9-0 v 9-0
Quite a contrast in styles yesterday. Michigan beat Northwestern 17-3 in cold (<> 50 mph gusts) conditions in a game that can best be described as ugly. Ohio State had a little better conditions and hammered Minnesota in every facet of the game winning 44-0. Style points awarded to Ohio State.
But does it matter? Did Michigan even try on offense? I'll argue that they didn't. They played without Mario Manningham, Tyler Ecker, Rueben Riley, Mike Massey, and Adrian Arrington sat on the sidelines for most of the game. The conditions were brutal and all they tried to do was run. Northwestern knew this but still couldn't stop it, merely slowing them enough to hold them to 202 yards on the ground. That's the third time in the last 5 games they've topped 200 on the ground for those keeping track at home. Northwestern played an 8 man front the entire game and Michigan plunged right into it. Henne was 10/20 on the day, but was betrayed by Steve Breaston's hands at least once or twice.
Ohio State was brutally efficient yesterday. They scored in every quarter. They ran the ball for 266 yards, threw for 218 yards, and flat out beat up Minnesota's offense holding them to 182 yards on the day. If you care to peruse the Buckeye's numbers this year, you might notice that Penn State is the only Big Ten team to hold them under 38 points this year (28 for that game), though you might remember that 14 points in that game were off late "pick 6s" by the Buckeye defense. But they have been shredding Big Ten opponents this year. 38 points at Iowa, 38 at MSU, 44 points against Indiana, 44 against Minnesota. Michigan's defense will certainly have their work cut out for them against a Buckeye offense that is rolling.
We are now less than 3 weeks away from perhaps the Biggest Regular Season Game in the History of College Football.