It is far too common and completely understandable to want to dwell on a painful event or moment. Asking yourself, “What happened?!?”, over and over, trying to make sense of something that does not make sense.
At some point, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and
proceed forward. If you do not let the past go, it will remain with you
into the present.
It is at this juncture where we pick up the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes,
fresh off a disappointing loss to Michigan State. While there are shades of the 1998 loss
in this latest setback to the Spartans, a couple prominent points need
to be made ~ 1. The 1998 team lost to an unranked Michigan State team
that wound up 6-6; this year’s team came into Ohio Stadium with only one
loss, so this was a loss to a good team. And 2. The 1998 team had the
good fortune to get to play at Iowa after the Michigan State, before
having to face That Team Up North in Ohio Stadium, while this year’s
team gets no opportunity to regroup, having to travel to Ann Arbor –
hence, the points I made in the second paragraph, up above.
The College Football Playoff is not dead, but is pretty ill. Ohio State needs to focus on what they can control, and that is defeating That Team Up North.
Three Things I Will Keep An Eye On During “THE GAME” ~
1. Ohio State’s Offensive Approach ~ To call Ohio State’s offensive
output ‘disappointing’ sullies the word. Ohio State had five total
first downs against Michigan State. That is not a mistyped word – five.
Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer will be very hands on for this game,
and it will bear watching how Ohio State attacks That Team Up North.
Beyond Ezekiel Elliott, look for the various playmakers on the Ohio
State to be involved far, far more than they were against Michigan
2. Line Play ~ Players on both teams will want to make sure their
respective chinstraps are tightened up for this one. Somewhere, Woody
and Bo will be smiling, as this game promises to be very physical along
the lines of scrimmage. As Ohio State lost this battle last week
against the Spartans, how will the Buckeyes respond to an equally
physical Wolverines team?
3. Watch Out For This Unsung Player On That Team Up North ~ Ohio
State fans are familiar with Jake Rudock, Jake Butt, De’Veon Smith.
Here is a player you may not know now, but I am guessing you will be
with by the end of the game – Sione Houma.
A bruising fullback, the Wolverines use Houma as a receiving option,
as well as an occasional ball carrier. If the Wolverines are near the
goal line, do not be surprised if Houna gets the call or carry.
Throw out the record books. This is all about pride. The Buckeyes
will battle a hostile crowd, and a very physical football team on both
sides of the ball. Even with a refreshed offensive approach, this game
should come down to the wire, as usual. I like Ohio State to eek it out
in the end, with a score of Ohio State 20, That Team Up North 17.