QB play and passing yards. That’s like realizing the world is round and Charlie Weis is fat.


If there’s one thing that jumps out about Michigan, it’s probably the football, because a Michigan player can’t hold on to it if Nick Sheridan thought you were on his team. In a rain-soaked loss to Notre Dame (THAT Notre Dame), Rod’s boys managed four LOST fumbles and two INTS. That doesn’t even include the other times they dropped it on carpet and got the ball back.

Ohio State, on the other hand, has everything to play for and can’t (absolutely not, will not do it, no way) handle a loss to this Michigan team.


They are like a tiny little mouse backed into a corner. They will bite, scratch, and probably give you rabies. They will do whatever it takes to try and beat Ohio State. I fully expect Michigan to come out ready and try. Sure, the season is a loss with a capital SUCK, but they haven’t beaten Ohio State in four consecutive tries.

I expect Michigan to take cheap shots and talk trash. It will basically be Illinois x10. Rich Rodriguez will let them, because that’s what he does. This is no longer a classy bunch like Desmond Howard and Braylon Edwards...never mind.