Ohio Game Prediction

For years, I’ve struggled to sleep the night before "The Game". As far back as I can remember, I look forward to this day as much as a 6 year old runs down the stairs on Christmas morning with unparalleled anticipation. The century plus long tradition of these two football programs is legendary. It epitomizes what college football is all about, and while some of the luster has worn off since 2006, it’s still just about as special as it gets in all of sports.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Michigan is favored in the matchup, and is on quite a roll the past 2 weeks, with double digit wins on the road in Champaign, and a surprising blowout 28 point win against Nebraska in the Big House. The Buckeyes come in losers of two tight games in a row, an overtime loss at Purdue, and a 20-14 loss against Penn State in Columbus last week, and a 6-5 overall record. But nobody in Ann Arbor or Columbus needs a reminder how the last 7 matchups have gone. If there’s one thing that is certain in this rivalry, like most, records mean next to nothing. In fact, more times than not, I’ve seen the underdog prevail (see: John Cooper).

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If It Works … Who Cares?

Let me start by saying up front that I have been one of the harshest critics of Al Borges since he was announced as Michigan’s Offensive Coordinator. That continues to this day for a number of reasons however; lest it be said that I am unwilling to give credit where it is due…

Far too often football coaches develop a “my way or the highway” philosophy. Many get caught up in the details of their own system and what they want for their team. They lose sight of one of the most important factors in football, flexibility. A friend of mine agreed to help coach a youth football team this fall. At the first coaches meeting the head coach informed the other coaches that they would be running the option as their primary offense. My friend was stunned since none of coaches had met or seen the team they would be coaching. “What if we have the next Peyton Manning, are we still going to run the option?” my friend asked. The answer was yes.

Al Borges took over the Michigan offense with some preconceived ideas of his own about the kind of system Michigan would run and the structure of the offense. One of those preconceived ideas included using one tailback as the primary ball carrier, giving that back 25 carries a game or more. Unfortunately for Borges, Michigan’s offensive roster did not include an every down work horse. Michigan has had to rely on a number of different backs to carry the load through the first 4 games. At his weekly press conference Borges said the following about the tailback situation:

“I still prefer a guy that can tote it and go. But if we can produce over a hundred yards rushing from our tailbacks between two guys, I can live with that. As long as there’s productivity at the position, and we’ll get into a little of that now, I’m not going to complain about it. It’s just not my preference.” (MGOBLOG)

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A Chat with Shane Morris

Warren, Michigan quarterback prospect Shane Morris became the first commit for the Wolverine’s 2013 class last week. Morris will be the top player in the state and one of the highest rated signal callers in the Midwest, if not the country.

Shane MorrisSean O’Connell: The timing was a surprise to me, when did you come to this decision?

Shane Morris: “I came to this decision about a week before I committed and told coach I wanted to come up with my family and have them see everything.”

Sean O’Connell: Who was your primary recruiter? How is your relationship with him?

Shane Morris: “My primary recruiter was Coach Fred Jackson. We have a very good relationship we talked on the phone once or twice every week. He was a huge influence in my decision, he was alway telling me everything that was going on at U of M and I liked that he was completely honest in every aspect with me. ”

Sean O’Connell: Did you grow up a Michigan fan?

Shane Morris: “Yes I did grow up a Michigan fan, Michigan was my dream school until they changed the offense a couple years ago, now that Coach Hoke is back and running the pro-style again it’s where I belong.”

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